Rivers and Streams of the Deschutes Basin


The high desert of Central Oregon is nurtured and sustained by its rivers.

The Deschutes River and its tributaries mean water for agriculture, provide sustenance for a plethora of aquatic wildlife, draw tourists who support our economy, and provide a playground for those who recreate in their waters or along their banks.

The rivers of the Deschutes Basin truly define this region and are considered by many as our most treasured natural asset.

Yet, beautiful as they may appear, our rivers are challenged by low streamflow in certain seasons, and by poor water quality. Over the past century, as Central Oregon has relied on water diverted from the rivers for agriculture, streamflow and water quality have suffered. Since 1996, the Deschutes River Conservancy has worked with local irrigation districts and other partners to make major strides in restoring streamflow and water quality. Our year over year momentum is making conservation history, but we still have a long way to go to return our rivers to health and vitality.

For more information about each stream, click the links to the right.