Loon Lake (Douglas)

Reachcode: 17100303001115 | Area: 258.3 acres | Shoreline: 5.3 mi | View on Interactive Map

(From Atlas of Oregon Lakes, Johnson et al. 1985)  Loon Lake sits in beautiful surroundings in the Coast Range east of Reedsport and is a classic example of a landslide lake. Great blocks of sandstone fell from the west wall of the Lake Creek valley to lie as a jumbled mass of blocks that impounded the waters of Lake Creek. Carbon-14 dating of trees drowned at the time of damming indicate that the event occurred about 1460 years ago. Loon Lake was originally much longer, extending several miles upstream. Its size is gradually being reduced as the outlet stream erodes through the natural dam. While the sides and outlet end of the lake are flanked by steep, timber-covered slopes, the inlet end is flat pastureland of lakebed origin that became exposed as erosion reduced the height of the barrier at the outlet. Loon Lake was apparently discovered in 1852 by explorers from Scottsburg and named for the presence of loons nesting on the water.

The drainage basin of Loon Lake is primarily forest land, with a mix of private and Bureau of Land Management lands. The lake is heavily used for public recreation, including fishing, camping, and water skiing. A BLM campground, swimming beach, and boat launch are located near the outlet and a resort and private summer cabins flank the upper portion of the lake.

Loon Lake is relatively deep and develops a sharp thermal stratification during the summer. The depth of the thermocline is rather shallow, indicating less wind-induced mixing than is found in Oregon coastal lakes. The water is noticeably turbid during the winter when heavy rains bring much surface runoff. The turbidity persists in the deeper water during the summer and may contribute to density stratification. Deeper water is sometimes low in dissolved oxygen and somewhat higher in conductivity than surface water. These conditions are a consequence of the density stratification.

The quality of the water in the lake is quite good. Extensive growths of macrophytes develop in shallow water areas. During summer months, the concentrations of chlorophyl and phosphorus are quite low and water transparency is quite high. Based on these characteristics, Loon Lake is classified as oligotrophic. The depletion of oxygen in the deeper water is seemingly inconsistent with the chlorophyl and phosphorus data and as noted, suggests that oxygen depletion may be related to material washed into the lake during the winter from the watershed rather than from the decay of plants growing in the lake itself.

Printable Lake Map

The list below includes results of zebra and quagga mussels surveys conducted by the Center for Lakes and Reservoirs and other agencies. The results "non-detect" and "results pending" indicate that surveys for zebra and quagga mussels were conducted, but none were detected or results are pending. For more details on zebra and quagga mussel monitoring, please visit the Online Mussel Monitoring Map.

Date Status/Species Source
Aug. 17, 2010 non detect Oregon Dept of Fish and Wildlife
No plant data available.