Cougar Dam and Reservoir is located at River Mile 4.4 of the South Fork McKenzie River, about 42 miles east of Eugene, Ore.
Cougar Dam is a rockfill structure with a gated concrete spillway that was completed in 1963 at a cost of $54.2 million. Since then, it has prevented about $452 million in potential flood damages. Cougar Lake has a storage capacity of 219,000 acre-feet and controls runoff from an area of 208 square miles.
Cougar Dam works in coordination with Blue River Dam for the purpose of flood risk management. Cougar Dam’s authorized primary purposes are flood risk management, hydropower, water quality improvement, irrigation, fish and wildlife habitat and recreation.