Fern Ridge Lake, Oregon, USA

Also known as:  Fern Ridge Reservoir

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Fern Ridge Lake — things to do, where to stay, fun facts, history, stats and more. Let’s dive in!

Topics we cover in this article:

Looking for Fern Ridge Lake cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore our comprehensive list of favorite travel partners.

All About Fern Ridge Lake

Fern Ridge Lake is the largest of thirteen flood control reservoirs in Oregon’s Williamette Valley. With 9000 acres of water, Fern Ridge Lake is a premier recreational destination for the more than 750,000 annual visitors. The Lake’s well developed public recreation areas provide many opportunities for a fine mix of water related outdoor activities. Fern Ridge Lake is just 12 miles west of Eugene, Oregon in Lane County, making it a premier day use lake for citizens from Eugene and surrounding towns. Boating, fishing, birding, hunting and wildlife viewing are the highlights for any Lake visitor.

Fern Ridge Dam was completed by the US Army Corps of Engineers in 1941 for flood control, irrigation and water storage. Of course, the ancilliary benefit is recreation. The area surrounding Fern Ridge Lake has extensive wetlands and establishes unique habitats for wintering waterfowl and a wide variety of other wildlife. The Long Tom River is the primary source for Fern Ridge Lake and remains a relatively deep path through what would otherwise be a very large, shallow waterbody. Smaller tributaries, such as Amazon Creek and Coyote Creek, provide smaller coves and inlets resulting in ideal locations for fish and other wildlife.

Fishing on Fern Ridge Lake is excellent and a favorite for the enthusiastic angler. There is outstanding bass, bluegill and catfish fishing, but crappie is the most significant attraction. Crappie grow faster in Fern Ridge Lake than other Western Oregon waters, and there have been a number caught in the over-12-inch category. The warmer months produce excellent catches, but the spring is the best fishing. There are four boat ramps (Richardson Park, Fern Ridge Shores, Perkins Peninsula Park and Orchard Point Park), and a fishing dock at Perkins Peninsula Park is frequently used by young and disabled anglers. With 32 miles of shoreline, there are abundant fishing locations.

Fern Ridge Lake is a great recreation destination for boating. The consistent winds on the lake are quite conducive to sailing, and there is a yacht club for sailing enthusiasts. Every weekend, sailboats and sail boards dot the lake, with impromptu races occurring frequently. Canoes and kayaks are other common sights.

Bird watching is another activity all around Fern Ridge Lake. During migration time, there are thousands of birds using the shallows as resting spots. For the geocachers among us, there are over 100 caches located within 5 miles – a veritable treasure trove.

All in all, Fern Ridge Lake is an outdoor wonder nestled in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Take time to spend a restful, enjoyable day there.

Things to Do at Fern Ridge Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding

Fish Species Found at Fern Ridge Lake

  • Bass
  • Bluegill
  • Catfish
  • Crappie
  • Sunfish

Find Places to Stay at Fern Ridge Lake

If you’re considering a Fern Ridge Lake lake house rental or hotel, we’ve made it super easy to find the best rates and compare vacation accommodations at a glance. Save time using this interactive map below.

Recommended Sites to Book a Fern Ridge Lake Vacation

If you want to take a deeper dive to find waterfront lake cabins, cottages, condos, hotels or resorts, check out our favorite Fern Ridge Lake lodging partners.

  • VRBO – Use VRBO to find the perfect lake rental home, condo, cabin, cottage or other vacation property.
  • Booking.com – One of the world’s leading digital travel companies, Booking.com connects travelers to everything from cozy B&Bs to luxury resorts.
  • Expedia – Expedia is a popular online travel agency with more than 140,000 lodging properties worldwide.
  • Hotels.com – With more than 325,000 hotels in 19,000-plus locations, Hotels.com is an industry leader in online accommodations.
  • TripAdvisor – Read traveler reviews and compare prices on hotels, vacation rentals and more at TripAdvisor.
  • Trivago – Trivago helps travelers compare deals for hotels and other accommodations from a variety of booking sites.
  • KAYAK – KAYAK scours hundreds of other travel websites at once to find the best deals on hotels and other travel-related services.
  • RVshare –RVshare connects travelers interested in renting a motorhome with owners who have RVs to rent.
  • CampSpot – Campspot offers premier RV resorts, family campgrounds, cabins and glamping options across North America.

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.

Fern Ridge Lake Statistics & Helpful Links


Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

Water Level Control: US Army Corps of Engineers

Surface Area: 9,000 acres

Shoreline Length: 32 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 361 feet

Minimum Elevation (Min Pond): 340 feet

Maximum Elevation (Max Pond): 375 feet

Average Depth: 20 feet

Maximum Depth: 35 feet

Water Volume: 101,100 acre-feet

Completion Year: 1941

Drainage Area: 252 sq. miles

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Captain / First Mate Custom 20 oz Tumbler

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Personalized My Boat My Rules Unisex T-Shirt

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On Lake Time Custom Coffee Mug – 11oz or 15oz


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