Todd Lake (Deschutes)

Reachcode: 17070301000856 | Area: 29.1 acres | Shoreline: 1.2 mi | View on Interactive Map

(From Atlas of Oregon Lakes, Johnson et al. 1985)  Todd Lake is a small, deep lake on the east slope of the Central Oregon Cascades. The turnoff to it from the Cascade Lakes Highway is at a small meadow surrounded by lava flows which emanated from nearby Bachelor Butte. The dirt road originally continued north past the lake, but is now closed to traffic. It terminates at a parking lot about 100 yards from the lake and a short hike is necessary. Those who do walk to Todd Lake are greeted with the sight of a pristine water body, lying in a broad glacial valley; the Three Sisters form a spectacular backdrop. A coniferous forest flanks the lake on both sides and the upper end merges with a lovely, broad meadow that shows off a beautiful display of wildflowers in late summer. Snowmelt runoff from the small drainage basin supplies water to the lake; the only permanent inflowing stream is one from Bare Lake. The outlet stream cascades south and eventually disappears into the permeable volcanic terrain about two miles southwest of the lake.

Todd Lake was, for many years, named Lost Lake because it was difficult to find. Citizens of Bend requested the name be changed to avoid confusion with other "Lost Lakes" in the Cascades. Attempts to name it Lake Bend were unsuccessful, and in 1922 it was named in commemoration of John Y. Todd, a pioneer of Central Oregon who built Sherars Bridge in 1860, the first bridge across the Deschutes River.

Todd Lake has long been a favorite family recreation site. It provides the opportunity for campers to enjoy a wilderness experience without a long hike, and it is also popular as a day-use site. Fishing for brook trout is quite good, in part due to special regulations. No motorboats are allowed on the lake and no fishing is permitted from any floating craft. Because of these regulations, and a regular stocking program, bank angling is successful year after year; fly-fishing is particularly good.

Because of its depth and sheltered location, Todd Lake develops a sharp thermal stratification in the summer and remains extremely cold below a depth of 15 feet (4.6 meters). The concentrations of major ions, alkalinity, and conductivity are typical of other mountain lakes in the Cascades. Water transparency is good (Secchi disk depth = 22.7 feet; 7 meters) and the concentration of chlorophyl is low. The concentration of phosphorus observed on 8/16/82 was high, a condition typical of several other lakes near the Cascade Lakes Highway. Otherwise, all available data indicate that this small lake is oligotrophic.