Questions About Fishhawk Lake

Five Fire-Free Reasons to Buy at Fishhawk Lake!

September 25th, 2020


In light of the recent fires in many areas of Oregon, it is even more important to some to find a safe haven that wasn’t affected by the fires and a healthy place to find retreat from it.

Whether you are looking for full time or a vacation place to have as a sanctuary, here are five good reasons to put Fishhawk Lake Reserve and Community on your radar:.

  • Firewise Accredited Communitywhat it is: Firewise USA® is a voluntary program that provides a framework to help neighbors get organized, find direction, and take action to increase the ignition resistance of their homes and community.

We have been part of this program for several years. What that means is that we all work together to rid our community of any hazards that could cause potential fires, like invasive weeds that are easily inflammable, removing dangerous limbs, etc. that hang over our homes/properties that could cause a fire to spread, cleaning our roofs and gutters just to name a few tasks that save our lake community from potential dangers. Our local Firewise Coordinator, Kathy Cardona,

also teaches firepit training to members of our lake community before they can use their firepits. If building a new firepit, the location has to be approved by her as well and any new member must go through the training before lighting a fire!


  • Mist-Birkenfeld Rural Fire Protection District (MBRFPD) located just five miles away, we work in supporting them and following the guidelines they set forth during the driest seasons of the year by placing No Fires Today! signs around the community as well as volunteering in both fire and EMS to create a symbiotic and healthy community that stays fire free. MBRFPD has placed more fire hydrants in our Fishhawk Lake community than are even necessary and we have a firetruck located in the small fire station right inside the community both as a result of our ongoing mutually supportive and longstanding relationship.
  • Volunteerisma very important piece to the puzzle of staying educated about how to keep our Fishhawk Lake community thriving, by being or becoming a volunteer for our local rural fire, rescue, and EMS, which not only helps keep insurance costs down, but is monumentally rewarding in giving back to our rural community at large! Mist-Birkenfeld Rural Fire Protection District is always open to seeking out and welcoming new volunteers!! (Resident Volunteer Application link)
  • Emergency Preparedness-Purpose: The Emergency Preparedness Committee shall help the community prepare for and respond effectively to emergency situations that may arise in our community [Fishhawk Lake Reserve and Community]. Working in conjunction with MBRFPD, we have plans in place for several potential disasters. There are many parts to this that are coming to fruition with this newer program. Here are a few:
  1. a) Organize, train and manage an Incident Management Team and First Responder network throughout the community to respond to emergency incidents in the community.
  2. b) Conduct formal and informal educational programs in the community that encourage residents to acquire continuing education in first aid, CPR, pet safety, and other emergency preparedness topics.

c)Participate in emergency preparedness plans of Clatsop and Columbia Counties and the State of Oregon and other local communities.

  • In the coastal range and on a lake!-With what just occurred in our beautiful state of Oregon because of devastating fires, I was deeply grateful every single day for the fact that we were untouched by forest fires in our Fishhawk Lake community. Wafting smoke came our way, but otherwise, many found this to be a much cleaner, fresher airspace and safer an area to be staying/living in than several towns in Oregon, both rural and urban. We have counted ourselves lucky to have a moister atmosphere and were heralded with rain sooner than some of the other areas around our state.

View of our gorgeous lake and surrounding area! Photo by: Gayle Rich-Boxman

Just five reasons why I love the Fishhawk Lake and surrounding  community and have lived here since 2003!!!


Fishhawk Lake Community Lodge Photo by: Gayle Rich-Boxman

If this piques your interest in real estate on or near Fishhawk Lake, please give me a call: Gayle Rich-Boxman (503)755-2905, REALTOR® John L Scott Mkt Ctr or e-mail me at: 


Are Homeowners Association Restrictions a BAD Thing?

April 24th, 2014

Fishhawk Lake-Are Homeowners Association Restrictions a Bad Thing?

Well, sometimes yes, sometimes no. Often when there is a Homeowner’s Association, potential buyers will make a mental leap to that Gestapo-like mentality and so their questions are all geared around the “restrictions” aspect instead of grasping the idea of it being  more of a guide to keep the values up in that particular community.

Fishhawk Lake is a private lake and does have a Homeowner’s Association. We are not a gated community. The CC&Rs (Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions) may SEEM lengthy, but as with any contractural and legal document, it contains a lot of “legal-ease” to cover all bases. This is what Wikipedia has to say:

In the United States, a homeowner association is a corporation formed by a real estate developer for the purpose of marketing, managing, and selling of homes and lots in a residential subdivision.

