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Dorena project data

Dam length 2,600 ft 792.5 m
Height 145 ft 44.2 m
Elevation* 866 ft 264 m
Lake length 5 mi 8 km
Area when full 1,749 ac 708.4 ha
*National Geodetic Vertical Datum

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Dorena pamphlet

Contact us about Dorena:
General: 541-684-4300
Recreation: 541-942-5631

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Dorena Dam and Reservoir

Dorena Dam and Lake

Dorena Dam is located on the Row River, a tributary of the Willamette River, about six miles east of Cottage Grove, Ore.

Dorena is an an earthfill structure with a concrete spillway, completed in 1949 at a cost of $14 million and since has prevented more than $3.4 billion in potential flood damages, and controls runoff from 265 square miles of drainage area. It works in coordination with Cottage Grove Dam to provide flood risk management, water quality improvement, irrigation, recreation and habitat for fish and wildlife.

Dorena recreation

Alcohol ban: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers implemented an alcohol ban at Cottage Grove and Dorena lakes to improve recreation quality, public and employee safety, and resource allocation and protection.

Birding: With more than 2,400 acres, the Dorena Lake project provides habitat for a variety of wildlife and plants. The reservoir is a designated stop along the Big River Loop of the Willamette Valley Birding Trail, a self-guided driving tour that includes 138 birding hot-spots. Visitors can see rare birds like the purple martin, the willow flycatcher and the yellow-breasted chat near Dorena Lake. Osprey and purple martins nest in structures maintained by the Corps.

Day-use parks: Dorena Lake has two day-use parks operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Both parks have no associated fees and are open year-round from dawn to dusk. Bake Stewart Park is located at the southeast end of the lake where the Row River enters the reservoir. It is a minimally developed day use area with trails, bike racks, vault toilets, and picnic tables.  A gravel trail connects the park to the paved Row River Trail managed by Bureau of Land Management. Harms Park is a minimally developed day-use area which includes a boat ramp, paved parking area, vault toilet, picnic tables and access to the Row River Trail. There is no fee for use of the boat ramp, but ramp access is limited by seasonal water levels. For more information, call the Willamette Valley Project Park Ranger Office at 541-942-5631.

Camping: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers operates Schwarz Campground at Dorena Lake. To make reservations, call the National Reservation Service at 1-877-444-6777 or go to www.recreation.gov.

Schwarz Campground: Open April 27 - Sept. 10. It has 82 campsites, paved roads, flush toilets, showers, dump station, campfire rings, picnic tables, gate attendants and children's play area (no hookups). Fees: $20 per night, per site; $6 per day, per extra vehicle; $40 for double sites. Additionally, Schwarz has six group campsites. Fees: $150 per night; up to 25 vehicles per group at any one time, up to 15 of which can be camper units.

Baker Bay Park is operated by Lane County Parks. Call the Lane County Parks Department at call 541-682-2000 (located in Eugene). The Baker Bay concessionaire may be reached at 541-942-7669.

Hiking: The Row River Trail offers more than five miles of the Row River Trail bordering Dorena Lake, and is open to hiking, biking and horseback riding. The trail can be accessed near the lake at Dorena Dam, Row Point and Harms Park trailheads. The trail begins in Cottage Grove and continues for 14 miles, with several trailheads providing multiple opportunities for short trips and shuttling options. For more information, call the Bureau of Land Management at 541-683-6600.

Getting around

Dorena Dam map 

Environmental stewardship at Dorena Dam

The Willamette Valley Environmental Stewardship program focuses on restoring degraded uplands, wetlands and streams on Corps lands. Recent efforts include replacing exotic and invasive plants with native trees and shrubs, and restoring hydrology and topography to support native plant communities and wildlife habitat.

The Corps works with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to support resident game and non-game fisheries within the Row River Basin.