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Lost Creek Lake to open this spring

SHADY COVE — Oregon State parks officials plan to have Lost Creek Lake Marina up and running this spring with a new operator after the previous operators’ lease expired New Years Eve.

The marina is currently closed and some private boats remain moored at the only docks of their kind on Jackson County’s most popular boating lake, according to a press release issued Wednesday by state parks officials.

Those boats can remain until the reservoir, which impounds the far upper Rogue River, rises enough so the boat ramps at adjacent Stewart State Park are operable, parks officials said.

The Oregon State Parks and Recreation Department and Jackson County parks officials are coordinating on details, but it was unclear Wednesday whether the county was to take over the marina’s operation.

The marina has been a pivotal moorage point for sailors and others looking to moor boats over the summer boating season, which typically runs from Memorial Day to Labor Day. With recent years of low water at the county’s only other moorage marina at the county-run Howard Prairie Resort, Lost Creek Lake marina has been the focus for the Rogue Valley Yacht Club, other sailors and a cadre of wakeboarders and other watersports enthusiasts uninterested in launching their trailered boats each time they recreate at the lake.

Anyone with a boat still moored at the marina can contact park manager Nathan Seable at Nathan.seable@oregon.gov with questions.

The 40-year lease for operation of the marina that was originally signed in 1981 expired on New Year’s Eve, and parks officials said it was the maximum length allowed under its terms.

The last lease owners were Lewis Resorts, LLC. When parks officials announced the lease’s expiration late last month, they said they would explore whether to go out in a public bidding process to find a new concessionaire or work with other unspecified “public partners.”

The lake has two boat ramps. One at Stewart State Park is operated by state parks officials, while the Takelma ramp off Takelma Drive near Lost Creek dam is operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which built the dam in 1977 and operates the lake for flood control and downstream Rogue River fisheries enhancement.

Reach Mail Tribune reporter Mark Freeman at 541-776-4470 or mfreeman@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MTwriterFreeman.

The marina at the Joseph Stewart boat ramp on Lost Creek Lake will open under a new operator this spring. Oregon Parks and Recreation Department photo.