Here is a link to our Homeowners Conditions Covenants and Restrictions. FLRC CC&Rs

Our community at Fishhawk Lake was developed in the late 1960s

and the original developer wanted it as a private lake to fish and enjoy water activities in a quiet country atmosphere. He was a bit ahead of his time, as it was a hidden treasure for many years, slow to find new buyers way out in the middle of nowhere. 

                      First Existing Cabin on Fishhawk Lake Photo by: Gayle Rich-Boxman

Fast Forward….

I certainly enjoy marketing our area at Fishhawk Lake as a lifestyle, not a community that will restrict people from enjoying where they choose to live in a relaxed atomosphere. Having been a part of this private lake community  (and it is a community)for over 16 years and having had my husband be a past president, I’m okay with the rules and regulations. In reality, we just want to keep our community clean and pristine–just like the forests and waters and nature that surround us and is the very REASON why we live here!

                                      Fishhawk Lake in February Photo by: Gayle Rich-Boxman

Here are a few of the CC&Rs that I appeciate:

Oftentimes, homeowner’s fees are exorbitant. Ours are pretty darned reasonable from what my clients say over and over again. It’s once a year, $3277.00 and that includes all Fishhawk Lake amenities including water and sewer and some of this goes towards reserves. I had a fellow from San Diego exclaim  that he pays more than that in a summer and he doesn’t even water his landscape that much!

You can’t rent out your property at Fishhawk Lake for weekends to strangers or put it on Craigslist to cover your mortgage. This keeps our place quieter and safer. There is one way in and one way out…we are secluded and often, as happens with country properties, people who are here only briefly, for a day or two don’t seem to CARE about not throwing trash out the window, because they’ll never be back!  This type of community doesn’t invite that. Family and friends are welcome anytime, though!

We don’t allow certain kinds of fencing or really bright colors on homes. It’s to blend into nature and not block a neighbor’s view of this glorious slice of paradise I call home

Darlene's pontoon.

One of the pristine views on Fishhawk Lake early morn

You won’t see a bunch of dead vehicles lined up in someone’s driveway or a lot of ugly tarps covering God Knows What. There are certain trees that you can’t cut down, like evergreens unless they are posing a hazard of some sort or are diseased.

Lakefront view of a home I sold earlier this year. Gayle C. Rich-Boxman REALTOR® Vernonia Realty

Lakefront view of a home I sold in 2013.
Nice and open!!

                       Fall greenery on Fishhawk Lake Photo by: Gayle Rich-Boxman

These are just some highpoints to consider when looking at Fishhawk Lake…so don’t let the idea of a Homeowner’s Association scare you off. Call me–let’s talk about the POSITIVES of our HOA!

Rainbow over the clubhouse at Fishhawk Lake.

                     Our Fishhawk Lake Clubhouse and Beach “Yoder Community Center” 
                                      One of the amenities that our HOA fees pays for

Here is a link about some common questions about Fishhawk Lake.  Intrigued? Call me for more details!

Gayle Rich-Boxman

 REALTOR® John L Scott Marketing Center Direct: (503)755-2905

“Your Local Expert”

Fishhawk Lake Vacant Lots Many Choices, Many Options

June 22nd, 2013

qafl-06There are still vacant lots for purchase both on the lake and off-the-lake at our private lake community known as Fishhawk Lake. You can find some that will carry a private contract, terms negotiable. The pricing can range from ridiculously low, say about $5,000 to lakefront as high as  $135,000 currently as of 2019.

           Vacant Waterfront Lot for sale! Call Gayle: (503)755-2905

If you don’t feel like building right away, that is just fine! You can camp FOREVER if you would like to. Or camp for awhile, sock that money away, pick your plans and THEN build. The Homeowner’s Association has certain restrictions to be aware of in your search for the building plans. It must be no smaller than 900 square feet and stick built with a foundation. No manufactured homes and no yurts! (I have been asked about both over the years as the full time resident/realtor near Fishhawk Lake).

