Dam maintenance to close portion of Olive Lake

A portion of Olive Lake is closed to public access while crews perform maintenance the dam and spillway.

A small portion of Olive Lake is closed to the public as crews with the Umatilla National Forest complete maintenance on the lake’s dam and spillway.

The closure went into effect Monday and is expected to last through Oct. 1.

“We realize this is a popular recreation area and are committed to maintaining recreational opportunities at the site, while providing for public safety,” said Ian Reid, North Fork John Day district ranger.

The closed area is approximately a half-acre in size — affecting less than 1 percent of the 149-acre lake surface — and will be signed, fenced and defined by a string of buoys extending 200 feet in the water to notify swimmers and boaters.

The Olive Lake Campground will remain open, though a portion of the hiking trail in the area of the dam and spillway will be closed during construction. Swimming and boating is allowed outside of the restricted area.

Located 12 miles west of the tiny town of Granite, Olive Lake is a popular recreation site with 28 campsites and a two-mile hiking trail around the lake with additional access to wilderness and scenic areas. The natural lake was deepened by a 30-foot-high dam built in the early 1900s by the Fremont Power Company, which provided hydroelectricity for the nearby gold mining community.

For more information, contact the North Fork John Day Ranger District at 541-427-3231.

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