News Releases

Corps warns of low Lost Creek Lake levels

Published July 29, 2015
PORTLAND, Ore. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers warns boaters that water levels at Lost Creek Lake about 28 miles northeast of Medford, Oregon, will be unusually low for the rest of the summer and into the fall.

The Corps is predicting that Lost Creek Lake’s surface will descend past the minimum usable elevation of the boat ramp at Joseph H. Stewart State Park, 1,812 feet above sea level, by about Aug. 7. In years with normal precipitation, that elevation is not reached until early to mid-September.

To help alleviate the effects of this year’s drought on Rogue River fish, the Corps’ 2015 conservation season plan calls for releasing 50,000 additional acre feet of water below the lake’s usual winter elevation, which could cause its elevation to descend to as low as 1,780 feet by the end of September, and even lower in October without significant rain.

“Boaters need to understand that Lost Creek Lake is going to be much lower, much earlier than we usually see during the summer and fall,” said David Hays, Natural Resources Manager for the Corps’ Rogue River Basin Project. “Boaters won’t have seen conditions like these since 2001.”

Hays said the area that is usually underwater is complex, with many large rocks, tree stumps, sudden changes in bottom elevation, and other hazards.

“Our Takelma Boat Ramp is usable down to a surface elevation of 1,752 feet, and we encourage boaters to continue to recreate here at Lost Creek Lake. But with water levels this low, safety needs to be everyone’s priority,” Hays said. “Reduce your speed, maintain a good lookout at all times, always wear life vests, and absolutely do not drink if you are or are going to be driving a boat.”

Additional boating and water safety tips are available at

William L. Jess and Applegate dams contribute to a water resource management system that provides flood damage reduction, fish and wildlife enhancement, irrigation, municipal and industrial water supply, power generation, water quality improvement and recreation. For more information, visit or call 541-878-2255.

Scott Clemans

Release no. 15-028

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