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Coast Fork Willamette Watershed

Coast Fork Willamette River scene

Coast Fork Willamette River scene
(Coast Fork Willamette Watershed Council)

The Coast Fork Willamette is located in the southern most portion of the Willamette Watershed. The Coast Fork and Middle Fork converge to make the mainstem Willamette at rivermile 187. The subbasin's 666 square miles are primarily forested, with agriculture and urban land uses near the mainstem. The Coast Fork Willamette River and its tributary, the Row River, are a source of drinking water for the city of Cottage Grove.

Dorena Lake Dam is located on the Row River approximately six miles east of the town of Cottage Grove. The Dorena project was completed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1949 at a cost of $14 million and currently provides flood control, irrigation, recreation opportunities, and improved navigation downstream.

Cottage Grove Dam is situated five miles south of the city of Cottage Grove on the Coast Fork. It can store up to 30,000 acre feet of water. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers started work on this earthen dam in 1940, completing the project at the end of World War II in 1945. Cottage Grove Dam inundated the residences of about twenty families, a ten-mile lumber flume built by the Woodard Lumber Company, and a covered bridge. The dam also destroyed the community of Hebron.

The Row River Trail runs 15.6 miles along an abandoned rail line from Cottage Grove to Dorena Lake, Culp Creek and the nearby Umpqua National Forest.


Coast Fork Willamette Watershed Council

City of Cottage Grove

Cottage Grove site from the Center for Columbia River History

Compiled by John Ame, Science Writer (2007)