I enjoy Fern Ridge reservoir as a photographic destination, despite the many disparaging remarks you’ll hear about the location in the Eugene area. Of course, most of these disparaging remarks are from folks who want a great place to swim and ski and the things they’re complaining about are precisely what us wildlife photographers love; namely marshy shorelines. Specifically the state wildlife areas on some of the shores make a great destination.
I have used this location to teach the insect photography workshop I once taught.
If there is one complaint I have it is that the walking trails are primarily the dikes for water control and these are covered with large rocks. This is a minor quibble and primarily means protect your ankles while walking there because there is a decent chance of twisting them.
I have primarily made macro images there, but there are good bird opportunities also. I once saw a Peregrine Falcon feeding on a Yellowlegs there, unfortunately this took place too far away for any good images.
Please take a look at a variety of my macro wildlife images.