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Devils Lake

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Devils Lake from the Sandcastle Playground at Regatta Grounds Park, Lincoln City (bobcat)


Devils Lake in Lincoln City is a shallow body of water (22 feet deep at the deepest point) formed by the damming of the D River by sand dunes: the D River is listed by the Guiness Book of World Records as the world's shortest river. The lake is three miles long and three-quarters of a mile wide at its widest. Private property claims most of the lake shore, but there are two state parks and three city parks that allow access. From the beginning of the 20th century, the water quality of the lake became much degraded (One problem was leaking septic tanks), and at one point this was the most polluted body of water in Oregon. In 1964, the Devils Lake Water Improvement District was formed and various strategies have been adopted to clean up the problem.

The Siletz believed the lake was inhabited by an evil spirit, a giant tentacled monster that could overwhelm whole canoes of warriors. The spirit appears to be most active on moonlit nights, and occupants of a boat crossing the reflection of the moon in the waters may experience ill fortune. Festivals are still held on the lake shore to pacify the monster's wrath.

The lake is stocked with rainbow trout. Other fish that can be landed are yellow perch, largemouth bass, brown bullhead, black crappie, and bluegill. Beginning in 1986, the Devils Lake Water Improvement District has introduced thousands of Chinese grass carp in order to control noxious water vegetation. The introduced carp are sterile and they need to be reintroduced as needed (although individual carp may live to 20 years). Any caught carp need to be returned to the lake.

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