Dexter Reservoir

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Dexter Reservoir
Dexter Lake
USACE Dexter Lake and Dam.jpg
Dexter Lake
Location of Dexter Reservoir in Oregon, USA.
Location of Dexter Reservoir in Oregon, USA.
Dexter Reservoir
Location of Dexter Reservoir in Oregon, USA.
Location of Dexter Reservoir in Oregon, USA.
Dexter Reservoir
LocationLane County, Oregon
Coordinates43°55′25″N 122°48′24″W / 43.92361°N 122.80667°W / 43.92361; -122.80667Coordinates: 43°55′25″N 122°48′24″W / 43.92361°N 122.80667°W / 43.92361; -122.80667
TypeReservoir, mesotrophic
Primary inflowsMiddle Fork Willamette River
Primary outflowsMiddle Fork Willamette River
Catchment area1,002 square miles (2,600 km2)
Basin countriesUnited States
Surface area1,025 acres (415 ha)
Average depth27 feet (8.2 m)
Max. depth56 feet (17 m)
Water volume29,990 acre-feet (36,990,000 m3)
Residence timeless than one month
Shore length17 miles (11 km)
Surface elevation695 feet (212 m)
SettlementsDexter, Lowell
1 Shore length is not a well-defined measure.

Dexter Reservoir (also known as Dexter Lake) is a reservoir in Lane County, in the U.S. state of Oregon.[2] It is about 16 miles (26 km) southeast of Eugene on the Middle Fork Willamette River, immediately downriver from Lookout Point Lake, another reservoir. The communities of Dexter and Lowell are near the lake. Oregon Route 58 follows the lake's southern shore, while Pengra Road parallels the lake's northern shore as far east as Lowell.[4]

Dexter Dam, 117 feet (36 m) high, impounds up to 29,900 acre-feet (36,900,000 m3) of water in the reservoir.[3] The powerhouse at the dam can generate 15,000 kilowatts of electricity.[5] The lake and three adjacent state parks are used for water sports and other outdoor recreation.


The two reservoirs, Dexter and Lookout Point, were created in 1954 when the United States Army Corps of Engineers finished building the dams that contain them. Dexter exists partly to control water surges from the upstream lake during Lookout Point's production of hydroelectricity. Dexter Lake's water levels vary greatly, while the flow below Dexter Dam remains relatively steady. The Dexter and Lookout Point projects are among 13 that the Corps built in the Willamette Valley.[1]


Dexter Dam

In addition to mitigating floods and generating electricity, Dexter Reservoir is used for recreation.[1] Three state parks are located near the lake. Dexter State Recreation Site is a 100-acre (40 ha) park with picnic tables, toilets, and a boat launch adjacent to Dexter Dam, about 16 miles (26 km) southeast of Eugene. Activities at or near the park include swimming, fishing, sailing, and other water sports.[6] The University of Oregon Rowing Team has practiced continuously on the reservoir since 1967.[citation needed]

Elijah Bristow State Park is an 847-acre (343 ha) park that stretches for 3 miles (4.8 km) along the south bank of the river below Dexter Dam. Park amenities include picnic tables, restrooms, equestrian staging areas, horseshoe pits, a wildlife viewing platform, and a boat launch. The park has 12 miles (19 km) of trails through woods and meadows. Most of the trails are open to mountain bikers and equestrians as well as hikers.[7] Lowell State Recreation Site is a waterfront park on the north side of Dexter Lake. Amenities include picnic tables, a boat launch, dock, playground, basketball court, and restrooms. Fishing, swimming, sailing, and waterskiing are among possible activities at this site.[8]

Dexter Lake supports populations of rainbow trout, largemouth bass, and smallmouth bass. The lake also has large populations of northern pikeminnow. The City of Lowell encourages removal of this rough fish during a pikeminnow contest held each July.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Johnson, Daniel M.; Petersen, Richard R.; Lycan, D. Richard; Sweet, James W.; Neuhaus, Mark E., and Schaedel, Andrew L. (1985). Atlas of Oregon Lakes. Corvallis: Oregon State University Press. p. 185. ISBN 0-87071-343-4.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  2. ^ a b "Dexter Reservoir". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. November 28, 1980. Retrieved July 13, 2012.
  3. ^ a b "Atlas of Oregon Lakes: Dexter Reservoir (Lane County)". Portland State University. 1985–2012. Retrieved July 13, 2012.
  4. ^ Oregon Atlas & Gazetteer. Yarmouth, Maine: DeLorme. 2008. p. 47. ISBN 978-0-89933-347-2.
  5. ^ "Lookout Point Lake and Dexter Lake, Oregon" (PDF). U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. 2009. Retrieved February 12, 2016.
  6. ^ Bannan, pp. 142–43
  7. ^ Bannan, pp. 141–42
  8. ^ Bannan, pp. 143–44
  9. ^ Sheehan, p. 131

Works cited[edit]

  • Bannan, Jan (2002). Oregon State Parks: A Complete Recreation Guide, 2nd ed. Seattle, Washington: The Mountaineers Books. ISBN 0-89886-794-0.
  • Sheehan, Madelynne Diness (2005). Fishing in Oregon: The Complete Oregon Fishing Guide, 10th ed. Scappoose, Oregon: Flying Pencil Publications. ISBN 0-916473-15-5.