Some important points to be aware of:

  •  You can leave a recreational vehicle on your lot for up to 60 days PER YEAR. That’s all. We like to keep our community pristine and that means no blue tarps, no non-working trucks hanging out looking trashy.
  • Water and sewer are “available”, some lots already have it hooked up, some don’t. It will cost you $1,000 per utility (water and sewer only) for hook-up. Contact the Fishhawk Lake office for information on how to do this: (503)755-2132.
  • You can cut trees down for the footprint of the property only unless they are alders.
  • Bring your building plans to the architectural committee who meets once a month at the Fishhawk Lake community lodge. You don’t have to have plans to scale, but a good set of drawings, paint chips and anything else that is pertinent would be good to bring with you. Update: I believe you have to bring TWO sets of plans with you.
  • Any purchase of a home or a vacant lot at Fishhawk Lake will also include a $2250 one-time transfer fee at closing. The buyer almost always pays this at closing. If you happen to be buying a home with an extra lot, you will owe for two properties.
  • Homeowner’s association fees are currently $3277.00 per year and include all of your water and sewer usage as well as all lake amenities. It is the same fee whether you own a vacant lot OR a home at Fishhawk Lake.

                The vacant lot that we own!

Fishhawk Lake vs Other Lakes in Oregon and Washington

June 13th, 2013

I have new clients who ask me questions about Fishhawk Lake versus other lakes in Oregon and Washington. They are searching for a place to go that’s not too far from Portland, Vancouver or the Portland airport, that will answer some of their “dreams” for a vacation home on or near a lake.


So! If you are looking for a lake that is quieter, that you can kayak, sail, canoe, swim in, fish in a drift boat or use an electric motor or human power, hike around, then WE’RE THE LAKE FOR YOU!!! Now, if you are looking to water ski, jet ski, or use any kind of gas motor, uh…bye bye! The reason? Because Fishhawk Lake is also our water source to drink, shower, use for cooking, etc. and so we don’t allow gas motors.


Fishhawk Creekand four other smaller creeks feed Fishhawk Lake. We have our own water treatment plant and our own sewage plant. The Homeowner’s fees of $1,442 per year cover any/all usage of water and sewer (along with many other amenities) and each lot has it “available” even though it may not all be hooked up.

Another difference between Fishhawk Lake and other lakes in both Oregon and Washington is that you own your own land it is NOT leased. I have had several clients throughout the years who’ve done their research and found that they actually couldn’t “buy” the property they want to camp or build on. 95-year lease is common with those other lakes. You most DEFINITELY OWN your land at Fishhawk Lake whether or not it has a house on it. You can buy a lot and camp on it forever if you wanted to or build later. Once you start the building process, you have 10 months to complete it. Right now there are a lot of choices of established homes for sale on and off the lake at reasonable prices.


One of the many plusses about having this kind of lake living is that it’s essentially more peaceful and quieter. It’s still a TON of fun, too! Pontoons can be fitted with small electric motors, we personally own a 22′ pontoon made by Bennington, the biggest size allowed on the lake which has a small Minnkota electric motor on it and it moves quite nicely, plus you can fit friends, family AND the dog, go out to the middle of the lake and throw out an anchor and swim, party, hook up with another boat, even pull inner tubes for the youngsters behind you….lots of variety in the watercraft department here at Fishhawk Lake.



Winds kick up for some personal sailing that keeps some sailors really happy out on our 50+AC lake.


Many kids will use paddle boats because they’re sturdy and don’t tip over and are good exercise. Kayaks and canoes are used by both young and old. I happened to look up from my lakefront home one day last summer just in time to see a couple of young boys tip over their canoe, but they were only in about 5′ of water and virtually stood on the lake bottom to get their bearings and eventually got back in and continued their fun. Because it was a 90+degree day, I’m sure the water felt pretty good as a welcome relief to the heat!

The water depths can change from a couple of feet to about nineteen depending upon where you’re going. You can kayak clear to the end of Fishhawk Creek, but you will have to turn around, especially in the summer you get to a point where you could literally walk across the stones and go from one side of the creek to the other. I’ve kayaked up that creek in August before and just did a u-turn at the end, went under the bridge and was back in the lake–all very easy.

Fishing is a big pastime here. You can go out on the mist-covered morning lake


and catch and keep two cutthroat trout per day or catch some really good-sized steelhead or salmon to catch and release. I’ve watched families go to our little beach at the clubhouse and plunk a line in or fly-fish off the bank. Lures only please. The season is from May to November.


We also have a fish ladder and salmon that spawn in the fall/winter and early spring months every year. THAT is quite an event to watch! Some of the fish literally jump up the ladder, while others are cheek-to-jowl in the smaller creeks, sometimes so thick you could walk on them. It’s such a great experience to share with kids or kids at heart.


Fishhawk Lake is a best kept secret, hidden off the main highway and if these descriptions suit you or peak your interest, be sure and call me for a private tour of Fishhawk Lake, as I live here and work here as the fulltime “realtor on the lake”!

(503)755-2905 OR e-mail: