Quincy Lakes, Washington, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - West - Washington - North Central Washington -

Also known as:  Quincy Lakes Wildlife Area, Quincy Lake, Evergreen Reservoir, Burke Lake, Stan Coffin Lake, Ancient Lakes

A surreal landscape greets visitors to north-central Washington’s Quincy Lakes Wildlife Area. Pothole lakes filled by water seeping through porous lava flows have left a number of small fishing lakes that are wildlife havens in this arid landscape. Nearly a desert, the area gets little rain. Farmers in the area depend on irrigation to grow crops on the fertile soil. The lakes form small pockets of wetlands and marsh that offer a sheltering oasis for birds of prey, eagles, shorebirds, songbirds, wading birds and waterfowl. Deer, small mammals, butterflies and insects join reptiles and amphibians which all depend on the trapped water to thrive here. During the spring and summer, wildflowers are ablaze in the wetter areas and greet the visitors who come here to hike and camp. The lakes are set within a valley formed by the prehistoric Missoula Flood, and the area is framed by 800-foot basalt ramparts showing evidence of several major lava flows.

The lakes within the Quincy Lakes Wildlife Unit are numerous, including Ancient Lake, Burke Lake, Caliche Lake, Stan Coffin Lake, Crater Lake, Martha Lake, Dusty Lake, H Lake, Quincy Lake, Evergreen Reservoir and other small ponds. The most visited of the lakes are Ancient Lakes, Evergreen Reservoir, Quincy Lake, Burke Lake and Stan Coffin Lake. The last four are popular fishing lakes and managed for specific game fish. Ancient Lakes are a series of small pothole lakes on a popular trail system that backpackers enjoy for primitive camping.

Evergreen Reservoir is formed by a small dam installed in 1950 by the Bureau of Reclamation to store water that would be lost to run-off. The reservoir is larger than the other lakes, spanning about 235 acres. Reaching a depth of 54 feet, Evergreen Reservoir is considered an irrigation holding tank, so water levels can drop considerably within a period of hours if water is needed. Evergreen has three boat launch areas, although one is primarily useful for car-top boats. There are vault toilets but no other services. The lake contains largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, bluegill, crappie, pumpkinseed, perch, walleye and a few tiger muskie. Bass are regularly stocked in hopes they will reduce the numbers of smaller bluegills. Always check current regulations before fishing. There are no restrictions on boat motors or bait allowed.

Only a few hundred yards from Evergreen Reservoir, Burke lake is about 70 acres and is managed for rainbow trout. Trout are usually stocked in late summer and allowed to grow over the winter for excellent spring fishing. As an added attraction, the Quincy Valley Tourism Association sponsors an annual Trout Derby, with specially-tagged trout released in the lake to offer cash prizes to some lucky anglers. Burke Lake also has several boat launch ramps and allows primitive camping in certain areas. The area is usually peaceful and the scenery spectacular. Burke Lake is a favorite for fly fishermen.

Stan Coffin Lake is about 41 acres and has recently been ‘rehabilitated’ to remove carp and other rough fish. The lake was then stocked with largemouth bass and bluegill fingerlings. The bass are catch-and-release only, resulting in a number of large fish that make for some exciting angling. Water depths reach 20 feet. There are two boat launch ramps on the north shore of the lake, and primitive camping is allowed. The lake is quite productive for perch and crappies, usually producing a shore lunch with little effort. Stan Coffin Lake was formed in 1953 by drainage from the Columbia Basin Irrigation Project. It is now a year-round lake owned by the Bureau of Reclamation and managed as a fishery and wildlife habitat by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. The lake gets many visiting anglers during the summer season of March 1 to October 1.

Quincy Lake, with 62 acres, is also managed for rainbow trout. Fishing from shore is productive. A boat launch is available, and primitive camping is allowed in certain areas. The lake is stocked and open to fishing only between March 1st to July 31st. After stocking, anglers can often fill their limit the next spring. There are no motor regulations on the lake, but the lake is small enough to be covered easily with a trolling motor. All four lakes are accessible by vehicle with hiking paths between them. Other small lakes in the area will require a hike to reach.

The Quincy Lakes Wildlife Area is increasingly becoming a tourism destination in its own right. Only a few miles from the Columbia River, Quincy Lakes is less than 10 miles from the popular Crescent Bar Recreation Area. Private lodgings near Crescent Bar Resort offer numerous guest rentals, hotels, resorts and condos, with swimming, water-skiing and boating available on the Columbia River. Recreational activities bring large numbers of vacationers to this area of the Columbia River with amenities such as golf courses, restaurants, shopping and scenic vistas. In the past decade, it was found that grapes grew exceptionally well in the area near Quincy Lakes, and now the area is known also for excellent wineries.

The Quincy Lakes Wildlife Area encompasses over 15,000 acres within the 192,000-acre Columbia Basin Wildlife Area with its miles of hiking trails, hunting and fishing opportunities. A vehicle access pass which authorizes camping is included with any hunting or fishing license for WDFW (Washington Dept. of Fish & Wildlife) lands. Those wanting to explore or camp who don’t wish to hunt or fish are required to secure a Discover pass, obtained from any business that sells hunting and fishing licenses.

Real estate is available on the private lands surrounding this huge parcel of recreational reserve. Less than 150 miles from either Seattle or Spokane, Quincy Lakes Wildlife Area is easily accessible from I-90 for a weekend visit. Bring the kids and the camper or a tent and hiking boots. Marvel at the rugged escarpments and learn about the ancient lava flows. Enjoy a glass of the local wine around the campfire at dusk. Life is good here. The Quincy Lakes await-as do the fish.

*Statistics are for Evergreen Reservoir only.

Things to do at Quincy Lakes

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Water Skiing
  • Golf
  • Camping
  • Hiking
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • Shopping

Fish species found at Quincy Lakes

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Bluegill
  • Carp
  • Crappie
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Muskellunge
  • Perch
  • Pike
  • Pumpkinseed
  • Rainbow Trout
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Sunfish
  • Tiger Muskellunge
  • Trout
  • Walleye

Quincy Lakes Photo Gallery

  • T532 Campsite at Ancient Lakes

Quincy Lakes Statistics & Helpful Links

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Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

Water Level Control: Bureau of Reclamation

Surface Area: 235 acres

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 1,205 feet

Maximum Depth: 54 feet

Completion Year: 1950

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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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