FAQ

Where is the best place to make a cellular call, what actually is Pickleball and how far is the coast from the lake?  Answers to these and more can be found below.
 
These frequently asked questions have been curated by our community for our community.  If you have a suggestion, please let our website administrator know.

Basic Needs
  • What is the best emergency contact information for our area?
    For emergencies, always dial 911
     
    FLRC Incident Commanders                  
    Mike Johnson
    Home: (503) 755-0409
    Cell:  (503) 828-6002
    Email                                                                 
     
    Sue Mohnkern  
    Cell (503) 341-0121
    Email                                                               
     
    Mist-Birkenfeld Rural Fire Protection District. 
    12525 Highway 202 
    Mist, Oregon 97016
    In an emergency call 911
    Main Station: (503)755-2710
    Burn Line: (503)755-0121.
     
    Clatsop County Sheriff
    Clatsop County Sheriff's Office
    Matthew D. Phillips, Sheriff
     
    Mailing Address:
    PO Box 658
    Astoria, OR 97103
     
    Street Address:
    1190 SE 19th
    Warrenton, OR 97146
    Phone: (503) 325-8635
    Fax: (503) 325-8675
    Email
     
    Hours: Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
     
    Columbia County Sheriff
    901 Port Ave., St. Helens, OR 97051
    (503) 366-4611 | Emergencies: Dial 911
  • What is a FireMed and Life Flight membership?
    These two emergency services offer a way to get quick care while at the lake in the case of an emergency. You can avoid the high cost of Life Flight or ambulance services by becoming an annual member. FireMed offers you volunteer emergency responders in the area and Life Flight offers you emergency helicopter service to Portland hospitals. A combined membership is $115 for a year. Membership is available here: Membership
  • Where is the closest hospital?
    There are a several hospitals in the surrounding area. 
    PeaceHealth St. John Medical Center in Longview, Washington (~35 Miles)
    Columbia Memorial in Astoria, Oregon (~35 Miles)
    Providence Seaside Hospital in Seaside, Oregon (~50 Miles)
  • Where can I go to get groceries and gas?
    There are two towns each about half an hour from the lake. You can head south to Vernonia about 24 miles away or north to Clatskanie 18 miles away.
     
    Big box stores like Walmart and Costco are available in Hillsboro or Seaside.
     
    Amazon delivers to the lake.
Explore the outdoors
  • Where are the best places to go cycling in the area?
    Vernonia to Astoria: Route Map
    Looking for an awesome day on your road bike? This ride takes you along Highway 202 right past Fishhawk Lake.
     
    Banks-Vernonia State Trail is a 22.7-mile asphalt trail for road bikes, hiking and horseback riding: Route Map
  • What is Greasy Spoon Road?
    Greasy Spoon is an active logging road less than 1/2 mile before the lake off of Fishhawk Lake Road. It is an easy access road for hiking, mountain biking and off-road vehicles. Beware that there is car traffic on this dirt road. The road stretches from Fishhawk Lake Road to Highway 30 just outside of Astoria with dead ends that branch off in many directions. Local lore has it that a family set up a simple camp cookhouse to feed those building the Nehalem River Railroad for the Kerry Timber Company thus giving it the name Greasy Spoon Road.
  • What hiking trails are in the area?
    Fishhawk Lake Loop
    The walk around Fishhawk Lake is a 3-mile walk. At the east end of Northshore Road there is a trail that goes up and over to Lakeview Drive.

    Northrup Creek Horse Camp Between Jewell and Birkenfeld off Northrup Creek Road is the 8.7-mile Northrup Loop Hike: Trail Info
     
    Lee Wooden Fishhawk Falls is a park just outside of Jewell with a short hike to Fishhawk Falls: Trail Info
     
    Crown Zellerback Trail is a 25.8-mile trail along Highway 47. It is a gravel trail for horseback riding, mountain biking, and hiking: Trail Info
  • Where can I take off road vehicles?
    Exploring the logging trails in the area is always a fun way to enjoy off-road vehicles. Look for signs about active logging and beware of fast moving logging trucks. There are several logging roads that branch off of Fishhawk Lake Road and Highway 202. Be sure to follow all laws around ATV permits: ATV Permits
     
