Deer Lagoon

Description, size, location and components of the estuary

Deer Lagoon estuary covers 950 acres and is located on the north end of Useless Bay in the southwest portion of Whidbey Island.  It consists of freshwater marsh, open water lagoon, mudflats and salt marsh.

Source of fresh water

Four creeks drain into the lagoon and marshes.  Lone Creek is ditched and pumped into the lagoon.

Click here for enlarged image
   Photo by Kathy Floyd, c. 2004

Agropyron sp., Atriplex patula, Cytisus scoparius, Distichlis spicata, Grasses, pasture, Phalaris arundinacea, Rosa pisocarpa, Rubus procerus, Salicomia virginica, Scirpus acutus, Symphoricorpos albus, and Typha latifolia.

Man made obstructions to the estuary

There are parallel dikes on the east and west ends of the lagoon with emergent marsh on either side. There is a tidegate that allows little saltwater exchange so the marshes behind the dike are mostly fresh water.  Ditching, dredging, shoreline armoring and the addition of residential communities on the beach berm have dramatically altered the shoreline of Deer Lagoon.  Water from the Useless Bay Golf Course drains into the estuary and has altered the wetlands and streams that feed the lagoon.

Description of the historic estuary

Historically this was a large open water lagoon with an extensive salt marsh.


Island County Estuarine Restoration Program

Prepared by Sheldon & Associates, Inc., June 2001

Puget Sound Creosote Awareness project

More Info

About Estuaries

Whidbey Island Estuaries

Camano Island Estuaries