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The project office is about 30 miles from Medford, Ore., at William L. Jess Dam at Lost Creek Lake. Office hours are 7 a.m. – 4 p.m., Mon. - Fri.

Phone: 541-878-2255

Email the Rogue River Basin Project 

100 Cole M. Rivers Dr.
Trail, OR  97541

Rogue River Basin Project

Map showing Rogue River Basin locationsPortland District’s Rogue River Basin Project operates a water resource management system that provides flood risk management, fish and wildlife management, irrigation, municipal and industrial water supply, hydropower, recreation and water quality on the Rogue and Applegate rivers and Elk Creek.

During the rainy season, potentially disastrous flooding is controlled by storing water in the reservoirs behind the dams. During the summer, water levels in the reservoirs are maintained as high as possible to provide water-related recreation opportunities. In the drier summer and fall months when rivers are at low levels, stored water is released from the dams to improve water quality and conditions for fish.

Federal, state and local agencies and many Rogue River Basin stakeholders are united in their commitment to protect native fish populations and their habitat. They have been working together for many years on improvements essential for the successful protection and recovery of these Northwest treasures.

There are more than a dozen developed recreation sites within the Rogue River Basin Project. Available activities vary by location, but may include: camping, picnicking, boating, water skiing, fishing, swimming, hunting, hiking, biking, equestrian use and wildlife viewing.

2018 Rogue Conservation Plan

Hydrologic conditions indicate that Water Year 2018 so far has been a below average flow year for the Rogue Basin. The Natural Resource Conservation Service's May forecast shows inflow to Lost Creek reservoir at 79 percent of the average in May through September, while inflow to Applegate Reservoir is forecast at 33 percent of the average.

Our 2018 Rogue Conservation Plan details this year's flow requirements for the Rogue and Applegate rivers, as well as storage needs at Lost Creek and Applegate reservoirs. It explains in detail the conditions leading up to the plan and includes inflow, outflow and elevation forecasts for the reservoirs through September.

We continue to work closely with the State of Oregon to plan releases of water from Lost Creek and Applegate reservoirs. These releases are necessary to meet the reservoirs' authorized purposes of fisheries enhancement, irrigation, and municipal and industrial water supply.
 

Please note planned releases are based on current forecasts and may be occasionally adjusted as conditions change.

Lost Creek Lake is on the Rogue River, about 28 northeast of Medford, Oregon.

Lost Creek and Jess Dam recreation

River’s Edge Park (Corps-operated), just downriver from William L. Jess Dam, is a great place to host a family get-together, summer picnic or birthday party. The park's group pavilion is available by reservation from Memorial Day to Labor Day; each year's reservations are accepted starting Jan. 1. Availability is first-come, first-served; weddings are allowed with a permit. Reserve the group pavilion by calling 541-878-2255 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, or by emailing: dll-cenwp-rogue-rangers@usace.army.mil.

McGregor Park and Visitor Center (Jointly operated in partnership with the Bureau of Land Management) is located on State Highway 62, the Rogue-Umpqua Scenic Byway, near Cole Rivers Fish Hatchery. Dedicated in July 1977, McGregor Park was specifically designed for the convenience of visitors with disabilities. Restrooms and trash service enhance the picnic tables and grills scattered throughout the park. The visitor center displays information about local plants, wildlife, geology, and cultural history, and provides information about recreational opportunities. An interpretive trail is a short walk from the visitor center, with information about local river ecology and all the wildlife, insects, birds and plants that rely on the waterway. For more information, contact the Rogue River Basin Project Office at 541-878-2255 or email dll-cenwp-rogue-rangers@usace.army.mil.

Joseph H. Stewart State Recreation Area (Oregon Parks & Recreation operated) is surrounded by wildlife, large conifer trees and mountains. Hike or bike the 11-mile trail system through the forest with year-round streams and wildlife viewing. Take a swim in cool mountain water, rent a boat from the marina, or troll the 10-mile lake for trout and bass. If you prefer, bring your own boat and water skis. Open from March 1 through Oct. 31. For more information, call the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department's general information line at 800-551-6949.

Life jacket loaner stations: Life jackets are available seasonally (i.e., during summer months) at the Joseph H. Stewart State Park boat ramp and the Takelma Park boat ramp. Life jackets are available on a first come, first serve basis. 

Applegate recreation

Applegate Reservoir is 988 acres in size and extends to the California border. A hiking trail follows the 18-mile shoreline. Motorcycles are permitted only on the trail leading to Stein Butte. Horses are permitted on the Stein Butte, Collings Mountain and Da-Ku-Be-Te-De trails. Paved trails and other barrier-free facilities are provided at the day use areas so that they may be enjoyed by all visitors. 

Development at most of the recreation sites is minimal and most of the lakeshore is maintained in a natural state. To help preserve its rustic nature, a 10-mph speed limit for all boats is in effect. For information on reservoir elevation, flow and temperature report: 800-472-2434.

Boating: There is one year-round boat ramp at Copper, near Watkins Campground on the southwest shore. A ramp east of the dam near French Gulch Campground Boat Ramp is usually used when the water is low.

Camping: The Forest Service operates several campgrounds at Applegate: Carberry CampgroundFrench Gulch CampgroundHarr Point Campground, Hart-Tish Campground, Latgawa Campground, Tipsu Tyee Campground and Watkins Campground.

Day-use parks: Located in southwest Oregon in the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, Hart-Tish Park, managed by the Forest Service, is surrounded by a variety of landscapes, boasting nearby volcanic peaks, rivers and old-growth forests. Hart-Tish Park offers several acres of beautifully groomed lawn sloping down to the shores of Applegate Lake. Visitors can spot the peaks of the majestic Red Buttes Wilderness while looking south over the lake.

Fishing: Largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, crappie and rainbow trout are some fish that can be caught.

Hiking: The Forest Service manages the following trails: Collings Mountain Trail, the Da-Ku-Be-Te-De Trail, the Grouse Loop Trail, the Payette Trail.

Recreation facilities at Applegate are operated by the U.S. Forest Service. For more information about these locations, contact the Star Ranger Station, 6914 Upper Applegate Rd., Jacksonville, Ore. 97530, (541) 899-3800.

Elk Creek recreation

Elk Creek is a tributary of the Rogue River, about 25 miles northeast of Medford, Ore. Visitors can enjoy wildlife viewing, hiking, biking and hunting in the nine-plus miles of open lands that are Elk Creek. There are no developed recreation facilities at Elk Creek and the area is closed to motorized vehicles. 

Visitors can use the old county road to relax near deep pools, hike through grass fields, or sit under a giant Ponderosa and watch for the variety of wildlife common to Elk Creek.

Operating hours: Dawn to dusk

Hunting: Portions of the Elk Creek Project are open to hunting, as regulated by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. For information on hunting in this area, please visit the Dixon Unit 22 Web page.