After their annual party at Lake Shasta, here's what Oregon college students left behind

Some 1,600 students from Oregon State University descended on Lake Shasta to party over the Mother's Day weekend and left something behind before heading home.

In years past, Oregon students have gained notoriety by leaving a mess at the lake. But Deborah Carlisi, a recreation officer for the national forest, said this year the students did something she hadn't seen before.

Five houseboats carrying about 40 students stayed behind an extra day to make sure their campgrounds were tidy and there was no trash, tents or other debris left behind, according to officials with the Shasta-Trinity National Forest.

Carlisi said most of the students left Sunday, but she was surprised when many of them stayed behind to clean up.

"And it made a lot of people very happy," Carlisi said.

About 40 students from Oregon State University stayed behind to clean up after spending a few days on Lake Shasta last weekend.
About 40 students from Oregon State University stayed behind to clean up after spending a few days on Lake Shasta last weekend.

The visits haven't always ended on such a happy note.

In 2016, University of Oregon students left behind so much garbage that a campground on the Slaughterhouse Island was declared a biohazard site. After the weekend party, they left the island littered with trash, human waste and almost 100 tents.

Carlisi said she was working for the national forest the year the students left behind that "humungous" mess.

But this year, the students planned ahead to stay an extra day and make sure the campgrounds where they stayed were as clean as when they arrived, she said. The students often congregate on Slaughterhouse Island, northwest of Bridge Bay on the Sacramento River arm of the lake.

"Their goal was to leave Slaughterhouse Island in better shape than they found it," said Carlisi in a statement. "These students worked alongside Shasta Lake recreation staff to pick up garbage, clothing items and camping gear, along with objects that washed up on the shore, leaving the island looking better than it had before they arrived."

She said the U.S. Forest service officials "would like to give a big shout out to the Oregon State Beaver students who took the time to clean up and set a great example to all who visit Shasta Lake."

Reporter Damon Arthur welcomes story tips at 530-338-8834, by email at and on X, formerly known as Twitter, at @damonarthur_RS. Help local journalism thrive by subscribing today!

This article originally appeared on Redding Record Searchlight: Oregon students did something unexpected at Lake Shasta this year