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The Online Atlas of Oregon Lakes

About the Atlas of Oregon Lakes

Oregon has a rich diversity of lakes and reservoirs ranging from some of the clearest lakes in the world, to extremely productive fisheries, to lakes in trouble from pollution. Lakes and reservoirs are very important to the citizens of Oregon as they provide drinking water, flood control, irrigation, power
generation, and recreational opportunities such as swimming, boating, fishing, and relaxation. 

The Online Atlas of Oregon Lakes is a resource for the public, resource management agencies, and scientists to better manage and enjoy our lakes. The Online Atlas is an updated version of the popular Atlas of Oregon Lakes published in 1985 by the Oregon State University Press.  

The Online Atlas highlights lake and reservoir water data stored within the Pacific Northwest Water Quality Data Exchange (PNWWQX Exchange Network). The Exchange collaborates between a variety of information management projects to facilitate the aggregation of and access to a comprehensive
source of data related to water quality in the Pacific Northwest. The PNWWQX was initiated by funds allocated from the EPA Exchange Network Grant program.

The Online Atlas of Oregon Lakes was developed by Portland State University's Center for Lakes and
Reservoirs, Center for Spatial Analysis and Research, Nohad A. Toulan School of Urban Studies and
Planning, and Academic and Research Computing.  Funding was provided through an EPA Exchange
Network Grant administered by Oregon DEQ and through contributions from Portland State University.

To see a poster presentation on the development of the atlas and the current state of work, click here:
Poster on Lakes Atlas Project

Organization of the Atlas 

The Online Atlas of Oregon Lakes is organized into two platforms: text- and map-based pages similar to those included in the print Atlas of Oregon Lake, and an interactive map interface.  The interactive map contains links to watershed, lake basin, and water quality plots and statistics as well as links to
individual pdfs of 1985 Atlas of Oregon Lakes pages and the new text-based Online Atlas pages. The text-based Online Atlas pages contain the same information that is available on the interactive map, but with context to guide users through the information. 

Water Quality Assessments

Water quality assessments for the lakes and reservoirs are primarily based on data housed within the Exchange, however, data and conclusions from literature sources are also considered.

The trophic status of lakes are emphasized in the water quality assessment.  Some of the variation in the trophic status of Oregon's Lakes is due to natural differences in climate, soils, topography, and watershed size. Because of this natural variation, realistic expectations of water quality in different parts of the state are different. EPA's Ecoregions help address this variation in expectations. Oregon has nine Level 3 ecoregions ranging from the arid Northern Basin and Range to the wet, forested Coast Range.  

Lake Maps in PDF Form

One-page maps of approximately 200 lakes are available for viewing and downloading in PDF format. These maps
include a bathymetric map of the lake and a smaller scale map showing the lake's watershed and
surrounding area. In addition, there is an accompanying page showing a variety of characteristics
of the lake and its watershed. Sample maps can be viewed at: PDF Maps of Individual Lakes.

© 2011 Atlas of Oregon Lakes.