Devils Lake, Lincoln City, Oregon
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Water Quality
HABS Updated!
Monitoring Season: Memorial Day to Labor Day
STAY INFORMED: Join the Water Quality email list.  Get weekly updates sent directly to your email throughout the summer months. Click link above or Text WATER to 42828 to enroll.
STAY INFORMED: To get emailed updates about water quality, sign up for the DLWID email list.  Click link or text WATER to 42828 to enroll.
  • The Devils Lake Water Improvement District conducts weekly E. coli tests of the freshwater beaches and major tributaries of Devils Lake in the summer months.The data are for your information only, and do not indicate a closure or an actual advisory, but are posted here to serve as a guide to water quality in and around Devils Lake and the D River.
  • The current value for each sample site is listed and color coded Red, Yellow or Green.  These colors are associated with health risks based on state and federal guidelines for freshwater swimming waters.
  • E. coli themselves with rare exceptions are generally harmless, but they are correlated with fecal inputs to the lake which may contain pathogenic agents. E. coli then are used as an indicator organism for such fecal inputs. 
  • Sources of E. coli include humans, birds, cats, dogs, horses, and other warm blooded animals in the watershed. 
  • Please Do Not Feed Seagulls, Ducks or other birds. 
  • Likewise pets also contribute to the degradation of water quality and pet owners need to mindfully clean up pet waste.  Incremental effects do add up and thus protecting Devils Lake is the responsibility of everyone in the watershed.
  • Please note that water quality can change quickly and is highly impacted by runoff from urban environments.  After a storm event it is generally best to wait 48 hours before swimming near where storm drains meet receiving waters. 
Harmful Algal Bloom Surveillance
Recreational Water Quality Standards
Description and limit
Regulatory Agency
Anatoxin-a A neurotoxin - Less than 20 ppb
Cylindrospermopsin A liver toxin - Less than 6 ppb Oregon Health Authority
Microcystin A liver toxin - Less than 10 ppb
Saxitoxin A neurotoxin - Less than 100 ppb Oregon Health Authority
Cells / ml Must be fewer than 40,000 cells of Microcystis or Planktothrix
Cells / ml Must be fewer than 100,000 cells of all potentially toxic species
Scum Formation Must not have toxic species in scum


2014-04-17: No toxins found in Mid lake sample analyzed by King County Environmental Lab or in shoreline samples analyzed today.

2014-04-15: The water quality of Devils Lake has made tremendous improvements in the last few days.  The Harmful Algal Bloom which turned the lake shades of gray, blue-gray, green, blue-green, and even white only a week ago has crashed throughout much of the lake.  Much of the lake you can see right to the bottom with clarity upwards of 8'.  

The bloom that we did have was dominated by a type of Anabaena, which was as of Friday all but non-existent in the mid lake sample we had analyzed.  The improvements are seemingly continuing as the clarity increased from basically 3 feet on Friday to over 8 feet for the entire south half of the lake as reported Monday.  The north half of the lake was still blue-green as of last report, so there is still recovery to be had, but the scums have dissipated which shows recovery is happening.  Dissolved oxygen has also rebounded considerably, but lags behind in the both arms of the lake to the north.

Blue Green Algae Cell Counts:  Total Blue green algae =  115 cells/ml  (Alert thresholds are 40,000 and 100,000 depending on species).  The number of blue-green algae were determined from a Friday sample and are shown here in total.  The alert level is 100,000 for Anabaena and its cousins, so we are nearly 1000 times less than that now. 

Toxicity:  Samples for the  four types of toxins commonly produced by Anabaena are currently being analyzed by King County Environmental Lab, and will be made available as soon as possible.  Typically toxins can linger well after a bloom crashes, so while the lake may look clear  there still may be toxins present.

