Tahkenitch Lake and Creek at one time was known as Fivemile. Thankfully that dull name did not stick, but the indigenous name remains.
Tahkenitch was known as tsaxinich (TSA – HI-nich) or tsaxiinich (TSA-HEE-nich) to the Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw people. Howard Barrett said his mother told him the name means ‘having arms running out like a crab’. (Human arm in Siuslaw/Umpqua is chitl, crab is nawaq, so the descriptive word for ‘many arms’ like for crabs and starfish is likely yet another word). Spencer Scott recalled going there with uncles to hunt ducks and beavers, and Tahkenitch Creek had a good run of Coho salmon. Indeed this creek had a good enough run that there was a fish camp on that creek. There are still some populations of coho, steel head and sea run cutthroat trout in Tahkenitch.