Lake Lytle (Tillamook)

Reachcode: 17100203000738 | Area: 65.0 acres | Shoreline: 1.4 mi | View on Interactive Map

(From Atlas of Oregon Lakes, Johnson et al. 1985)  Lytle Lake is a small, but highly visible coastal lake located between Tillamook and Cannon Beach on the heavily traveled Oregon Coast Highway. The name is taken from E. E. Lytle, a prominent railroad financier of the early Oregon scene. Among his other accomplishments, Lytle was responsible for construction of the Pacific Railroad and Navigation Line from Hillsboro to Tillamook Bay in 1911. The line is now owned by the Southern Pacific Company. The lake basin represents a low spot on a marine terrace, blocked from the ocean by a low sand dune ridge that parallels the coast. Surface inflow is from several small creeks, and the intermittent outflow is north through Moroney Canal to Crescent Lake and from there to the ocean. Seasonal variation of the lake level is from one to two feet.

The drainage basin for Lytle Lake consists primarily of private timberland, much of it previously logged. Dense brush and second-growth timber now cover the hillsides. Tillamook County owns the lake and most of the shoreline and maintains a boat launch on the northeast shore. A few homes are near the shoreline at the north end. Rainbow and cutthroat trout are stocked heavily, and the lake hosts a fair largemouth bass population. Fishing is a popular sport because of the ready accessibility.

Typical of coastal lakes in Oregon, Lytle is quite shallow and is somewhat enriched with sodium and chloride from sea spray. Conductivity and alkalinity are slightly above average for coastal lakes. Because of its shallowness, the lake is generally well-mixed and unstratified. The entire bottom of the lake is a firm mixture of sand and mud and is covered with macrophytes, primarily Anacharis (Elodea), which reduce the area of open water, especially at the south end. Lytle Lake has received very little attention from scientists, and little data is available. However, by all indications the biological productivity of the lake is not very high, and it is classified as mesotrophic.