Devils Lake, Oregon, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - West - Oregon - The Coast -

Far from anything maleficent, Devils Lake is a sweet little wonder lying in the midst of Oregon’s attractive Lincoln City. The lake is situated in a unique location on Oregon’s Pacific Ocean coast, connected, in fact, to the ocean via D River (yes, actually the letter “D”). But names do carry their meanings, and Devils Lake’s less-than-sweet title was inspired by a legend of the American Indian Siletz people that used to inhabit the area. According to Chief William Depoe, the late Siletz chief, the people encountered the bad spirits of the water during a celebration when a creature emerged to capture a group of Siletz warriors, pulling them down into the lake’s disrupted waters. The spirits were eventually appeased, and the people showed respect by making offerings before crossing the lake.

The events of the legend might be a little spooky, but the present-day lake’s attractive features are anything but. The 685-acre body of freshwater was formed in 14,000 B.C.E. by a blockade of sand dunes and other deposits from the nearby beach. Devils Lake is about 3 miles long and 0.4 miles wide. D River, once named the world’s shortest river at 120 feet, flows from Devils Lake into the Pacific and is the lake’s only outflow. Rock Creek, on the lake’s south end, and Thompson Creek, to the lake’s northeast, are the major sources of inflow.

There is a modest dam on D River that controls the water level of Devils Lake, particularly during the recreational months of the summer (10.4 feet above sea level is considered the normal water level, 12 feet is considered flood stage). The Devils Lake Water Improvement District (DLWID) maintains the dam. Generally, the water level does not drop more than two feet; it varies only slightly depending largely upon precipitation which peaks during the winter months. Cyanobacteria (also known as blue-green algae) blooms can occur during warm summer months, so check with the DLWID for advisories to activities such as swimming, water skiing, and jet skiing.

Rainbow trout, grass carp and coho salmon are plenty, but there are stringent fishing restrictions. Devils Lake is stocked with hatchery-raised rainbow trout every year. These trout have had their adipose fins removed (that’s the small fin on top closest to the tail) and are allowed to be captured. Wild trout, on the other hand, must be released unharmed. Grass carp were introduced to the lake by the Devils Lake Water Improvement District in an attempt to control unwanted vegetation. Removing the grass carp is prohibited. Adult coho salmon swim from the ocean to the lake in order to spawn. These wild salmon are considered endangered, so capture of salmon in the lake is also forbidden.

Devils Lake, surrounded by riparian life, wetlands, creeks, beach, ocean, and forest is an area of true biodiversity. Nature lovers will enjoy the coming together of these various ecosystems. You will sight many species of birds – commonly grebes, various species of ducks, coots, cormorants, the great blue heron, geese, egrets, migratory birds and so much more. Lounge on the lake, take advantage of one of the nearby sites (D River Wayside, East Devils Lake State Park, West Devils Lake State Park, Rock Creek Marsh, and Spring Lake Open Space) or take to the Oregon Coast Birding Trail with binoculars in hand.

Wildlife in the area include elk, deer, beavers, bats, butterflies, raccoon, muskrat, and opossums. Cougar and bears have reportedly wandered from the nearby Siuslaw National Forest.

Lincoln City is a main tourist attraction and a premier retirement location. Outdoor enthusiasts can choose from a host of freshwater and saltwater activities such as boating, fishing, swimming, kayaking, canoeing, sailing, windsurfing, whale-watching, clamming and crabbing, horseback riding, skateboarding, or kite-flying- the list goes on. Public access to the lake can be found at Regatta Grounds, Sand Point, Holmes Road Park, and East Devils Lake State Park. Boat rentals are available at a private marina. Bicycling and hiking are popular through Lincoln City’s many Open Spaces. Devils Lake is also the venue for high-speed hydroplane racing, and each October hosts the Rocky Stone Memorial Kilo. For those who prefer less adrenaline-pumping activities, Lincoln City also offers activities such as antique shopping, cuisine classes, and glass art classes. So plan to stay for awhile; your options are endless.

