Questions About Fishhawk Lake

Misty morning on Fishhawk Lake-Gayle Rich-Boxman All Rights Reserved

UPDATED March, 2013

Can you use boats on this lake?  Yes, as long as they are electric motors or manually operated: canoes, kayaks, sailboats, pontoons, drift boats…as this is our main water source, we don’t allow gasoline-powered motors.  If you’re into fast boats, waterskiing, etc. this is not going to be what you’re looking for.

                                Pontoon Powered by Electric Motor

Can you fish on this lake? Yes, we have cutthroat trout, salmon and steelhead.  It is not stocked, and you are allowed to keep two trout per day but the others are catch-and-release only unless they are “mortally wounded”. Update: you can catch and keep two cutthroat per day. No angling currently for salmon or steelhead.

Is the land leased or owned?  You would own your property unlike other lakes in the Northwest where they have something like a 99 year lease.  I personally think owning your own property as well as your home makes it much more valuable.

How far are you from Portland, the Oregon coast,etc? We are located in the coastal range, at about 600′ elevation and only about an hour and a half from the Portland airport.  It’s a beautiful drive and you can get to Cannon Beach, Astoria and some other coastal towns in about an hour. It’s an hour and fifteen minutes from Hillsboro, via Hwy. 26 and is quiet and filled with beautiful countryside that allows you to rid yourself of the stresses of city living.  The nearest shopping areas are Vernonia, a town of about 2500 and 24 miles from Fishhawk Lake to Vernonia.  Or you can go to Clatskanie, located 18 miles away, but it’s quite a windy drive with alot of switchbacks.  Clatskanie is more spread out, Vernonia is more contained, has a grocery store, a few restaurants, gas station, and is an adorable “small town”, also has been used in movies–like Twilight–the summer blockbuster movie in ’09.

In comparing pricing of Fishhawk Lake properties vs. the coast or central Oregon how does it fare?  We are usually more reasonably priced, depending upon whether you’re looking to buy lakefront or off-the-lake.  You can buy lots for as little as $25,000 approximately (or less and some have contract terms) right up to  luxury homes at over $600,000 that are high-end lakefront homes with many amenities. We have a plethora of choices for all tastes!  You can camp on a lot forever if you want to or build later. We are in two counties, Clatsop and Columbia and the taxes are lower than in Portland and quite reasonable.  Our property values have lowered a bit due to the economy, but the real estate market is STILL booming here–I can attest to that being the local realtor/fulltime resident here at the lake.

What are the Homeowners Association  dues and what do they include?  They are $1442 per year, paid once a year in September.  They include: water, sewer, clubhouse usage, social events, fishing, swimming, boating, snow removal (of main roads), lake management, tennis, a small beach, hiking, boat ramps to keep your boat if you don’t own a dock. The fee has increased only a few times in the last 10 years, approximately.  It went from $1035 to $1442.

What are some of the HOA restrictions at Fishhawk Lake?  You can’t leave a motor home more than about 60 days per year.  There are no manufactured homes allowed.  You have to show houseplans or structural changes to the architectural committee, which includes a restriction in paint color.  A home must be at least 900 square feet. On the good side, you don’t have to bring plans “to scale”, just a reasonable drawing would work. The home must be stick built and have a foundation.

                               Lakefront Property Fishhawk Lake Oregon

After clearing for your homesite, the structure has to be completed in 18 months. You can cut trees down for the homesite only. On the good side: we have more fire hydrants than needed for this community, as well as a firestation and that saves on insurance bills….don’t forget to mention that to your insurance person. And we are an accredited Firewise Community.

For more info: and look at the bylaws, which should help. This is not a vacation rental community, and that is a positive, to most of us, because there isn’t alot of traffic of those people who will come in, use the home and leave it in bad shape.  We know our neighbors and that is a comfortable situation for us.  It keeps our community somewhat private, too. It keeps our community cleaner and more esthetically pleasing.

What wildlife do you see? We have a myriad of wildlife, depending upon the season.  You will see elk,

Elk at the Jewell Reserve2008 Gayle Rich-Boxman

Elk at the Jewell Reserve
2008 Gayle Rich-Boxman

deer, otters, bald eagle, beaver, different waterfowl (Canadian geese at certain times of the year), osprey (otherwise known as “fishhawks”),many varieties of birds, raccoons, salmon spawning, which happens every year in the different creeks and you can literally see them a few feet in front of you…we also have a fishladder. I even saw my first weasel!  My Golden Retriever, Jenna flushed it out one day in a neighbor’s woodpile.  Feisty little devil!

A little history of the lake?

One of the first local papers put out by Fishhawk Lake Recreation Club

It is man-made back in the late 60’s.  We have over 300 platted lots, about 170+ homes. Most lots are the size of a quarter to a third of an acre. The first builder went bankrupt.  It was quite unusual to see this type of “resort” community in the middle of nowhere and took awhile to catch on.  We have our own water/sewage treatment plants. The lake used to be as deep as about 30′, but is closer to 15-20′ due to silt coming in from different water sources.  Fishhawk Creek feeds our lake as well as four other creeks.  We are about 50-60AC altogether. Many people have lived in Oregon their whole lives and still don’t know we exist!  I have lived here since 1979, and just happened upon it by “divine intervention”.  The first time my husband and I drove out here and saw it, we fell in love–IMMEDIATELY.

Gayle Rich-Boxman

Realtor at Fishhawk Lake

Vernonia Realty

“Your Gateway to the Lake!”


My website:


About fishhawklakerealtor

I've been the local realtor/neighbor for 14 years who lives full time in the Fishhawk Lake area, a private lake community in the middle of the coastal range in a very small town in Oregon . It's heaven out here and my husband and I have lived here full time for about 12 years and over 15 altogether as weekenders before that. This area is my niche, my specialty, my passion. Doing this is truly a dream come true. Let me help you make it yours. Call me, your local expert: 503-755-2905 REALTOR® John L Scott Market Center Also check out my blog on ActiveRain: Or to check out my listings go to my website:
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4 Responses to Questions About Fishhawk Lake

  1. Darlene Geyer says:

    Wonderful information on fishhawk lake! ITts so nice to have this information in one place. These photos make me want to jump on a plane right now!!!

    As new owners looking forward to spending more time in this beautiful part of Oregon we’ll be checking your blog for more updates.


    • Thanks, Darlene! I’m excited to have you both as part of our community. I’m working on a new post that talks about how we found Fishhawk and our own experience with buying up here. Look for it soon!

  2. Shayla Duke says:

    No manufactured homes? Maybe you guys aren’t aware of how manufactured homes are built these days, but they are basically just like houses.

    • Shayla, having worked in a town in Vernonia,Oregon for several years where there are many manufactured homes, they have become de-valued and are hard to re-sell when on a property. It’s also hard to find financing on a manufactured home. I agree they look better than they used to.

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