Lake Statistics:  

Dissolved Oxygen Saturation:  67% - 85% in water column  

Dissolved Oxygen Concentration:  5.70 to 9.39 mg/L  in water column  

Lake Temperature:  13.7 C to 14.8C (57F to 59F) in water column  

pH:  6.43 to 6.90 around the lake 

Conductivity:  113 to 116 uS  in water column

Secchi Depth (Clarity):  1.1 to 2.4 meter (3.6' to 8.0')

Lake Level:  9.40'  (Maximum. summer impoundment is 9.53')

 STAY INFORMED: Join the HABs Water Quality email list.  Get timely updates about the status of Harmful Algal Blooms in Devils Lake as they happen throughout the summer months. Click link above or text WATER to 42828 to enroll.


  • What is HABs?  The Harmful Algal Bloom Surveillance (HABs) program is a water quality monitoring system for blue-green algae and algal toxins. Blue-green algae, scientifically known as cyanobacteria, are small, mostly microscopic, photosynthetic organisms. Some blue-green algae naturally produce toxins, which is why they can be a concern. In nutrient rich water they can reproduce rapidly into what are known as Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs).  This program has been developed based on Oregon Health Authority's Harmful Algae Bloom Advisory Guidance, and in 2012 replaced the Cyano-Watch program the District initiated in 2006.
  • What does DLWID do?  As part of the program the Devils Lake Water Improvement District conducts routine monitoring of blue-green algae and algal toxins during bloom events.  Signage is posted around the watershed in a three pronged approach designed to educate, inform or advise about the use of Devils Lake.
  • What do blue-green algae blooms look like?   A bloom can look green, blue-green, white, or brown and can form a scum on the surface of the water. They can often be found in large concentrations near the shore.
  • When do blooms occur?  Blooms can occur anytime of the year, but are most common between June and September when water temperatures are typically higher.  As a result Devils Lake is monitored from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
  • What should I do if I see a bloom?

• Avoid swimming and waterskiing, where blooms are present.
• Keep pets away.
• If you or your pet have contacted the affected water, wash thoroughly with a clean source of water.
• Do not use for drinking or cooking. Toxins cannot be removed with filtration, boiling or chemical treatments.
• Activities near the water such as camping, picnicking, biking, and hiking are safe.
• Boating at slower speeds is safe provided excessive spray is not created and thus inhaled.

  • How do I know if a bloom is toxic?   Blue-green algae blooms cannot be determined toxic just by looking at them. Testing is required.
  • For information about about potential toxicity, look for signage at lake access points, sign-up for our email service, and/or bookmark this webpage to see the very latest water quality updates.
  • It is important to note, that blooms can form rapidly and water quality can change as result.  Blooms may develop between monitoring visits. Also while the District samples for one of the most common cyanotoxins, Microcystin, other toxins may exist.   Therefore, always watch and stay clear of algal blooms and scummy water.   
  • If in doubt...stay out!
  • How dangerous are these algal toxins?  Skin contact can cause rashes or irritation. Significant Ingestion or inhalation can lead to diarrhea, nausea, cramps, fainting, numbness, dizziness, tingling,and in rare cases, paralysis and death. Children and pets are most at risk.
  • What about fishing? Eating fish caught during a bloom can pose an unknown health risk. Thoroughly cleaning a fish of its guts, skin and head before cooking reduces the risk. For additional information about fish consumption contact the Oregon Health Authority.

For more information about Harmful Algal Blooms visit:

Lake Level and Precipitation
Monitoring Protocols, Resources and Additional Information
Devils Lake Water Improvement District Sampling and Analysis Plans
Learn more about the science behind parts of our monitoring program through our online video collection
Water Quality Monitoring Technical Guide Book:  The Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board's guide was developed to provide guidance on designing monitoring strategies and to provide standard water quality monitoring protocols. The Guide Book has the following chapters: Background, Monitoring Strategy and Plan, Selecting Sites, Data Quality, Data Storage and Analysis. Protocols have been developed for; Stream Temperature, Dissolved Oxygen, pH, Conductivity, Nitrogen and Phosphorus, Turbidity, Stream Macroinvertebrates, Pesticides and Toxins. Additional chapters will be developed and added to the Guide Book.

Devils Lake Water Improvement District PO BOX 974, Lincoln City, OR 97367 Email: Call: (541) 994-5330 Fax: (541) 994-6040