    Nicolai Mountain OHV Park is located in the Clatsop State Forest: Trail Info
Fun Facts
  • Is it true that there is a railroad buried under the lake?
    The Nehalem River Railroad was owned by the Kerry Timber Company and was often known as the Kerry Line. It was one of the most famous logging railroads in the Northwest. It operated from the late 1800s to the 1930s. The Thompson Siding Stop on the line served a timber camp that was located where our current Yoder Community Center is located. About a mile of old rail trestles are buried under the lake beneath many layers of silt.
  • How deep is the lake?
    In 2006, Max Depth Aquatics posted a survey of the lake finding the majority of the lake to be 5-10 feet deep with a maximum depth of 15 feet in the original river bed close to the dam.
  • How big is the lake?
    The shoreline is 2.1 miles around with an area covering 52.6 acres.
  • What is the elevation at the lake?
    541 feet.
  • Where can I buy Fishhawk gear?
    Specialty items are often made for events at the lake but long sleeve t-shirts are for sale on Amazon
  • What is pickleball?
    Pickleball is a paddle sport created for all ages and skill levels. The rules are simple and the game is easy for beginners to learn, but can develop into a quick, fast-paced, competitive game for experienced players: USA Pickleball Association 
    Joyce Gregg and Jerry Cohn brought Pickleball to the lake a few years ago and provide lessons and games at the tennis courts. Every season they announce a new schedule.
  • What is the history of Fishhawk Lake?
    Jim and Lola Watson retired to the Nehalem Valley in the early 1950s. Ten years later, developer Jack Brown approached the Watsons about developing Fishhawk Lake Estates on their property in a meadow with Fishhawk Creek running through. The agreement moved forward in 1964 with a commitment to move the Watson home to the shoreline. Now on the east end of the lake, the Watson cabin became the first house on the lake and is rumored to have been relocated twice during the lake development. Jim Watson was hired as the first caretaker of Fishhawk Lake Estates. In 1964 The Watson land was purchased by George & Alice Gordon, ET & Norma Johnston and Howard & Myrtle Jones. Bill Shela was named the first president. Jack Brown was the developer and Jim Meacham was the contractor. The island and club house were first to be developed in the spring of 1967 followed by the construction of the dam in June of 1967. The first new home was built on the lake the same year by Marian Zula Floyd Morse. The water tower was built in 1970 and the water treatment plant and waste treatment plant were completed in the spring of 1971. In the summer of 2017 the lake celebrated its 50-year anniversary.
  • Where can I make a cellular call?
    Verizon seems to provide the most consistent coverage around the lake. Other providers can find connections at the top of Mist Mountain heading toward Clatskanie, near the Mist Birkenfeld Fire Department and occasionally in the Birkenfeld church parking lot.
  • Where can I find affordable wood?
    There are many homes along Highway 202 that have wood piles out in front of their home available for $10 in cash. Additionally you can purchase a wood cutting permit for $20 from a Forest Service office, which allows for up to 2 cords of wood to be permitted per household. The license plate number of the vehicle transporting firewood is required.
  • What is the history of Mist?
    Formally Riverside, Oregon, it was renamed Mist in 1888, defined by the local atmosphere. The town had a general store that burned down in 2001. It sits at the intersection of Oregon 47 and 202. Once a popular hunting area for Native Americans and a robust agricultural area for European settlers, it is now known for having the largest operating sawmill in Columbia County and for its gas fields. The Mist Gas Fields are the only naturally producing gas sites in Oregon. The gas is found in shallow pockets with a solid dome above it and salt water below it. The Mist Elementary School serves 16 students in grades K-5 and is a part of the Vernonia School District.
  • What is the history of Birkenfeld?
    Named after german settler Anton Birkenfeld, the community was founded in 1910. The Birk was a former general store turned into a bar and road house music venue. Their last event was in the summer of 2018.  
Life At The Lake
  • Can I rent my property out?
    Short-term rentals are not allowed. A year-long lease is the only option for renting.
  • How far is the coast?
    Cannon Beach is 1 hour and 8 minutes away, Astoria is 1 hour and 7 minutes away.
  • I drive from Portland to Fishhawk Lake, how do I learn best about road conditions?
    A Facebook group ‘What’s Up on Scappoose Vernonia Highway’’ regularly posts road conditions along Highway 47.
     
    Another Facebook group called "Vernonia’s Roads" covers HWY 47 to 26, and the three main roads off of 47 leading over to HWY 30.
  • Is the water safe to swim in?
    Yes!
  • What happens if my dog eats a dead salmon?
    Salmon poisoning is very dangerous for dogs and can cause death. The biggest risk is when the salmon are running from October-January. Seek medical attention immediately.
  • Are motorized boats allowed on the lake?
    Only electric motors are allowed.
  • What are the leash regulations for dogs around the lake?
    Dogs must be leashed in common areas or off your property.
  • What is the speed limit?
    5 MPH on the water, 10 MPH on the road.
Local Wildlife
  • Is fishing allowed on the other side of the Dam, near the fish ladder?
    No fishing is allowed near a fish ladder.  You can read the complete details from ODFW and Oregon's Statewide regulations
    or to save you some time we have included a brief excerpt below.
    The Following Activities are Unlawful : (18.) Trespassing on a fishway, weir or fish trap, or angling within 200 feet above and 200 feet below a weir or the entrance/exit of a private or public fishway or fish trap.
  • Are the newts in the lake poisonous?
    Rough-Skinned Newts have a bright orange belly and a neurological poison in their skin and eggs to protect them. They are safe to touch but should not be put in your mouth and hand to mouth contact should be avoided after handling.
  • Can I feed the elk?
    Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area
    The best elk viewing is available November-April. ODFW offers the public an opportunity to view the elk feeding on tours that run from December through February each year. These popular wagon excursion trips begin at 9AM and last for one hour. To reserve, call Jewell Meadows at (503-755-2264) beginning December 1. Be aware that spots fill up very fast!
  • What are the Indigenous species?
    Birds: Canada Geese, Bald Eagles, Red Tail Hawks, Barred Owls, Osprey (Fishhawk), Great Blue Herons, Steller’s Jays, Tree Swallows, Violet-Green Swallows, Black Capped Chickadee, Dark-Eyed Junco, Hooded Mergansers, Mallard Ducks, Evening Grosbeaks,Black-Headed Grosbeaks, Northern Flickers, Golden-crowned Sparrows, Gray Jays, Redwing Blackbirds, Cowbirds, Double Crested Cormorants, Mourning Doves, Western Scrub Jays, Robins, Crows, and Ravens
     
