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Building Strong® at Dorena Dam and Reservoir

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

Dorena Dam 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. Dorena works in coordination with Cottage Grove Dam to provide flood risk management, water quality improvement, irrigation, recreation, and habitat for fish and wildlife.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers implemented an alcohol ban at Dorena and Cottage Grove lakes.

Notice: Dorena Hydro is constructing a powerhouse at Dorena Dam. The noisiest phase of the project has been completed, but there may be construction noise (mainly heavy equipment movement and carpentry activity) in the future. The company and its contractor cannot fully predict the exact days and hours when work will take place, as these are subject to accessibility of work areas, type of work and availability of materials. For more information, please contact Dorena Hydro's on-site representative at 206-715-4541.

Click the small map icon (picture's lower right corner) for a larger PDF version. Link to larger version of Dorena Dam map graphic

Link to larger version of Dorena map

For more information

Dorena pamphlet

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

Email us about Dorena

Willamette Valley Project images

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

Dorena recreation

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Northwest Power Corporation is constructing a powerhouse at Dorena Dam. The noisiest phase of the project has been completed, but there will be construction noise (mainly heavy equipment movement and carpentry activity) through September 2013, including possibly early in the morning, late at night and on weekends.

The company and its contractor cannot fully predict the exact days and hours when work will take place, as these are subject to accessibility of work areas, type of work and availability of materials. For more information, please contact Northwest Power Corporation's on-site representative at 206-715-4541.

 

Update: 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.

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. This trail is a self-guided driving tour that includes 138 birding hotspots. 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.

external linkOregon Cascades Birding Trail

Baker Bay Park offers camping and day use. For questions or concerns, call the Lane County Parks Department Office at 541-682-2000 (located in Eugene). The Baker Bay concessionaire may be reached at 541-942-7669.
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.

Open April 26 - Sept. 23, 2013*, Schwarz Campground is developed, with 82 campsites, paved roads, flush toilets, showers, dump station, campfire rings, picnic tables, gate attendants, and children's play area. (No hookups.)

Fees:

  • $16 per night per site
  • $6 per day, per extra vehicle
  • $32 for double sites

Six group campsites are available.

Fees and vehicle limitations for group campsites:

  • $140 per night
  • Up to 25 vehicles per group at any one time, up to 15 of which can be camper units.
*(last night to camp is Sept. 22, 2013)

 

To make reservations, call the National Reservation Service at 1-877-444-6777, or click here for the Schwarz Campground page on the http://www.recreation.gov website. For questions about this and other Corps-operated parks, call the Willamette Valley Park Ranger Office at 541-942-5631.

No fee for day-use areas. All are open May 10-Sept. 8, 2013, and are closed daily from dusk until 8:00 a.m. There are no reservable group picnic areas or shelters.

For more information, call the Willamette Valley Project Park Ranger Office at 541-942-5631.

Open May 10 - Sept. 8, 2013, 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 gravel roads, vault toilets, and picnic tables. This park closes daily from dusk until 8 am during the recreation season.

Questions about this and other Corps-operated parks should be directed to the Willamette Valley Park Ranger Office at 541-942-5631.

Open year-round, 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.

Questions about this and other Corps-operated parks should be directed to the Willamette Valley Park Ranger Office at 541-942-5631.

Operations: Dorena

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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 hotspots. 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.

 

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 nongame fisheries within the Row River Basin. 

 

 external linkOregon Cascades Birding Trail