Goose Lake (Oregon-California)

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Goose Lake
Goose Lake Dust Storm-November 2009.jpg
An alkaline dust storm blowing into Lakeview, Oregon over the deeper north end of the lake (seen from U.S. Route 395 near Sugar Hill, 2009)
LocationFremont National Forest and Modoc National Forest
Lake County, Oregon and
Modoc County, California
Coordinates41°55′0″N 120°26′4″W / 41.91667°N 120.43444°W / 41.91667; -120.43444Coordinates: 41°55′0″N 120°26′4″W / 41.91667°N 120.43444°W / 41.91667; -120.43444
Lake typeGlacial lake
Primary inflowsWillow Creek
Thomas Creek
Primary outflowsClosed basin with rare flows to the Pit River
Catchment area1,080 sq mi (2,800 km2)[1]
Basin countriesUnited States
Max. length42 km (26 mi)
Max. width15 km (9.3 mi)
Surface area147 sq mi (380 km2)[2]
Max. depth8 m (26 ft)
Shore length1110 km (68 mi)
Surface elevation1,434 m (4,705 ft)
SettlementsFairport, California
Willow Ranch, California
References[1][2][3]
1 Shore length is not a well-defined measure.
 
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Goose Lake
Goose Lake Dust Storm-November 2009.jpg
An alkaline dust storm blowing into Lakeview, Oregon over the deeper north end of the lake (seen from U.S. Route 395 near Sugar Hill, 2009)
LocationFremont National Forest and Modoc National Forest
Lake County, Oregon and
Modoc County, California
Coordinates41°55′0″N 120°26′4″W / 41.91667°N 120.43444°W / 41.91667; -120.43444Coordinates: 41°55′0″N 120°26′4″W / 41.91667°N 120.43444°W / 41.91667; -120.43444
Lake typeGlacial lake
Primary inflowsWillow Creek
Thomas Creek
Primary outflowsClosed basin with rare flows to the Pit River
Catchment area1,080 sq mi (2,800 km2)[1]
Basin countriesUnited States
Max. length42 km (26 mi)
Max. width15 km (9.3 mi)
Surface area147 sq mi (380 km2)[2]
Max. depth8 m (26 ft)
Shore length1110 km (68 mi)
Surface elevation1,434 m (4,705 ft)
SettlementsFairport, California
Willow Ranch, California
References[1][2][3]
1 Shore length is not a well-defined measure.

Goose Lake is a large alkaline glacial lake located in the Goose Lake Valley on the OregonCalifornia border. The north portion of the lake is in Lake County, Oregon, and the south portion is in Modoc County, California. The mountains at the north end of the lake are part of the Fremont National Forest and the south end of the lake is adjacent to Modoc National Forest lands. Most of the valley property around the lake is privately owned agricultural land, though Goose Lake State Recreation Area is on the Oregon side of the lake.

Goose Lake is the center of is a semi-closed drainage basin. Its watershed is normally endorheic, but sometimes flows into the Pit River, part of the Sacramento River watershed, during periods of high water following heavy rainfall or snowmelt. During the 1970s and 1980s the USGS defined Goose Lake as part of the Sacramento's watershed,[1] but has redefined Goose Lake's watershed as a closed basin.[2]

Background[edit]

Goose Lake

Goose Lake is part of a geological trough which runs from Oregon southward past Death Valley, the Walker Lane.[citation needed]

Goose Lake attracts wildlife watchers, campers, and boaters.[4] It is habitat to many flora and fauna including Western Grebe, Long-billed Curlew, and a large herd of mule deer which spend much of the time in the 48-site campground.

The park provides hot showers, grassy areas suitable for tents, paved sites, shade trees, fireplaces, electrical hookups, telephone, and a dump station. The campground is open mid-April to mid-October.

Recreational activities on or around the lake include kayaking, canoeing, and hunting, but not fishing. When the lake is full, it has a maximum depth of 24 feet (7.3 m).

The lake is located near the historic Fandango Pass route used to enter California by 19th century settlers. In the mid-19th century, particularly during the California Gold Rush, the Applegate-Lassen Cut-Off of the California Trail left the main route of that Trail near present-day Rye Patch Reservoir, and crossed the Black Rock Desert, on the way to Goose Lake and the California gold fields. The Lassen Cut-Off continued down the Pit River into California's Central Valley, while the Applegate Cut-Off went into southern Oregon along the Lost River.

The lake completely dried up in the years 1851, 1852, 1926, 1929–1934, and 1992.[5] Formerly, Goose Lake was the regular source of the Pit River, which flows into California's Sacramento River, but water diversion has caused the lake level to drop below its outlet. The Pit River's source is now south of Goose Lake and the lake's salinity is increasing, threatening fish populations. During rare high water levels, Goose Lake still spills into the Pit River.[6]

Southern end of the lake

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Boundary Descriptions and Names of Regions, Subregions, Accounting Units and Cataloging Units". USGS. Retrieved 16 November 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c "Watershed Boundary Dataset". USDA, NRCS, National Cartography and Geospatial Center. Retrieved September 4, 2010.  ArcExplorer GIS data viewer.
  3. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Goose Lake
  4. ^ "Goose Lake State Recreation Area". OREGON.gov. Retrieved 2010-06-02. 
  5. ^ "Goose Lake - Fish, Wildlife and Rare Plants". Pit River Watershed Alliance. 10 October 2007. Retrieved 2009-11-16. 
  6. ^ "Welcome to the Pit River Watershed Alliance". Pit River Watershed Alliance. 10 October 2007. Retrieved 2009-11-16.