The Lakes Behind the Dunes

Lake Tahkenich.
Lake Tahkenich.

The 55 mile long dune field known as Oregon Dunes blocks the mouths of all but the biggest rivers. Behind the blockage, lakes form — huge freshwater lakes, crystalline and full of fish. Some are lined with vacation cottages; others are nearly virgin. Here are four, from north to south: Siltcoos, Tahkenich, Eel, and Tenmile.

 
This single-lane county road furnishes the only access to the east bank of Siltcoos Lake, north of Florence.


This single-lane county road furnishes the only access to the east bank of Siltcoos Lake, north of Florence.
Small boats moored on Siltcoos Lake.


Small boats moored on Siltcoos Lake.
Another view of Siltcoos Lake's eastern shore.


Another view of Siltcoos Lake's eastern shore.
The Coos Bay Rail Link crosses Siltcoos Lake on this long trestle.


The Coos Bay Rail Link crosses Siltcoos Lake on this long trestle.
Here the Coos Bay Rail Link crosses Lake Tahkenich.


Here the Coos Bay Rail Link crosses Lake Tahkenich.
A wide view of Lake Tahkenich, with the Coos Bay Rail Link trestle


A wide view of Lake Tahkenich, with the Coos Bay Rail Link trestle.
The upper stretches of Lake Tahkenich are covered with floating vegetation. The gravel county road hugs its shore.


The upper stretches of Lake Tahkenich are covered with floating vegetation. The gravel county road hugs its shore; back in the 1920s it carried the precursor of US 101, called the Roosevelt Highway.
Ground level view of the floating vegetation that covers the upper reaches of LakeTahkenich. This is from the gravel county road shown in the previous picture.


Ground level view of the floating vegetation that covers the upper reaches of LakeTahkenich. This is from the gravel county road shown in the previous picture.
Whisps of morning fog hang on Lake Tahkenich.


Whisps of morning fog hang on Lake Tahkenich.
OR: South Coast Region, Coos County, Northern Coastal Area, Lakeside Community, Eel Lake, William M Tugman State Park, Fishing pier on this natural dune-impounded lake [Ask for #274.A05.]


Eel Lake, at William M. Tugman State Park.
OR: South Coast Region, Coos County, Northern Coastal Area, Lakeside Community, Eel Lake, William M Tugman State Park, View over Eel Lake from the park's picnic area [Ask for #274.A13.]


Eel Lake, at William M. Tugman State Park.
OR: South Coast Region, Coos County, Northern Coastal Area, Lakeside Community, Eel Lake, William M Tugman State Park, Geese on this natural dune-impounded lake [Ask for #274.A09.]


Geese on Eel Lake.
OR: South Coast Region, Coos County, Northern Coastal Area, Lakeside Community, Eel Lake, William M Tugman State Park, This fish trap on the lake's outflow is used for steelhead trout conservation and breeding, and doubles as a fish ladder. [Ask for #274.A12.]


This fish ladder lets salmon migrate upstream into Eel Lake.
Tenmile Lake's far western end. The tiny community here is known as Templeton.


Tenmile Lake's far western end. The tiny community here is known as Templeton.
Another view of Tenmile Lake from Templeton.


Another view of Tenmile Lake from Templeton.
These lakes typically fade out upstream into swampy meadows. Here the gravel road leaves the last marshy grasslands.


These lakes typically fade out upstream into swampy meadows. Here the gravel road leaves the last marshy grasslands.
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