Dos & Don'ts

Devils Lake needs your help. Remember to follow all safety rules, and do your best to learn ways to preserve and protect the lake. Be courteous. In general, treat other lake users as you would prefer they treat you.

BOATERS AND SWIMMERS - PLEASE STAY SAFE: A lifeguard is not on duty at the swimming areas around Devils Lake. Wear a lifejacket in or near the water and boats, and on or near docks around Devils Lake, especially if you do not swim. Parents should have their children wear approved lifejackets or swimsuits with approved floating features built into the design, especially if their children do not know how to swim.

Do become a lake watchdog
Report problems or anything suspicious to authorities:

Emergencies - 911
Devils Lake Water Improvement District (DLWID) - 541-994-5330
Lincoln City Police - 541-994-3636
Lincoln City Public Works - 541-996-2154
Lincoln County Sheriff - 541-265-4231
Lincoln County Public Works - 541-265-5747

Earthquakes & Tsunamis
Do learn about tsunamis. Visit the sign at the Regatta Grounds. The Preservation Association of Devils Lake helped fund the sign. Tsunami evacuation brochures are available from City Hall. Learn your route of evacuation and be prepared. If you feel an earthquake, move to high ground immediately. Listen for warning sirens.
Do not return to low ground after the first wave - later waves can often be more dangerous. Lincoln City shows an informative video about tsunamis on the Channel 4 public access station. Call City Hall to find out the next viewing date and time. The video was filmed in Oregon and is very impressive. The Alaska earthquake tsunami in 1964 was severe enough to cause loss of life and property on the Oregon coast. Damage at the D River was memorable.

The National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program

In the Devils Lake Watershed
Protect salmon and their habitat
• Don't drive trucks or 4-wheelers in streams.
• Find a place to recycle your batteries and aluminum cans.
• Use fewer pesticides and fertilizers on your lawn and garden.
• Take care to not spill fuel in streams and rivers and lakes. Tune up your boat, and car to make sure they don't leak oil or antifreeze.
• Don't toss garbage or trash in streams, rivers or lakes. Make a compost pile.
• Don't pour anything down storm drains in the street.
• Leave vegetation in place along stream banks.
• Plant native trees and shrubs along stream banks where they've been removed.
• Leave stumps, fallen trees, and boulders in streams for salmon habitat

• Remember to take your mandatory boater safety exam to acquire your boater education card, if you are of the specified age. By 2009 all boaters will be required to have a boater education card regardless of age.
• Weed Out Aquatic Stowaways! Please remove and dispose. Stop the spread of damaging aquatic weeds! Remove all weed fragments from your boat and trailer before launching into Devils Lake and before transporting to another body of water.

• Respect a 100 foot safety no-wake zone around the perimeter of the lake, except where official 200 foot zones apply.
• Take care to not spill fuel in streams, rivers and lakes. Tune up your boat to make sure it does not leak oil or antifreeze.
• Observe boat safety rules.
• Observe speed limits for boats on the lake.
• Observe noise curfews.
• Report problems to the Lincoln City police. Write down any information, such as the boat number.

Click here to find out more.

• Do read the information signs about fish to determine which species can be kept. Note that rainbow trout have their adipose fin clipped. Coho salmon still have their adipose fin. Click here for more information.
• Do not put litter into the lake. Garbage can be harmful to wildlife. Fishing line can wrap around a birds leg causing death. Do pick up litter.

• Observe speed limits on the roads around the lake. East Devils Lake Road is patrolled.
• Watch out for deer and elk.
• Take care to not spill fuel in streams, rivers and lakes. Tune up your car to make sure it does not leak oil or antifreeze.
• Do not drive drunk.
• Wash your car at a car wash that recycles the water.
• Dispose of motor oil at a designated location.
• Don't drive trucks or 4-wheelers in streams.

Observe burning rules
• Do observe burning laws. Check with the city about burn bans, and permits. Lincoln City does not allow backyard burning of debris. Check the city for information on solid waste disposal.

Pick up garbage (Litter)
• Do not put litter into the lake. Garbage can be harmful to wildlife. Fishing line can wrap around a birds leg leading to a slow death. Do pick up litter.
• Check the city for information on solid waste disposal.

• Report illegal dumping around the lake and watershed to authorities.

Do not feed ducks, geese or grass carp
• Do not feed the ducks, geese, grass carp or other wildlife.

Do keep your pet cat indoors
Cats can kill migratory birds and small animals. An indoor cat has a much longer life expectancy than an outdoor cat. Outdoor cats should be on a leash, in an outdoor enclosure or cat run. For more information see

Property owners, renters, and contractors
• Learn the laws and regulations.
• Learn about naturescaping, and plant native plants.
• Observe the outdoor burn ban in the city.
• Observe noise curfews.
• Recycle.

