US Army Corps of Engineers
Portland District Website


Low Willamette Valley reservoir water levels pose potential dangers

Published Nov. 15, 2019
Lakeside Ramp

Lakeside Ramp

Due to low water levels in several Corps reservoirs in the Willamette Valley, Corps officials are warning reservoir users of potential hazards, such as getting stuck in the soft ground.

The low levels, a result of low precipitation this fall, are exposing soft, muddy areas of lakebed, which could pose a danger to users.

Due to these potential hazards, the Corps requests that reservoir users avoid these areas for their own safety. Ensuring public safety is a priority for the Corps.

The Corps will temporarily close areas when necessary to address safety concerns. Cottage Grove’s Lakeside boat ramp will have limited access Nov. 15 to 17 and will close Nov. 18. This closure will remain in effect until water levels return to normal. Reservoirs with potentially hazardous lakebeds include Detroit, Green Peter, Cottage Grove, Dorena, Fall Creek and Cougar reservoirs.

The Willamette Valley consists of 13 Corps-operated dams and reservoirs that work as a system to provide flood risk management, recreation, water quality and supply, and more to the region. Many factors impact water levels in the Willamette Valley's lakes and reservoirs throughout the summer and fall, including the Willamette Biological Opinion – which focuses on meeting target flows for fish downstream. Lack of inflows to those water bodies is another factor on which hydrologists base release decisions.

Check our teacup diagram before you go for up-to-date information on water levels: Hover over or click on each dam for detailed information. 

For additional information or questions regarding water levels, call the Willamette Valley Project ranger staff at 541-942-5631.

Lauren Bennett

Release no. 19-028