Description - The Fern Ridge Dam is one of 13 multi-purpose dams operated by the Corps of Engineers in the Willamette Valley. The dam provides flood control, irrigation, recreation, navigation, and improved downstream water quality.
From May through September, the pool level at Fern Ridge Lake is kept as high as possible for recreation enjoyment as well as wetland wildlife habitat stability. The lake level usually drops 2 to 3 feet during the summer due to irrigation needs downstream. During the winter, the level is lowered to provide storage capacity for flood damage reduction. The project prevents potentially disastrous flooding by controlling the downstream flow of water during the rainy season.
Extensive wetlands provide unique habitats for a variety of wildlife at Fern Ridge. Land and water throughout the project is managed by the Corps of Engineers and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to develop and maintain suitable habitat for many species of waterfowl, upland game and non-game wildlife.
- State and county recreation areas supplement Corps facilities at this large lake in the Willamette Valley. Fern Ridge Lake, a popular recreation area for sailing, power boating and water skiing, is just 12 miles from downtown Eugene. Six park sites and several remote access points around the lake offer a variety of day use recreation opportunities such as picnicking, swimming, fishing, hunting and wildlife viewing. A private concession on the peninsula at the south end of the lake has overnight camping sites. The Fern Ridge Dam was completed in 1941 and provides needed flood control. The area includes extensive wetlands and provides unique habitat for a variety of wildlife and wintering waterfowl populations.
Recreation - Fern Ridge Reservoir offers a variety of day use recreation opportunities such as picnicking, swimming, fishing, hunting and wildlife viewing. A private concession on the peninsula at the south end of the lake has overnight camping sites. There is one Corps operated park, Kirk Park, which is a day use area only and four parks operated by Lane County, three of which are day use and one campground. Firn Ridge is also an excellent location for birding.
Climate - The climate in Oregon varies greatly by region. The coastal region and the regions west of the Cascade Range are generally temperate and wet. Temperatures in the western portion of the state rarely rise above 85 degrees F during the warmest months and rarely dip below freezing during the winter.
Fern Ridge Lake is just 12 miles from downtown Eugene. From Eugene, 12 miles west on Oregon Hwy 126.