14,000 BC - Devils Lake formed when sand dunes and beach deposits blocked the lower end of the valley drained by the D River
1800s - Devils Lake named for an Indian legend.
1900s - Human activity around the lake contributed to a degradation of water quality.
1980 - Lincoln City qualified for an EPA Clean Lakes Phase I Diagnostic and Feasibility Study, the first step toward lake restoration.
1982 - Preservation Association of Devils Lake was formed to promote lake "clean-up."
1983 - Diagnostic and Feasibility Study completed.
1984 - Devils Lake Water Improvement District formed by vote of the people.
1985 - Devils Lake Water Improvement District qualified for an EPA Clean Lakes Phase II Restoration Grant using a multifaceted approach centered on biological control of aquatic vegetation using Grass Carp.
1986 - Devils Lake stocked with 10,090 weed-eating Chinese Grass Carp (White Amur).
1987 - Devils Lake stocked with 17,090 additional weed-eating Chinese Grass Carp (White Amur).
1986-92 - Monitoring program to assess the effects of the Grass Carp on the weeds, gamefish, wildlife and water quality. Recreation increases as vegetation is reduced by the Grass Carp.
1993 - Devils Lake stocked with 5,000 more Chinese Grass Carp (White Amur).
1998 - Preservation Association of Devils Lake sewer study completed.
2000 - Portland State University vegetation study started.
2001 - Devils Lake Water Improvement management plan for grass carp and vegetation begins.
The North Lincoln County Historical Museum at 4907 SW Hwy 101 in the Taft Village of Lincoln City has old photos and records about Devils Lake. Their website is www.northlincolncountyhistoricalmuseum.org/.
The following story is a compilation of information supplied by Chief William Depoe, who told the legend of Devils Lake during the second annual Grass Carp Festival in September of 1987. Legends, much like a good wine, almost always improve with age. Such is the case of the legend of Devils Lake.
The Siletz Indians were once fond of Indian Bayor Devils Lake as it is now knownbefore it became inhabited with evil spirits. They hunted their game in the nearby forests and made their homes upon the scenic shores of the quiet lake. Their warriors, however, were lost to the evil spirits of the lake. As legend has it, members of the tribe used to meet on the shores of the lake during the moon of abundance to celebrate. Young braves would demonstrate feats of daring and strength to win the heart of the maiden of their choice.
As the legend continues, a certain chief Fleetfoot despaired of winning the heart of the maiden he had chosen. In order to impress his young love, he dispatched his braves in the canoes out on the calm waters of the lake. Yet tragedy was awaiting the braves. As the moonlight shone down upon the serene lake, legend says, the waters began to churn and bubble. Giant tentacles emerged from the chaotic waters and wrapped around the startled braves and their canoes pulling them down into the murky depths. "Legend has it that the lake is quick to turn bad towards people," Chief William Depoe said, "Like a giant snake, it can raise up and pull beneath its surface whatever might be traveling across."
In order to pacify the great devil so the Indians could resume their peaceful existence on the lake, the legend says, the Indians held great feasts and rituals on the shores of the lake. The drums vibrated and the voices of the Indian people echoed their melancholy beat until the dawn broke upon the horizon. At that time, the devil was said to rear its ugly head and then the sacrifice was made. It is unclear exactly what form this sacrifice took, whether it was maiden or beast, but the offering was the only method by which to satiate the hunger of the devil that inhabited the lake. "Legend has it that the lake could cause bad things to happen to people. To avoid that, the Indian people would offer valuables to the lake before crossing it," Chief Depoe said. "In that way, they showed respect to the power that it possesses."
The hunger of the spirit that inhabits the lake has long since been appeased, but the legend itself grows with each retelling and the mystery behind the lakes name remains unsolved. Today, the legend maintains, that those who cross the waters in the moonlit chill of night will still feel a tingle of fear as they cross the center of the lake.
2003-2011 Preservation Association of Devils Lake (PADL).
All rights reserved.
P.O. Box 36
Lincoln City, OR 97367