Spring Lake (Klamath)
Reachcode: 18010204002235 | Area: 375.6 acres | Shoreline: 3.3 mi | View on Interactive Map
(From Atlas of Oregon Lakes, Johnson et al. 1985) Spring Lake is a large, but extremely shallow water body lying at the east edge of the Klamath Hills. It is a natural sump in an area of interior drainage and as such is managed by the Bureau of Reclamation as a storage pool, a component of the Klamath Basin Project. The Klamath Project derives its water supply from the Klamath River and from the closed basins of this part of Oregon and adjacent California; it allows irrigation of farmland in both states. The Project also provides flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Spring Lake is a small, but important, component of this Project as irrigation water is routed into and out of it via a network of canals.
The Klamath Hills arise immediately to the south and west of the lake to a height of over 1000 feet above the surrounding landscape. These hills are grazed by cattle and are, in part, managed by the Bureau of Land Management. Otherwise the topography in the Spring Lake Valley is relatively flat and most of the land supports irrigated agriculture.
Typical of lakes in interior drainage basins, Spring Lake contains relatively salty water. The concentrations of sodium and sulfate are particularly high, and the conductivity is among the highest measured anywhere in Oregon lakes. The concentration of phosphorus is extremely high. The lake develops dense mats of blue green algae which cover much of the water surface. Water transparency is very limited as a consequence of the algal growth. Because of the very shallow depth and the generous supply of phosphorus, this lake is extremely productive, and is classified as hypereutrophic.