What we do

Habitat Restoration

Habitat Restoration While securing sufficient instream flows is critical to support vibrant river ecosystems, it is not the only work that needs to be done.

The Deschutes River Conservancy proudly partners with local watershed councils, land and wildlife management agencies, and other dedicated organizations to holistically restore and enhance habitats in the Deschutes Basin. Together, DRC’s flow restoration, coupled with actions such as restoring natural channel shape, reconnecting floodplains and wetlands, and installing instream habitat features helps foster a thriving environment for all basinfish and wildlife. Our coordination and collaboration with these important partners ensure a comprehensive restoration approach and underscores our shared commitment to the sustainable management and preservation of the Deschutes River and its tributaries.

A close up of rocks in the water.

Water for Storage

In the winter, water is stored in the reservoirs for the irrigation season. This seasonal reservoir storage significantly reduces the streamflow in the Upper Deschutes River, defined as the reach from Wickiup Reservoir to Bend.

Water for Irrigation

Nearly 90% of the streamflow from the Deschutes River in Bend is diverted through irrigation canals during the irrigation season. The diversions cause a dramatic reduction of streamflow in the Middle Deschutes, defined as the reach between Bend and Lake Billy Chinook.

Water for Recreation

Thousands of people visit the Lower Deschutes River each year to enjoy its world class fishing, exhilarating whitewater, and spectacular landscape. Many of them are unaware of the issues facing the Upper and Middle reaches of the river.​