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Fish Lake (Jackson County, Oregon) facts for kids

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Fish Lake
Fish Lake Oregon Sunset.jpg
Sunset on Fish Lake
Location Jackson County, Oregon
Type Reservoir
Primary inflows Little Butte Creek watershed
Primary outflows North Fork Little Butte Creek
Catchment area 20 square miles (52 km2)
Basin countries United States
Surface area 483 acres (1,950,000 m2)
Average depth 18 feet (5.5 m)
Max. depth 31 feet (9.4 m)
Water volume 7,836 acre feet (9,666,000 m3)
Surface elevation 4,639 feet (1,414 m)

Fish Lake is a reservoir located 4,639 feet (1,414 m) above sea level in Jackson County, Oregon, United States. It is 35 miles (56 km) northeast of Medford. Originally a natural lake, it was enlarged by the 50-foot (15 m) tall Fish Lake Dam, which impounds the north fork of Little Butte Creek, in the Rogue River watershed.

Geology

Fish Lake is located between two volcanoes: Mount McLoughlin to the north and Brown Mountain to the south. Two-thousand-year-old andesite lava flows erupted from Brown Mountain surround Fish Lake's southern shore.

History

Fish Lake was originally a small natural lake. In 1898, the Fish Lake Water Company was established to help irrigate the Rogue Valley. The company proposed to enlarge Fish Lake and nearby Fourmile Lake for added water storage. The temporary Fish Lake Dam was constructed between 1902 and 1908. In 1906, Fourmile Lake Dam was constructed. The two lakes were connected in 1915 by the Cascade Canal, bringing water from Fourmile Lake in the Klamath River watershed over the Cascade Divide to Fish Lake, to supplement Little Butte Creek. The temporary dam was replaced by a permanent earthfill dam. The dam was modified again in 1922. In 1955, a new spillway was constructed. An auxiliary spillway was added in 1996. The lake is now about three times its original size.

Statistics

Fish Lake Oregon
Fish Lake with Mount McLoughlin's lower slopes in the background

Fish Lake has an average surface area of 483 acres (1,950,000 m2), an average volume of 7,836 acre feet (9,666,000 m3), and a 20-square-mile (52 km2) drainage basin. It has an average depth of 18 feet (5.5 m), and a maximum depth of 31 feet (9.4 m). Fish Lake Dam stands 50 feet (15 m) tall and 960 feet (290 m) long.

Fauna

Rainbow trout and brook trout are common in the lake. Osprey and eagles have been spotted in the area.

Recreation

Fish Lake, Tom Black (6501984461)
Fish Lake near Highway 140

The Pacific Crest Trail passes by Fish Lake's eastern shore. Three campgrounds are located around the lake. Popular activities include fishing, swimming, and boating.

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