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Warner Lakes Watershed (USGS #17120007)

The Warner Lakes watershed covers over one million acres in eastern Lake County, Oregon. Most of the land within the watershed is publically-owned by the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Land use in the watershed is dominated by agriculture, with the primary focus on livestock production. Hay is grown in the community, but very little is sold to market due to the need for it locally to feed livestock in the area. Government lands are managed for multipurpose uses including timber, grazing, recreation, and wildlife.

In Warner Valley, the soil's capability of holding water varies greatly from high ridge elevations to valley floors. Soils range from shallow and erosive to very deep and well drained, and much of the soils throughout the valley are alkaline. Annually, Warner Valley receives 8-16 inches precipitation, and contains soils that support low sagebrush, mountain big sage, and a variety of grasses and forbs. Uplands support juniper, pine and fir stands.

The native fish species of most concern to the council in the watershed is the Warner Sucker, which is an endangered species. Other fish species of note are the Redband trout, Speckled dace, and Warner Basin Tui chub. In addition to serving as habitat for a number of aquatic species, the Warner Basin also provides habitat for greater sage grouse, another sensitive species being observed by the council. Much of the valley contains the necessary habitat for sage grouse, a rare species.


USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service hydrologic profile for the Warner Lakes Watershed

The Environmental Protection Agency's Surf Your Watershed for the Warner Lakes Watershed

USGS water resources links for the Warner Lakes Watershed

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality's Strategy for Monitoring Oregon's Waters

Authored by Caitlin Bell, Science Writer, Oregon Explorer