    Here’s a video of Double Crested Cormorant by the spillway on Fishhawk Lake: Video
     
    Fish: Salmon, Steelhead, Cuthroat Trout, and Lamprey
     
    Animals: River Otters, Black Bears, Cougars, Raccoons, Bats, Coyotes, Bobcats, Weasels, Roosevelt Elk, and Black-Tailed Deer
     
    Amphibians: Northwestern Salamander, Pacific Giant Salamander,  Rough-Skinned Newt, Pacific Treefrog, Oregon spotted Frog, and Foothill Yellow-Legged Frog
  • When is fishing season?
    May-November 1 you can catch and keep two cutthroat trout per day. Salmon and steelhead are catch and release only. A fishing license is required with the exception of free fishing days. President’s Day Weekend and Thanksgiving Weekend do not require a permit:
  • When is hunting season?
    October 3-November 6 – Deer
    August 1-December 31 – Black Bear
    January 1-December 31 – Cougar
    October 17-October 23 – Elk
     
    There is a lot of hunting activity near the lake October 3-November 6 during deer and elk season. If you go hiking or biking be sure to be visible and wear bright clothing. It’s probably best to avoid hiking with your dogs during this hunting season.
Operations
  • What are the office hours?
    There are no office hours at this time. If you need assistance or have a question, please call or send an email.
  • What do I need to know when buying or selling?
    We have put together a short little page that answers some of the most common questions asked of our office during the real estate transaction process.  Check it out here.
  • How do you report maintenance issues?
    Send an email to the community manager and it will be reported to the appropriate staff member. communitymanager@fishhawk.com
  • How does a fish ladder work?
    A fish ladder allows for migrating fish to get through the dam that is blocking their route upstream. The fish leap through the cascade of rushing water at the center of the ladder and then move to the left or right to rest in the pool before repeating the process until they’re beyond the dam and in the lake.
  • What is waste water treatment and where is it?
    Wastewater treatment is a process to remove sewage and convert it into water that can be returned to the natural water cycle. The treatment takes place in the wastewater treatment plant located next to the fish ladder.
  • Where can I dispose of garden scraps and debris?
    At the end of Fieldcrest Drive, next to the maintenance building are two dump areas for yard debris. Please pay attention to the signs. Wood can go in the burn pile. Grass clippings should go in the mulch pile.
  • How do we make water?
    Water from Fishhawk Creek is brought in through an intake pump that carries the water from the creek into a raw water building. The water is moved over and under curtains and baffles to remove sediment and leave dirt particles behind. From there the water travels into a water treatment plant where the water is treated with polymor through a flashmixer into a tank system that filters all remaining particles out of the water. Take a tour of the water plant with Gayle and Kevin in these two videos:
     
    Click here to view our 2019 Water Quality Report
Rules
  • Where can I find all of the FLRC policies?
    In the documents section of the website.
  • What are the basic rules of FLRC?
    The following list of rules is meant as a guideline for members and is not inclusive of all FLRC policies.
     
    Architectural – Any exterior construction including decks, docks, paint and other property improvements require review of the architectural committee. Applications must be submitted and approved before any work is to begin.
     
    Boating – Fishhawk Lake is a no wake lake with a 5 MPH speed limit. Boats can not exceed 22 feet in length nor have a cabin. Overnight mooring of boats on the lake is not permitted. Propulsion is limited to electric motor, human, or wind power only. All boats must display a Fishhawk Lake sticker and a member number.
     
    Common Areas – Use of common areas is for day use only, not later than 10PM. Areas may be reserved through the community manager.
     
    Fire Pits – Outdoor fire pit installation and their use must be approved by the Firewise Coordinator. All members must go through a Firewise training.
     
    Fishing – Fishing is limited to FLRC members and their guests only. All ODFW season limits and rules apply.
     
    Parking – Vehicles may not be parked in common areas after 10PM.
     
    Pets – Pets must be on a leash when off the owners’ property and must be under the owners’ control when on the owners property.
     
    Shooting – Discharge of firearms, BB guns, pellet guns, or arrows are not permitted anywhere within the FLRC community.
     
    Speed Limit – All community roads have a 10 MPH speed limit for the safety of residents, pets, and wildlife. Please drive carefully.
     
    Spraying – No insecticides or fertilizers may be sprayed within 50 feet of the lake or any of its tributaries.
     
    Water – Water to property is to be turned off whenever the property is unoccupied for more than 48 hours.