- Lane County)
(From Atlas of Oregon Lakes, Johnson et al. 1985). Cleawox Lake is a very popular recreational lake on the central Oregon coast and is one of the components of the Jessie M. Honeyman State Park; Woahink Lake is the other key component of the park. The name Cleawox is certainly an Indian word but its meaning is unknown. As with many other coastal lakes Cleawox was formed by the ponding of the headwaters of a small coastal stream that was submerged during the post-glacial rise in sea level and subsequently blocked by migrating sand dunes. It is in a drainage separate from that of the adjacent Siltcoos-Woahink system. More than half of the western shore is bordered by actively advancing sand dunes that have overpassed the earlier masses responsible for the lake's impoundment. These dunes are estimated to be moving northward at 15 to 20 feet per year, gradually encroaching on the lake from this side. Inflow to Cleawox Lake is by seepage and from a few small surface streams. No surface outflow is apparent, and the regional water level varies seasonally, primarily in response to fluctuations in the water table. The drainage basin is covered with a pine and scrub complex common to this part of the Oregon coast where well-drained, sandy soils predominate.
Shoreline ownership around Cleawox Lake is in part federal (a two mile stretch of the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area), in part state (one mile frontage of Honeyman State Park), and the rest private. On the northeast shoreline there are several vacation homesites and a girl scout camp. The lake receives heavy recreational use in the form of swimming, canoeing and picnicking by park visitors. However, fishing pressure is light. Warm water species are present in relatively small numbers, and rainbow and cutthroat trout are planted annually. There is no overnight camping at the lake itself, but a large state park campground is located a few hundred yards south of the lake.
Cleawox Lake is slightly saltier than most other coastal lakes. Nevertheless, it is among the most transparent of all the coastal lakes; thus, it is classified as oligotrophic. Phytoplankton found in the lake are associated with both mesotrophic and oligotrophic lakes. The flagellate Dinobryon sertularia was the dominant form found when sampling the lake on 8/16/82. The presence of mayflies also suggests more oligotrophic conditions. Because it is a shallow lake, there is an extensive growth of macrophytes on the bottom, except on the west side where the sand dunes are actively intruding on the shoreline. With a continued increase in use of the lake and an increasing number of septic tanks associated with the development of real estate on the northeast shore, it is likely that Cleawox Lake will become progressively more eutrophic.