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Fern Ridge Reservoir

Junction City, Oregon USA

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“created in 1941 for flood control”

Fern Ridge Reservoir (or Fern Ridge Lake) is a reservoir on the Long Tom River in the U.S. state of Oregon. The reservoir is located approximately 12 miles (19 km) west of Eugene on Oregon Route 126. The reservoir is a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers flood control project encompassing more than 12,000 acres (49 km2) and is a popular site for boating, fishing, and birdwatching. Surrounding portions of the reservoir is the Fern Ridge Wildlife Area, a wildlife management area providing a unique habitat for a variety of species including wintering waterfowl populations. Fern Ridge reservoir is one of thirteen flood control reservoirs owned and administered by the U.S. Corps of Engineers in the Willamette River drainage. The reservoir was created in 1941 as a flood control and irrigation reservoir with later developments to accommodate recreation and wildlife management programs. The Army Corps of Engineers administers a total of 12,716 acres within the Fern Ridge Project. The dam is located near the confluence of the Long Tom River and Coyote Creek. Amazon Creek flows into the lake from the east and smaller drainages such as Inman Creek and the West Fork and Middle Fork of Coyote Creek also feed into the reservoir. During the summer months the reservoir is maintained at "full pool" with a surface area approximately 5 miles wide and 5.5 miles long covering about 9,360 acres with a shoreline length of 32 miles. During the winter months the reservoir is drawn down to a "low pool" level to serve as a flood control reservoir. Beginning in early October the water level slowly recedes to expose a wide mud flat around the perimeter of the reservoir. Water levels fluctuate considerably during the winter months base upon the intensity and duration of incoming winter rains. By early April the reservoir is filled to full pool. Fern Ridge Reservoir is divided into nineteen separate management units (see map). Primary uses are designated for each management unit including wildlife management, low density, recreation, intensive recreation, public parks, and project operations.

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