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Lacamas Lake

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Lacamas Lake from Camas Heritage Park (bobcat)

Description

Lacamas Lake, along with its neighbor, Round Lake, fills a depression carved by the ice age Bretz (Missoula) Floods at the end of the last ice age. In the 1880s, two dams were built at Round Lake, which also raised the water level in Lacamas Lake. A few years later, a ditch was dug, using Chinese workers, to channel water from the lake to the Camas paper mill. In the decades that followed, further improvements were made to this system which fed the water needs of the paper mill.

The waters of the lake are notoriously polluted by agricultural runoff. Even so, the lake is a popular destination for recreationists, including boaters. It's also a favorite fishing hole for locals; bluegill, trout, and perch can be hooked here, but trout need to be restocked annually as few can live year-to-year due to the eutrophication of the waters. Waterbirds are attracted to its shores and a cormorant population feeds off of the fish. Lake waters drop in the summer leaving mudflats exposed along its shores.

In 1906, the town south of the lake changed its name from La Camas to Camas, but the lake kept the original name.

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Oregon Hikers Field Guide is built as a collaborative effort by its user community. While we make every effort to fact-check, information found here should be considered anecdotal. You should cross-check against other references before planning a hike. Trail routing and conditions are subject to change. Please contact us if you notice errors on this page.

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