For Your Lake's Sake
Attention: Property Owners, Renters, and Contractors

Site Disturbance, Yardwork, Clearing, Landscaping DO keep site disturbance to a minimum, especially removal of natural vegetation and exposure of bare soil. (Both Lincoln City and Lincoln County have site development ordinances around Devils Lake.) Site disturbance dramatically increases surface runoff and erosion contributes phosphorus to lakes.
  DO seed and mulch bare soil within two weeks of clearing. Plants trap sediments and the phosphorus they carry.
  DO leave naturally vegetated areas (buffer strips) along lake shores, streambeds, road ditches, intermittent streams. Leave at least 25 feet of undisturbed buffer, with more on poor soils or steep slopes. Buffer strips intercept runoff and filter sediment and phosphorus from water before it reaches the lake or stream.
  DO plant deep-rooted, woody vegetation along lake shores, streambeds, road ditches. Plant roots stabilize shoreline, prevent erosion, and take up nutrients carried by water before they reach the lake.
  DO preserve natural topography and natural drainage systems. Natural drainage systems evolve over years and effectively control sediment and phosphorus.
  DO use fertilizer sparingly and in multiple applications. Hay mulch is preferable. Solid, inorganic fertilizers are readily dissolved by water and transported in runoff.
  DON'T use herbicides and pesticides in excess on your garden and lawn. Avoid their use if possible. Many of these products are toxic and can get into the water.
  DON'T put leaves, grass clippings, branches or any kind of organic matter into the lake. Plant debris adds phosphorus and other nutrients directly to the lake.
Shore frontage DO leave existing rocks in place along shore.  
  DO minimize shoreline alteration, such as removal of vegetation, construction of piers, breakwaters, etc. (Shoreline alteration requires a permit from City, County and/or State.) Shorelines are generally stable due to years of wind and wave action. Alteration of the natural shoreline de-stabilizes the shoreline, increases erosion and impairs fish and wildlife habitat.
Tree cutting,
DO leave trees along the shoreline or streamfront. Consult laws before cutting, harvesting limitations may apply. (Devils Lake Water Improvement District requires a permit to harvest timber in the watershed.) Trees and natural cover best protect against shoreline erosion and sedimentation of lakes. Trees take years to grow and only minutes to cut down.
Septic systems DO check sludge level in septic tank every year. Pump when sludge fills half of the tank (average is every 2-3 years for year-round residents. 5-6 years for seasonal residents). Septic systems must be maintained if they are to function properly. If settled solids are not removed from the tank, they will wash into and clog the drainfield.
  DO conserve water, and give the septic system time to 'rest' after heavy use. The less water you use, the better your septic system will work.
  DON'T flush strong cleaning agents (drain cleaner, bleach) into your septic system. Septic tanks are living systems. Strong cleaners kill the microorganisms that break down the waste.
  DON'T flush cigarette butts, paper towels, etc. down the toilet These items fill up the septic tank quickly and cannot be broken down by microorganisms.
  DON'T install or use an in-sink garbage disposal. Ground up garbage overburdens your septic tank and slows its functions.
  DON'T use commercial products that claim to clean your septic tank without pumping. These products can cause clogging of your drainfield, and many contain chemicals which can contaminate groundwater.
  DON'T put paint or chemicals into the septic system. These hazardous products kill microorganisms in the septic tank, and contaminate drinking and lakewater.
Car wash DON'T wash cars near lakes, streams, or drainage ditches. Runoff should be diverted to vegetated surfaces and allowed to seep into the ground.
Surface runoff from developed areas (driveways, roofs, lawns, etc.) DO prevent water from running directly into lakes and streams. Detain in depressions or divert flow to flat, wooded areas. Flowing water carries sediment and phosphorus. Detaining or dispensing water allows it to filter into the soil where sediment and phosphorus are filtered out.
Roads DO plant vegetative buffer strips along roads and stabilize road ditches by seeding or riprapping. Plants slow runoff from roads and help to remove sediment and phosphorus before they reach lakes or streams.
  DON'T allow water to run directly off roads into lakes or streams. Water running off roads contains sediment, phosphorus, and pollutants from cars.
Structures (houses, decks, sheds) DON'T build close to the water. (City and County ordinances require a nutrient barrier between Devils Lake and construction sites prior to land disturbance.) Shoreline disturbance dramatically increases sedimentation of the lake.
Fill/dredge DON'T fill or dredge unless necessary. Both activities require a permit from the State Lands Division. Filling and dredging stir up sediment and impair natural habitat.
Storage of hazardous materials DO store hazardous materials in a contained area. Containment prevents contamination of water supplies and lake waters by undetected leaks.
  DON'T dispose of paint thinners or chemical products on the ground. These products can contaminate groundwater and lakewater.

The information in the above table was taken from a brochure produced by the Devils Lake Water Improvement District (Lincoln City, Oregon) with technical assistance from the State of Oregon Marine Department of Environmental Protection, and support from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Clean Lakes Program.

site map

Property owners, renters, and contractors click here for more information.

Do volunteer

Volunteer to help local organizations. Become a member of the Preservation Association of Devils Lake (PADL).


Copyright © 2003-2011 Preservation Association of Devils Lake (PADL).
All rights reserved.

P.O. Box 36
Lincoln City, OR 97367