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Lakes Basin and Its Watersheds

Lakes Basin Watersheds

Lakes Basin 4th Field Watersheds
(Tyler Barns, Oregon Explorer)

The Lakes Basin, located in south-central Oregon, is known as an endorheic basin, or one that does not have an outlet to the ocean. The Lakes Basin supports a diverse number of geographic features, wildlife species, land uses, and recreational opportunities. Surface waters in Lake, southern Harney, and southwestern Malheur counties drain toward Malheur, Abert, Silver, and Summer lakes. These waterbodies and associated wetlands are remnants of ancient Pleistocene lakes that once filled the basin. Scenic mountains rise abruptly from the valley floor, and streams that drain these ranges support Lahontan cutthroat trout, redband trout, Tui chub, Alvord chub, and Borax Lake chub. Hart Mountain and Malheur National Wildlife Refuges and the Steens Mountain Wilderness Area provide wildlife viewing and scenic vistas to tourists that travel to the Lakes Basin. Fort Rock and the Alvord Desert are home to pronghorn antelope and sage grouse. Lakes Basin is also home to the Diamond Craters volcanic field, the historic round barn built by Pete French on the P Ranch, and the Burns Paiute tribal lands. Communities in the basin are principally supported by ranching and forest product production.

The watersheds shown on the map are 4th field watersheds that intersect the boundaries of the Lakes Basin.

SilviesHarney-Malheur LakesDonner und BlitzenThousand-VirginWarner LakesGoose LakeLake AbertSilviesHarney-Malheur LakesDonner und BlitzenSilverSummer LakeLake AbertGoose LakeWarner LakesGuanoThousand-VirginAlvord LakeUpper Quinn