Gerber Reservoir (Klamath)

Reachcode: 18010204002255 | Area: 3815.1 acres | Shoreline: 28.9 mi | View on Interactive Map


(From Atlas of Oregon Lakes, Johnson et al. 1985)  Gerber Reservoir is a large impoundment which functions as a vital component of the Klamath Project, a large, two—state water resource system which serves the irrigation demands of approximately 234,000 acres. The Bureau of Reclamation is responsible for the development and operation of this project which provides irrigation, flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Gerber Reservoir was built in 1925 with the completion of a dam across Miller Creek. The dam and reservoir were named for Louis Gerber, an early settler who owned a considerable portion of the site. Miller Diversion Dam, eight miles downstream, was also completed in 1925. The reservoir stores the flow of the headwater streams in the Miller Creek drainage basin and releases water in the dry summer season to irrigate 17,400 acres in the Langell Valley. Prior to reaching the Langell Valley, Miller Creek cuts across the Goodlow Rim to the southwest, a picturesque low butte of igneous rock.

The drainage basin of Gerber Reservoir is primarily under supervision of the Bureau of Land Management and consists of a mixture of rangeland and forest. Included within the basin are several other small reservoirs, including Strawberry and Round Valley. The shoreline of Gerber Reservoir is entirely in federal ownership. A popular warm water fishery attracts anglers throughout the year, although spring is the best season for fishing. Crappies and perch account for most of the catch, but there are also bass and rainbow trout. Two campgrounds and a number of boat launching sites are provided by the B.L.M.

Characteristic of reservoirs, the impoundment exhibits a dendritic, or branching shape; it contains one large island. Very few macrophytes have been observed living in the shallow arms of the reservoir. The concentrations of ions are low; calcium and sulfate have a relatively high concentration, indicating the influence of sedimentary rock weathering in the drainage basin. The reservoir is deep enough to develop thermal stratification, and there is measurable depletion of oxygen in the deeper water following stratification. Phosphorus concentration in the water is well above average and transparency is limited due to the combined effect of phytoplankton and suspended inorganic particulate matter. Productivity is high and, in combination with all other indicators, gives a classification of eutrophic.