Rock Creek Reservoir (Harney)

Reachcode: 17120008004578 | Area: 287.0 acres | Shoreline: 5.2 mi | View on Interactive Map

(From Atlas of Oregon Lakes, Johnson et al. 1985)  Rock Creek Reservoir is an irrigation impoundment in south Central Oregon built and maintained by local interests for irrigation of agricultural land in the Catlow Valley. However, the reservoir is open to the public and receives some attention from fishermen; white crappie and rainbow trout are taken, but reportedly do not produce particularly well. Recreation pressure is not very heavy, and there are no overnight camping facilities at the reservoir. The surrounding landscape is an arid region, most of it administered by the Bureau of Land Management and used for grazing. The upper portion of the drainage basin is within the Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge. Rock Creek is the major stream in the basin and there are some other intermittent streams that enter the reservoir.

Rock Creek Reservoir is not deep (maximum depth 35 feet) and it is exposed to the wind. Bottom sediment is frequently resuspended by wave action making the water turbid and greatly limiting transparency. Much of the reservoir is less than ten feet deep, particularly in the southern and eastern arms. Concentrations of ions in the reservoir are well above average for Oregon lakes, but typical of shallow reservoirs east of the Cascades. The concentration of phosphorus is very high and, together with the limited water transparency, identifies the reservoir as eutrophic. Macrophytes grow in the shallow areas and summer blooms of blue-green algae are common.