Detroit Lake has reached its summertime high water level of 1,563 feet above sea level.
That’s good news for everybody who enjoys fishing and boating at the popular reservoir east of Salem.
Detroit Lake is primarily managed for flood control, but each summer the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers brings the lake to a good level for recreation between May and August.
The fact that the lake reached its full pool this early in the season — and that surrounding mountains have only slightly below normal snowpack — bodes well for the season, officials said.
“Recreation facilities are expected to be available through the summer, and we should expect a pretty good recreation season,” Corps operations project manager Erik S. Petersen said last week.
A full reservoir is a welcome sign for Detroit businesses, who’ve struggled through low water in the lake during 2015 and 2016, in addition to wildfires that slowed tourism last year.
"Last year with the complications of air quality due to the forest fires, tourism took a big dip in our prime season,” said Elaine DeGeorge, owner of the Lodge at Detroit Lake. “All of the local business owners felt it.
“We look forward to seeing the visitors return and to make some memories at our beloved lake."
The lake should remain in good shape through Labor Day weekend, Corps spokesman Rich Hargrave said.
"The recent rains really helped fill the lake," he said.
Zach Urness has been an outdoors writer, photographer and videographer in Oregon for 10 years. He is the author of the book “Hiking Southern Oregon” and can be reached at zurness@StatesmanJournal.com or (503) 399-6801. Find him on Twitter at @ZachsORoutdoors.