Devils Lake, Lincoln City, Oregon
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Water Quality
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 here or Text WATER to 42828 to enroll.
Harmful Algal Bloom Surveillance (Blue-green Algae)
Recreational Water Quality Standards

Assessment based on human risk; Dogs are much more susceptible.

Description and human limit

A neurotoxin - Less than 20 ppb

0.4 ppb

A liver toxin - Less than 6 ppb

0.1 ppb


A liver toxin - Less than 10 ppb

0.2 ppb
Saxitoxin A neurotoxin - Less than 10 ppb 0.02 ppb
Cells / ml Must be fewer than 40,000 cells of Microcystis or Planktothrix N/A
Cells / ml Must be fewer than 100,000 cells of all potentially toxic species N/A
Scum Formation Must not have toxic species in scum Keep Out

*DLWID monitors for Microcystin as it is often the most common toxin.  Values are shown above if sampling is warranted based on visual observations. 

***Animals are extremely sensitive to cyanotoxins. Routes of exposure are ingestion when pets and wildlife drink water from a harmful algae-filled lake or pond, lick their fur after swimming or eat dried cells that accumulate along the shoreline. If toxins are present when animals drink the water, the animals can become very ill and possibly die.

Italicized values reflect most recent data, collected in previous week.

Current and Recent Updates:

2015-07-01:  No HABS Advisories Present. Bloom though is intensifying and toxin testings reveals that toxins are present in low to moderate levels in much of the lake.  Conditions can change rapidly.  Keep children and pets safe, and always look before you leap. 

2015-06-26: No Advisories Present. Significant bloom observed in parts of the lake as noted in the table. With variable wind and climatic conditions, this bloom may surface through other parts of the lake with little notice. Keep children and pets safe, and always look before you leap.

2015-06-17:  No Advisories Present. Bloom still present and may intensify quickly. Keep children and pets safe, and always look before you leap. 

2015-06-10:  No Advisories Present.  Bloom still however developing in the the lake and conditions may change rapidly. 

2015-06-03: No Advisories Present.  A bloom is however developing in the lake and conditions can change rapidly. 

2015-05-29: No Advisories Present - Please note, that Italicized values reflect most recent data, collected in previous week.  This is done to reduce monitoring costs with every effort maintained to provide updated data as warranted.

2015-05-21: No Advisories Present -  This week begins the official start to the seasonal water quality monitoring.  This summertime recreational water quality program typically runs through Labor Day and includes both Harmful Algal Bloom Monitoring and E. coli bacteria monitoring.  Water quality is currently good in the lake and there are no present advisories.  Happy Memorial Day! 

During a water contact advisory:

  • Do not drink the lake water (Please note that the Devils Lake State Campground does not use lake water for drinking, so their water as well as all city water is safe for consumption)
  • Avoid swimming or water skiing in areas of scum or where toxins are known to be present
  • Keep pets away
  • Clean fish well and discard guts
  • Avoid areas of scum when boating
  • Call your doctor or veterinarian if you or your animals have sudden or unexplained sickness or signs of poisoning.

Please note that activities that do not result in ingestion of lake water or inhalation of lake water droplets are low risk. This includes sun bathing, pleasure cruising, catch and release fishing, hiking, and wildlife viewing. Individuals who choose to eat fish caught during a bloom are advised to thoroughly clean, gut, remove skin and remove the head before cooking as toxins are not destroyed by cooking. This advisory remains in effect until further notice. Additional samples will be analyzed approximately every two weeks until the notice is lifted.

Read the Harmful Algal Bloom FAQ and Water Contact Advisory for more information.



  • 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 water-skiing, 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:

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.

E. coli
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. 

Lake Level and Precipitation

Monitoring Protocols, Training 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