Crooked River

The beautiful Crooked River and its tributaries flow through the southeastern portion of the Deschutes Basin.

Groundwater is naturally less available and streamflows are more variable here than in western areas of the Deschutes Basin. Floodplain development and irrigation operations have changed streamflow patterns in the Crooked River.

Our work focuses on the 73 miles of the Lower Crooked River below Bowman Dam and its two tributaries, McKay Creek and Ochoco Creek. Salmon and steelhead have recently been reintroduced into these reaches. Our two major projects are the McKay Creek Water Rights Switch, which aims to restore natural streamflows to McKay Creek, and the North Unit Initiative, which restores streamflow in the low flow section below river mile 28 that runs through Smith Rock State Park.