Our mission is to maintain and improve Oswego Lake and to protect its value and quality.

The Lake Oswego Corporation (LOC) is an organization of lake residents that manages  the 415-acre Oswego Lake and its lakefront properties. The LOC is responsible for safety, water quality, maintenance, boat and operator licensing, lakefront building permits, and special events.

Along with its partnerships with the Chamber of Commerce and the City of Lake Oswego, the LOC sponsors or co-sponsors  a variety of community activities. Events include: July Fourth Boat Parade and fireworks display; and a Water-quality Education Program.

Formation of the Lake Oswego Corporation

The Corporation owns and operates the Lake. The Corporation was formed in 1942 when the Oregon Iron and Steel Company deeded to the Corporation the bed of the Lake, certain parcels on the border of the lake, and the Rim Property.  As a condition of the conveyance, the Corporation must preserve the Lake for all time for the benefit of property owners with lake access privileges. The terms of the deed limit public access to the Lake.  In addition, the deed assigns responsibility to the Corporation for regulating the use of the Lake.  The Corporation must evaluate historical records to determine whether a property owner has access to the Lake. The Corporation’s authority to regulate the Lake is derived from its Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, and other documents recorded in Clackamas County. These materials together empower the Corporation to supervise the use of Corporation-owned properties; adopt rules and regulations to limit and specify the manner in which the Lake may be used; enforce rules and regulations; impose fines and other sanctions; enter into contracts; and take other actions necessary to preserve the Lake for its intended use.

Construction of the Lake and Hydroelectric Power

Although the Lake is best known for the recreation opportunities that it provides, a significant responsibility of the Corporation is to preserve the Lake as a source of hydroelectric power.

The Lake is one part of a hydroelectric project that includes a powerhouse and three dams. Though the Lake is naturally occurring, it was significantly enlarged by the construction of the first dam on Sucker Creek. The Sucker Creek dam is located at the east end of the Lake and allows the Corporation to regulate the Lake level.

The second dam is located on a canal, known as the “main canal,” at the west end of the Lake. Near the time that the Sucker Creek dam was built, the then-owners of the Lake dug the main canal from the west end of the Lake to the Tualatin River. The canal was bored through solid iron ore and today forms a narrow channel that acts as a natural water-purification system.  The second dam is located at the intersection of the main canal and the Tualatin River. Water that flows from the Tualatin River into the canal and through the dam generates power and is the source of the Corporation’s hydroelectric water right.

Finally, a third dam exists on the Tualatin River, approximately two miles downstream from the point where the main canal intersects the river. The third dam can be used to raise the level of the Tualatin River to cause water to flow through the main canal.

Operation and Maintenance Costs

The power generated by the dam on the main canal provides only a small portion of the funds necessary to manage and preserve the Lake. Substantial costs are required to provide mandatory safety patrols, manage water quality, remove silt from the Lake bed, purchase water, maintain the dams, and purchase and maintain equipment for operation of the Lake. Annual assessments and license fees are necessary to support these activities.