Lake Sutherland, Washington, USA

Lake Locations:

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

If you’re considering a visit to Lake Sutherland, in Washington’s Olympic Peninsula and Pacific Coast Region, you’re in for a real treat! The all-sports lake lies within one of the most scenic areas of the northwest and brags having about the best kokanee salmon fishing anywhere. Only 10 miles south of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the clear waters lie nearly at the edge of majestic Olympia National Park and Forest. Mount Angeles rises 6454 feet on the southern horizon. The 361-acre lake is surrounded with vacation cottages and year-round homes. Mostly private, there is fishing access at one spot along the shore. Because so many of the residences are seasonal, the lake is surprisingly uncrowded most of the time.

Lake Sutherland was named after John J Sutherland; the first settler to build a cabin along the shore in 1856. What Mr Sutherland didn’t know was that Lake Sutherland was once the eastern portion of much bigger Lake Crescent. The large glacial lake was separated by a massive landslide from Stormking Mountain in dim pre-history, resulting in several distinct fish species evolving in Lake Crescent. This didn’t happen at Lake Sutherland as diverse species still had access to the lake via Indian Creek, tributary of the Elwha River. Lake Sutherland lost it’s access to ocean-going fish when dams were built on the Elwha River in 1913, leaving the landlocked kokanee salmon in the lake. The landlocked salmon now spawn in Lake Sutherland then swim downstream to Lake Aldwell behind the dam for the season. As the dam is scheduled for removal, a more normal migration pattern is expected to resume.

Of glacial origin, Lake Sutherland is somewhat warmer than neighboring Lake Crescent as it is considerably shallower. Water contact activities are thus more attractive here than at some area lakes: swimming is popular, as are sailing, wind-surfing, water-skiing, tubing and jet skiing. More residents and visitors likely engage in canoeing and kayaking than power boating simply because the area attracts nature lovers, hikers and explorers of the nearby Olympic National Forest. A great many of the residences along the shore are available for lease as vacation rentals much of the year. The somewhat exclusive area boasts much higher-value real estate and the visitor who selects lodgings here can expect all of the amenities.

Fishermen plan for months for fishing trips to Lake Sutherland. A premier kokanee sockeye salmon fishery, the lake also holds a good supply of cutthroat and rainbow trout. An active stocking schedule assures a good supply of ‘keeper’-sized trout from the hatcheries on the Sol Duc River every year. The lake greets returning generations of fishermen each year. New visitors are regularly recruited via the well-exercised bragging rights of successful past fishermen. The ice-free temperate climate allows fishing on open water year round.

A prefect spot to act as home base for an extended vacation, Lake Sutherland is located only 17 miles from the port city of Port Angeles. Here, one can take the ferry to Victoria, British Columbia, on Vancouver Island or enjoy a chartered fishing trip. The small city offers all amenities a visitor might want, including movies, night life and shopping. The headquarters for Olympic National Park are located in Port Angeles and the road to famed Hurricane Ridge goes south out of town. Here, the non-hiker can drive up 5240 feet to view the breath-taking vistas within the mostly roadless park. A few short miles up the shore, one comes upon Sequim, with plenty of golf courses, public beaches and boat launches. Home of the famed Dungeness crabs, Dungeness sand spit (the longest in the United States) provides for the Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge. Farther east, the quaint Victorian seaport of Port Washington boasts Fort Worden State Park, with a musical venue in a renovated WWI blimp hanger where concerts are regularly held. Jazz and Blues festivals occur regularly here. Bicycling routes are available along the entire journey.

Going west from Port Angeles, one can follow the coastal road to view whales, watch bald eagles hunting along the shore and end up at Neah Bay, home of the Makah Native Americans. A cultural museum at Neah Bay includes archeological discoveries that are the result of uncovering a 500 year old village buried by a landslide; exhibits include a longhouse, canoes, artwork, daily living and fishing tools. More extensive exhibits/tours are available with reservations. Going south from Neah Bay, one can stop at First Beach in the La Push area for beautiful views of the amazing sea stacks along the coastline. Near La Push, one can find the trailheads for entering the Hoh and Quinault Rainforests. The Hoh supports the largest unmanaged elk herd in the world and gets 12 to 14 feet of rain a year! Only 50 miles from lake Sutherland, it’s an easy day trip.

Four of the famed waterfalls on the Olympic Waterfall Trails are in the Lake Sutherland area. Maps are available on-line and at the Ranger Stations. And, no one can visit this area of Olympic national Park without at least one visit to the Sol Duc Hot Springs. Formerly a private therapeutic mineral springs resort, the property was purchased by the National Park Service in 1920s. It is now operated by a concessionaire and visits to the pools are kept at very reasonable cost. And a pleasant afternoon can be had cycling or hiking the Spruce Railroad Trail along the north shore of Lake Crescent. The trail is an old railroad bed once used to transport spruce lumber for aircraft use. Restoration work is being done on the two tunnels along the rail bed and then they, too, will be opened to the public.

Limited improved camping facilities are available in the Lake Sutherland area but there are many wilderness camping areas in the nearby National Forest. So, camper or cottager, there’s a perfect spot near Lake Sutherland for you. Spend a week or a month . . or even the entire season exploring all that the Olympic Peninsula has to offer. The perfect lake, the perfect vacation rental and the perfect place to tour nature’s majesty: come to Lake Sutherland and begin your personal odyssey.

Things to do at Lake Sutherland

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Jet Skiing
  • Water Skiing
  • Wind Surfing
  • Tubing
  • Golf
  • Camping
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Hunting
  • Waterfall
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • National Wildlife Refuge
  • State Park
  • National Park
  • National Forest
  • Museum
  • Shopping

Fish species found at Lake Sutherland

  • Kokanee Salmon
  • Rainbow Trout
  • Salmon
  • Sockeye Salmon
  • Trout

Lake Sutherland Photo Gallery

Lake Sutherland Statistics & Helpful Links

divider

Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

Surface Area: 361 acres

Shoreline Length: 5 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 501 feet

Average Depth: 57 feet

Maximum Depth: 86 feet

Trophic State: Mesotrophic

Spread the word! Share our Lake Sutherland article with your fellow Lake Lubbers!

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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."


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.