The lake and its shoreline set in the gently rolling hills of the Willamette Valley, is used for boating, swimming, water skiing, fishing, picnicking and camping. The Cottage Grove Dam, completed in 1942, stores up to 33,000 acre-feet of water and provides valuable flood control as well as irrigation, recreation and improved navigation downstream. The area is also managed to provide habitat for a wide variety of wildlife species, including waterfowl, blacktail deer, upland game birds, songbirds, bald eagles, osprey and many other species.
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