Beale Lake (Coos)
Reachcode: 17100304000663 | Area: 54.0 acres | Shoreline: 1.9 mi | View on Interactive Map
(From Atlas of Oregon Lakes, Johnson et al. 1985). Beale Lake is one of several lakes in an extensive area of sand dunes stretching from North Bend to Florence on the Oregon coast. It is within the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area and as such is managed by the Siuslaw National Forest. Along with several other lakes in the area (including Horsfall and Saunders in this survey) it lies in a forested deflation plain on which the sand has been stabilized by a dense growth of shrubs and trees, primarily fir and pine. Active dunal ridges, reaching about 100 feet above sea level, flank the plain on both sides and trend north and south parallel to the coastline. There are no perennial streams in the area and the lake is actually a surface expression of seasonal fluctuations in the water table. Surface area, therefore, will vary considerably throughout the year. In the winter when the water table is highest, surface flow occurs in broad, undefined channels, generally out of Beale Lake and south towards Snag Lake. For much of the year the lake consists of several nearly independent basins interconnected by shallow channels. Water levels also fluctuate as withdrawals are made from the ground water aquifers for industrial use in the Coos BayNorth Bend area.
Most of the lake (85 percent on the accompanying bathymetric map) is shallower than 10 feet and there is considerable growth of both submerged and emergent macrophytes, although an active sand dune on the north shore inhibits the growth of macrophytes in that area. Sodium and chloride concentrations are slightly above average for coastal lakes in Oregon, explained by the fact that there is little shelter from the nearby ocean and influence from sea spray. However, conductivity and alkalinity are slightly below average. Because of the shallow depth of the lake and the exposure to strong winds, Beale Lake is well-mixed, does not stratify, and there is no depletion of oxygen. Phosphorus concentration is about average for coastal lakes and indicates mesotrophic ecological conditions. Water transparency is less than average because of high algal densities and possibly because of the presence of dissolved organic matter derived from numerous dead pine stumps and trunks on the lake bottom. Otherwise, the bottom of the lake is composed mainly of deep sand. Overall, Beale Lake is considered to be mesotrophic, but is close to being eutrophic. It is not likely that cultural activities will affect this status. Access for visitors is difficult and the lake thus receives minimal use.