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Lake Owyhee Reservoir




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General Information

Description - The Owyhee Project lies west of the Snake River in Malheur County, Oregon, and Owyhee County, Idaho. The key feature is the Owyhee Dam, on the Owyhee River about 11 miles southwest of Adrian, Oregon. The dam is a concrete, thick-arch structure which was designed to carry about three-fourths of the water load by arch action, and the remainder by gravity action. The dam rises 417 feet above foundation in the river section and, at the time of its construction (1928-1932) was the world's highest dam. Owyhee Dam became a proving ground for theories being developed to assist with the design and construction of Hoover Dam, whose unprecedented size, 300 feet higher than Owyhee, required totally new construction methods.This 52-mile-long, 13,900-acre reservoir is located approximately 50 miles south of Ontario. Vehicle access is limited to the dam gravel road access to Leslie Gulch, Dry Creek, and Red Butte.

Attractions - This 52-mile-long, 13,900-acre reservoir is located approximately 50 miles south of Ontario. Vehicle access is limited to the dam gravel road access to Leslie Gulch, Dry Creek, and Red Butte. Available species include largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, crappie, rainbow trout, brown bullhead, and yellow perch. The State of Oregon recently has advised anglers to limit the consumption of fish from Owyhee Reservoir due to elevated levels of mercury. Season open year-round. Owyhee Irrigation District operates a visitor information center located in the historic construction office below the dam. Displays primarily focus on construction of Owyhee Dam and Irrigation Project. The facility is handicap accessible.

Recreation - Boating, camping, fishing, hunting, picnicking, and water sports are the most popular activities at Lake Owyhee Reservoir. Lak Owyhee State Park lies next to the 53-mile-long lake and has two campgrounds with a combined total of 58 sites as well as a day use area with a boat ramp and shaded picnic area. Rockhounds and hikers are welcome in this wilderness paradise. Use the park as your base camp to explore the badlands of Oregon.

Climate - Eastern Oregon is generally high desert broken by several mountain ranges. Annual precipitation accumulates to less than 10 inches except for in the mountain ranges which receive higher amounts of winter snow and summer rain. Eastern Oregon experiences much greater temperature extremes than Western Oregon. Summer temperatures often reach 90 degrees F at the lower elevations and winter temperatures commonly drop well below freezing.

Location - To get to Owyhee Reservoir, Boat Ramp and Dam go south from Ontario, Oregon on State Highway 201. County road to dam.


Current Conditions & Trip Reports

Trip Reports:
Add your own trip Report! Newly re-released feature. One of the most popular features on Wildernet, trip reports allow you to share your experiences with others. This is an invaluable resource for determining what to expect on your outdoor adventure, so please participate! To prevent spamming, you must be a registered user of Wildernet in order to submit a trip report

Filed By: Ron (Ontario, Oregon)
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Neutral
Report: Boat ramps are still accessible and area is busy on weekends.

Filed By: Kirk (Boise, ID)
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: Raod to the dam has plenty of rocks, watch for them, good trip surface water at 38* at the ramp, 43* 20 miles up trhe lake.


More Information

Contact Information:
Owyhee Reservoir, 100 Oregon St. , Vale, OR, 97918, Phone: 541-473-3144

Additional Information:
Eastern Oregon - With a relatively small population, this huge region is truly one of the west's last great wide open spaces. Eastern Oregon is a land of high deserts cut by mountain ranges and canyons.
Oregon Lakes and Reservoirs - This list includes some of Oregon's largest reservoirs, as well as several smaller mountain lakes. These sites offer a full range of water-based outdoor recreation opportunities.

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