Duck Lake, Washington, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - West - Washington - Olympic Peninsula & Pacific Coast -

Duck Lake is an unlikely candidate for one of the best fishing lakes in southwestern Washington but holds its own with the best of contenders! Located within the community of Ocean Shores on the Point Brown Peninsula in the Olympic Peninsula and Pacific Coast region of Washington, Duck Lake is a freshwater lake surrounded by oceans of salt water. Narrow Point Brown is less than a mile wide in most areas, surrounded by the Pacific on the west and Grey’s Harbor on the east. Duck Lake consists of three main basins stretched in a narrow band north to south parallel to the Grey’s Harbor beachfront. Originally much smaller, Duck Lake was dredged and enlarged with canals and channels to provide more shoreline for housing development. The lake itself is less than 300 acres; canals add another 150 acres of water surface. The fresh water comes primarily from ground water seepage and precipitation-and unfortunately receives increasing amounts of storm water run-off from the surrounding developments.

It seems unusual that this small freshwater lake would be an important tourist focus on this beautiful Pacific peninsula but several features keep Duck Lake an attractive place to visit. First, the fishery is managed for ‘put-and-take’ trout, so cutthroat trout and rainbow trout are available for the catching.Thanks to the moderating ocean climate, Duck Lake warms earlier than inland fishing destinations so anglers appear early to try their luck with largemouth bass, bluegill and crappie. Two public boat launch ramps are operated by the City of Ocean Shores: North Bay Park has a public dock, boat ramp, fishing, restroom facilities, parking area, picnic area, baseball diamonds and a tennis court. Chinook Park provides a boat launch and fishing pier and is handicapped accessible. The lake itself allows motor boats, although electric motors are recommended in the scenic canal system. One of the most highly recommended visitor activities is to rent an enclosed electric boat and tour Duck Lake and the canals from the water.

A second reason for Duck Lake’s enduring popularity are the acres of protected land sheltering a variety of waterfowl, birds and small mammals. Over 23 miles of shoreline, much of which is ringed with native plants, encourage amphibians, song birds and wading birds. The Duck Lake Unit of the Johns River Wildlife Area encompasses 40 acres near the shoreline while the Oyehut Wildlife Area protects another 682 acres of wildlife habitat, wetlands, tidal flats and shoreline growth suitable for bird-watching. Next to the Oyehut Wildlife Area, Damon Point State Park extends almost a mile into the Grey’s Harbor entrance. Commonly called ‘Protection Island’, the state park not only offers excellent viewing points across the shipping lanes toward Westport but a natural area for walking, beach combing, and bird watching. There is abundant wildlife in all of these areas. None of these allow camping but there is an RV camping park with full hook-ups near the Ocean Shores Marina fronting Grey’s Harbor. More camping, including the only beach camping in the area, is located at Pacific Beach State Park 18 miles north of Ocean Shores. To make the area even more attractive to nature-lovers, the southern Lake Quinault entrance to Olympus National Park is only 40 miles northeast of Ocean Shores and Duck Lake.

A third reason to visit Duck Lake is the wealth of activities focused on the beaches of the city. Looking toward saltwater attractions, the Ocean Shores Marina is home to the commercial fishing fleet, dockside seafood sales and the starting point for fishing charters and whale-watching tours. Transient berths are available to visiting sailors. Whale-watching is also possible in early spring from the North Jetty at the southern tip of the peninsula. Certain areas of the beaches are open to razor clamming on days specified by the Washington Dept of Fish and Wildlife. Permits are necessary and ‘catch’ limits strictly enforced. Ocean Shores is a cycle-friendly community, and bicycle and moped rentals are available for getting around the small area. Horseback riding along the beaches north of the city is also a popular activity. Although swimming in the Pacific isn’t recommended due to unpredictable currents, swimming is available in Grey’s harbor near the marina. And Ocean Shores produces a year-long schedule of activities and special events sure to please just about anyone.

When not fishing in Duck Lake, the visitor can take advantage of such annual attractions as the Sand & Sawdust Festival, where teams including both professionals and amateurs compete to build the most elaborate sand castles. At the same time, demonstrations of chainsaw carving produce excellent original pieces of rustic art. The Razor Clam Festival showcases the culinary expertise of area chefs in producing their specialty chowders and entrees to win the coveted “The Best of Washington’s Coast” award in June. The Sun and Surf event draws over 2000 motorcyclists to enjoy fireworks, motorcycle parades, stunt riders, bike events, vendors and beach bonfires. Kite-flying on the beach is always popular and several kite shops in town offer the latest designs. The sport is highlighted during the Ocean Shores International Kite Challenge each year. Jazz at the Beach and the Celtic Music Festival draw thousands of visitors, while art festivals, antiques shows and marathons all bring their fans here in force. For all of these reasons and more, South Sound Magazine voted Ocean Shores the 2010 Best Weekend Getaway.

Duck Lake and Ocean Shores are prepared for guests: many resorts, hotels, motels, bed-and-breakfasts and private housekeeping cabins offer plenty of lodgings for the vacationer or week-end visitor. Located only two-and-a-half hours from either Seattle or Portland, Duck Lake is an easy afternoon’s trip and someplace the entire family will enjoy. The community offers all of the expected amenities such as golf courses, movie theaters, health services, restaurants and specialty shops to make this either the perfect vacation destination or even a permanent home. There is real estate available, primarily established homes which are often located along Duck lake’s many canals and channels. The entire Point Brown Peninsula invites you to stay-and to play. Fish, frolic and feast-it is all here. Come visit Duck Lake. You many never leave!

Things to do at Duck Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Golf
  • Tennis
  • Camping
  • Picnicking
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Biking
  • Horseback Riding
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • State Park
  • National Park
  • Movie Theater
  • Antiquing

Fish species found at Duck Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Bluegill
  • Chinook Salmon
  • Crappie
  • Cutthroat Trout
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Rainbow Trout
  • Sunfish
  • Trout

Duck Lake Photo Gallery

Duck Lake Statistics & Helpful Links

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Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

Surface Area: 278 acres

Shoreline Length: 23 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 10 feet

Average Depth: 11 feet

Maximum Depth: 30 feet

Water Volume: 30,000 acre-feet

Drainage Area: 1 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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