Things to do at Devils Lake OR

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Jet Skiing
  • Water Skiing
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Horseback Riding
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • State Park
  • National Forest
  • Antiquing
  • Shopping

Fish species found at Devils Lake OR

  • Carp
  • Coho Salmon
  • Grass Carp
  • Rainbow Trout
  • Salmon
  • Trout

Devils Lake OR Photo Gallery

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Devils Lake OR Statistics & Helpful Links

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Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Dammed

Water Level Control: Devils Lake Water Improvement District

Surface Area: 685 acres

Shoreline Length: 11 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 20 feet

Average Depth: 9 feet

Maximum Depth: 22 feet

Water Volume: 5,750 acre-feet

Water Residence Time: 2 months

Drainage Area: 13 sq. miles

Trophic State: Eutrophic

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Trophic State | LakeLubbers

Trophic State measures the level of algae and nutrients in a lake.

An oligotrophic lake is very clear (blue in color) and does not support much plant or fish life. A hyper-oligotrophic lake is the clearest of all lakes, and is nearly devoid of plants and fish.

A mesotrophic lake is slightly green and supports a moderate degree of plant and fish life. A lake's most desired trophic state is generally this mid-point - the mesotrophic state.

A eutrophic lake is somewhat murky and supports a large amount of plant and fish life. A hypereutrophic lake is clouded with algae, plant life, and fish life. A eutrophic or hyper-eutrophic lake can be difficult to navigate by boat - and is often an unpleasant place to swim.

The use of phosphorus-rich and nitrogen-rich fertilizer on lawns and golf courses surrounding a lake can cause it to become eutrophic or hypereutrophic.


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Catchment or Drainage Area | LakeLubbers

This is the surrounding area that drains into a lake, including land, rivers and their tributaries. This is also known as the lake's "catchment basin".

Small lakes at the highest peaks of mountains have small drainage areas. The world's oceans have the largest drainage areas.


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Lake-Area Population | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated number of people who live in a house with a view of a lake, plus those who self-describe the lake as their home, for example: "I live at Smith Mountain Lake."


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Water Residence Time | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated time that it takes for an amount of water equal to the entire volume of a lake to flow out of - or evaporate from - the lake.

Residence Time can be as short as a few days for fast-flowing small lakes, and can exceed 100 years for slow-flowing large lakes.


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Completion Year | LakeLubbers

This is the year that a reservoir was first filled to the reservoir's normal elevation - or the year that a natural lake was first dammed. A large reservoir can take more than a year to fill after its dam is first closed.

The Grand Anicut in southern India is generally considered the world's oldest dam that still operates. Grand Anicut was constructed in the second century BC. It now impounds an irrigation network that includes roughly one million acres.

You can find many of the the world's newest reservoirs on LakeLubbers. Many of the world's oldest reservoirs appear on the last page of that list.


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Water Volume | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated volume of water that a lake contains -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. By this measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal.

You can find many of the the world's largest lakes (by water volume) on LakeLubbers.

Water Volume can be measured in acre-feet, in cubic miles, or in cubic kilometers. One acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover one acre (43,560 square feet) to a depth of one foot. One cubic mile equals 3,379,200 acre-feet. One cubic kilometer equals 810,713 acre-feet.

1 acre-foot is equal to 325,851 US gallons. Siberia's Lake Baikal contains about 6,276,367,740,000,000 gallons of freshwater - nearly 1 million gallons for every living person on earth.

The other - and more widely used - measure of a lake's size is the lake's surface acreage. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is North America's Lake Superior.


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Maximum Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated greatest depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. The world's deepest lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal; that lake's maximum depth is estimated at 5,314 feet.

You can find many of the the world's deepest lakes on LakeLubbers. If you select the last page of that list, you will find the (maximum depth of) the shallowest lakes in our database.


