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.
chevron_rightWhat 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 about $130 for a year. Membership is available here: Membership
- chevron_rightWhere is the closest hospital?
chevron_rightWhere 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.
chevron_rightWhat is the best emergency contact information for our area?
For emergencies, always dial 911FLRC Incident CommandersMike JohnsonHome: (503) 755-0409Cell: (503) 828-6002Sue MohnkernCell (503) 341-0121Mist-Birkenfeld Rural Fire Protection District.12525 Highway 202Mist, Oregon 97016In an emergency call 911Main Station: (503)755-2710Burn Line: (503)755-0121.Clatsop County SheriffClatsop County Sheriff's Office
Matthew D. Phillips, SheriffMailing Address:
PO Box 658
Astoria, OR 97103Street Address:
1190 SE 19th
Warrenton, OR 97146Phone: (503) 325-8635
Fax: (503) 325-8675
EmailHours: Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.Columbia County Sheriff901 Port Ave., St. Helens, OR 97051
(503) 366-4611 | Emergencies: Dial 911
Explore the outdoors
- chevron_rightWhere are the best places to go cycling in the area?
chevron_rightWhat 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.
chevron_rightWhat hiking trails are in the area?
Fishhawk Lake LoopThe 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 InfoLee Wooden Fishhawk Falls is a park just outside of Jewell with a short hike to Fishhawk Falls: Trail InfoCrown 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
chevron_rightWhere 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 PermitsNicolai Mountain OHV Park is located in the Clatsop State Forest: Trail Info
chevron_rightIs 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.
chevron_rightHow 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.
chevron_rightHow big is the lake?
The shoreline is 2.1 miles around with an area covering 52.6 acres.
chevron_rightWhat is the elevation at the lake?
- chevron_rightWhere can I buy Fishhawk gear?
chevron_rightWhat 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 AssociationJoyce 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.
chevron_rightWhat 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.
chevron_rightWhere 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.
chevron_rightWhere 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.
chevron_rightWhat 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.
chevron_rightWhat 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
chevron_rightCan I rent my property out?
Short-term rentals are not allowed. A year-long lease is the only option for renting.
chevron_rightHow far is the coast?
Cannon Beach is 1 hour and 8 minutes away, Astoria is 1 hour and 7 minutes away.
chevron_rightI 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.
chevron_rightIs the water safe to swim in?
chevron_rightWhat 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.
chevron_rightAre motorized boats allowed on the lake?
Only electric motors are allowed.
chevron_rightWhat are the leash regulations for dogs around the lake?
Dogs must be leashed in common areas or off your property.
chevron_rightWhat is the speed limit?
5 MPH on the water, 10 MPH on the road.
chevron_rightWhen is fishing season?
The fishing dates for our little lake are different than others and typically run May-November 1. When fishing is allowed, you can catch and keep two cutthroat trout per day, but salmon and steelhead are catch and release only. A fishing license is required with the exception of free fishing days.The start date can change from year to year. Click here to check the date on any given year from Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations website.President’s Day Weekend and Thanksgiving Weekend do not require a permit: Free Fishing Days
chevron_rightIs 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 regulationsor 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.
chevron_rightAre 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.
chevron_rightCan I feed the elk?
Jewell Meadows Wildlife AreaThe 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!
chevron_rightWhat 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 RavensHere’s a video of Double Crested Cormorant by the spillway on Fishhawk Lake: VideoFish: Salmon, Steelhead, Cuthroat Trout, and LampreyAnimals: River Otters, Black Bears, Cougars, Raccoons, Bats, Coyotes, Bobcats, Weasels, Roosevelt Elk, and Black-Tailed DeerAmphibians: Northwestern Salamander, Pacific Giant Salamander, Rough-Skinned Newt, Pacific Treefrog, Oregon spotted Frog, and Foothill Yellow-Legged Frog
chevron_rightWhen is hunting season?
October 3-November 6 – DeerAugust 1-December 31 – Black BearJanuary 1-December 31 – CougarOctober 17-October 23 – ElkThere 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.
chevron_rightWhat are the office hours?
In general, the office is open for walk-in business on Wednesdays from 2PM to 5PM and Saturdays from 11AM to 2PM, but hours are subject to change. The community administrative assistant works additional hours but may not be in the office during those times - see the staff page for details. If you need assistance or have a question, the best way is to call or send an email.
chevron_rightWhat 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.
chevron_rightHow do you report maintenance issues?
You can submit maintenance requests to Operations via the "Contact Us" section of this website. Alternatively, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and it will be reported to the appropriate staff member.
chevron_rightHow 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.
chevron_rightWhat 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.
chevron_rightWhere 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.
chevron_rightHow 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:
chevron_rightHow is the quality of the drinking water?
Click here to view the 2022 Consumer Confidence Report.
chevron_rightWhere can I find all of the FLRC policies?
In the documents section of the website.
chevron_rightWhat 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.