Fern Ridge Reservoir

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Fern Ridge Reservoir
Fern Ridge Lake Oregon.jpg
LocationLane County, Oregon
Coordinates44°07′14″N 123°17′54″W / 44.12056°N 123.29833°W / 44.12056; -123.29833Coordinates: 44°07′14″N 123°17′54″W / 44.12056°N 123.29833°W / 44.12056; -123.29833
Lake typeReservoir
Primary inflowsLong Tom River
Primary outflowsLong Tom River
Catchment area275 sq mi (710 km2)[1]
Basin countriesUnited States
Max. length4.5 mi (7.2 km)
Surface area9,360 acres (3,790 ha)[1]
Average depth11 ft (3.4 m)[1]
Max. depth33 ft (10 m)[1]
Water volume101,200 acre⋅ft (124,800 dam3)[1]
Residence time3 months[1]
Shore length130.1 mi (48.4 km)[1]
Surface elevation353–370 ft (108–113 m)
1 Shore length is not a well-defined measure.

Fern Ridge Reservoir (or Fern Ridge Lake) is a reservoir on the Long Tom River in the U.S. state of Oregon. The reservoir is located approximately 12 miles (19 km) west of Eugene on Oregon Route 126. The reservoir is a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers flood control project encompassing more than 12,000 acres (49 km2) and is a popular site for boating, fishing, and birdwatching.[2]

Surrounding portions of the reservoir is the Fern Ridge Wildlife Area, a wildlife management area providing a unique habitat for a variety of species including wintering waterfowl populations.

Fern Ridge Dam[edit]

Afternoon aerial view looking west

The Fern Ridge Dam was completed in 1942,[3] and is currently one of 13 multi-purpose dams operated by the Corps of Engineers in the Willamette Valley. The dam provides flood control, irrigation, recreation, navigation, and improved downstream water quality. The water level is kept high from May through September for recreation purposes.

Throughout the summer, the water level is lowered by up to 3 feet (0.91 m) to provide for downstream irrigation needs, and is further lowered after September to provide necessary water storage capability to prevent possible downstream flood damage during the Willamette Valley's rainy season.[4] The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ major repair effort of Fern Ridge Dam on the Long Tom River near Eugene began in June 2005 and was completed in late October 2005. The internal drainage system was repaired and the embankment dam was rebuilt.


Eugene Yacht Club

Fern Ridge is home to multiple parks and yacht clubs, both private and county-managed.[5] During the summer, strong, generally northerly winds develop in the afternoon and usually last until dusk. Because these winds are quite reliable, Fern Ridge has become a popular sailing destination for the nearby population. The Eugene Yacht Club hosts several annual regattas as well as class championships.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Johnson, Daniel M. (1985). "Fern Ridge Lake". Atlas of Oregon Lakes (PDF). Corvallis: Oregon State University Press. p. 82. ISBN 9780870713422. OCLC 11030545. Retrieved 2014-04-08.
  2. ^ http://corpslakes.usace.army.mil/visitors/projects.cfm?Id=G205830 Corps Lakes Gateway: Oregon - Fern Ridge Lake
  3. ^ "The Fern Ridge Community Resource Unit". naturalborders.com. Retrieved 2008-05-06. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  4. ^ https://www.nwp.usace.army.mil/op/V/proj_fernridge.asp U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: Portland District - Fern Ridge Dam and Reservoir
  5. ^ https://www.nwp.usace.army.mil/op/V/frrec.asp U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: Portland District - Fern Ridge Lake Recreation
  6. ^ "Eugene Yacht Club". Eugene Yacht Club About. Eugene Yacht Club. Retrieved 5 July 2016.

External links[edit]