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Average Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated average depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. If the water volume and surface area of a lake are known, an estimate of the lake's average depth can be calculated:

Water volume ÷ Surface Area = Average Depth

Example: 1,000,000 acre-feet ÷ 20,000 acres = 50 feet average depth


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Maximum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's highest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can occur during flooding. A lake's highest possible maximum elevation is usually the top of the lake's dam or spillway.

At lakes that include residential development, government regulations usually forbid the construction of homes below a lake's maximum elevation.


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Minimum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's lowest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can be reasonably expected to occur. Low lake levels can occur due to deliberate seasonal draw downs for irrigation or impending snow melt, reduced water inflows, drought and evaporation, residential or commercial water demands, and hydropower generation.

Some lakes' minimum and maximum elevations are virtually the same. Lakes that generate hydropower may vary by several feet - according to power demand. Lakes whose primary purpose is to prevent flooding can seasonally vary by 100 feet or more.

When some lakes reach their minimum elevation, their boat ramps may not be long enough to permit boat access - and boats docked on shallow parts of the lake may end up on dry ground. In those cases, kayakers and shore-based anglers may be among the few happy recreational users of the lake.


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Normal Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's normal water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level. For a reservoir, this water level is also known as "full pond" or "full pool".

You can find many of the world's highest-elevated lakes on LakeLubbers. Lakes with the lowest elevations (known by LakeLubbers) are shown on the final page of that list.


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Shoreline Length | LakeLubbers

This is the length of the exterior shoreline around a lake - measured at the lake's normal elevation. The shoreline length can be considerably shorter or longer when lake water levels are lower or higher than normal.

A lake with many coves has a much longer shoreline than a lake of similar surface area that is nearly circular in shape.

When known, the shoreline miles that we report in our statistics include only the lake's exterior shoreline, and exclude the shorelines of islands located within a lake's boundaries. In lakes with many islands, those islands' combined shorelines may exceed a lake's exterior shoreline.

You can find many of the world's longest-shoreline lakes on Lakelubbers.


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Surface Area | LakeLubbers

This is the area (acreage, square kilometers, etc.) of the top surface area of a lake - measured at a lake's normal elevation. The surface area can be considerably smaller or larger when lake levels are lower or higher than normal. North America's Lake Superior is the world's largest freshwater lake by this measure.

The other measure of a lake's size is the lake's water volume. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Lake Baikal in Siberia.

You can find many of the world's largest lakes (acres) on Lakelubbers. There is no widely-accepted minimum surface area that defines a lake. What Lakelubbers describes as a lake, you might call a pond. The smallest lake that Lakelubbers currently includes is Hawaii's 2-acre Lake Waiau.


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Water Level Control | LakeLubbers

This is the organization that controls water releases or outflows from the lake or reservoir. In the USA, this is often the US Army Corps of Engineers, a power company, a municipal water system, an irrigation district, or a paper manufacturing company. In the case of private or gated lakes, a homeowners' association may be the lake's controlling authority.

Many lakes cross borders, including North America's Great Lakes. The control of such lakes and their coveted freshwater may be amicably shared - or hotly disputed.

"Water wars" continue at many lakes as growing populations and crop irrigation needs compete for the freshwater that lakes contain.


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Lake Type | LakeLubbers

There are 3 basic types of lakes that are currently included on LakeLubbers. 2 types may be dammed or not dammed, producing 5 classifications.

- A Reservoir is a man-made freshwater lake that is usually created by damming rivers.

- A Natural Freshwater Lake occurs naturally - often by glacial activity - and has a salinity of less than 30 parts per thousand. It may be dammed to produce electricity or for other reasons.

- A Natural Saltwater Lake occurs naturally and has a salinity of more than 30 parts per thousand (ppt). It may be dammed.

"Brackish" water may be categorized as freshwater or saltwater, depending on its salt content (salinity). Oligohaline water has less than 15 ppt of salt. Mesohaline water has 15-29 ppt. Polyhaline has 30-335 ppt.


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