Fish Lake (195) (Douglas)

Reachcode: 17100302001314 | Area: 93.5 acres | Shoreline: 1.7 mi | View on Interactive Map


(From Atlas of Oregon Lakes, Johnson et al. 1985)  Fish Lake, a large and deep back-country lake in the upper drainage basin of the South Umpqua River, is located within the Umpqua Divide Scenic Area. The lake was formed in recent geological times when a large portion of the face of Grasshopper Mountain moved as a landslide two miles north into Fish Creek Lake Canyon, forming a natural dam and impounding the waters behind it. The first two miles of the outlet, Fish Lake Creek, can be seen cascading down the "face" of this natural dam. Some of the trees that were covered by the impounded waters are still present in the southwest portion of the lake, evidence of the recent formation. Two smaller lakes (Buckeye Lake, 15 acres, and Cliff Lake, 7 acres) were formed by the landslide at the same time.

Trails to Fish Lake receive fairly heavy use in the early part of trout season, but for the most part the region remains relatively uncrowded and isolated. Hikers may still experience the "grand forest of fir embosing three beautiful lakes" and the "massive peaks of frowning rocks" as first described by O. C. Brown in 1899. Brown was with a group of local horsepackers who were seeking a new route to Crater Lake. Presumably, this party named the lake and it is one of ten in the state so named.

Water quality is excellent, although major ion concentrations, alkalinity, and conductivity are somewhat above average for Cascade mountain lakes. The bottom of Fish Lake basin slopes uniformly to a single maximum at the center with a depth of over 120 feet. Shallow water areas on the perimeter support extensive growths of submerged and emergent macrophytes, especially along the eastern shore where High Rock Creek enters. The water is quite clear with a transparency of 25.3 feet (7.7 meters), and concentrations of phosphorus and chlorophyl are low; these are indicators of oligotrophic conditions. However, the lake develops a distinct thermal stratification, with very cold water below 40 feet, and there is some tendency for oxygen depletion in the deeper water. The reputation that the lake has for good fishing, the dissolved oxygen data and the growth of submerged macrophytes are all indicators of significant biological productivity in Fish Lake.


Printable Lake Map
No mussel data available.

The list of plants below includes results of aquatic plant surveys conducted by the Center for Lakes and Reservoirs as well as aquatic invasive plant species detections that have been reported to iMap Invasives: an online, GIS-based invasive species reporting and querying tool.

Plants listed in the table below are categorized as native to Oregon, on the Oregon Department of Agriculture’s (ODA’s) Noxious Weed List, on the Federal Noxious Weed List, or non-native but not listed as noxious. Federal Noxious Weed List plants are plants determined by USDA to be serious threats to U.S. agriculture, irrigation, navigation, public health or the environment (7 C.F.R. 360.200). The ODA Noxious Weed categories are:

ODA Class A - weeds either unknown or with small enough infestations to make eradication or containment possible; targeted for eradication or intensive control.

ODA Class B - regionally abundant weeds (may have limited distribution in some counties); targeted for local/regional control on case-by-case basis.

Download the complete dataset as a CSV

Date Species Status Source
Aug. 5, 2009 Ceratophyllum demersum (Coontail; hornwort) Native CLR
Aug. 5, 2009 Potamogeton amplifolius (large-leaf pondweed) Native CLR
Aug. 5, 2009 Potamogeton pusillus (slender pondweed) Native CLR
Aug. 5, 2009 Eleocharis sp. (spikerush) Native CLR
Aug. 5, 2009 Nitella sp. (stonewort) Native CLR
Aug. 5, 2009 Callitriche sp. (water-starwort) Native CLR
Aug. 5, 2009 Nuphar polysepala (yellow water-lily) Native CLR