Working to Restore the Deschutes River
Trout Unlimited has been working to improve conditions in the Deschutes River Basin for more than a decade. The Deschutes is home to one of North America’s most beautiful native fish, the Columbia Basin redband trout, "the Redside," as well as robust populations of ESA-listed bull trout. An effort to reintroduce ESA protected steelhead and salmon into historic habitat in the upper basin are currently underway. Major new developments in our Deschutes basin efforts include:
The Upper Deschutes River Basin is one of TU's newest Home Rivers Initiative (HRI) Projects. The HRI program is a staffed, member-driven program, focused primarily on watershed-based restoration, and has a track record of strengthening and engaging chapters in areas where the program operates. All HRIs employ at least one on-the-ground staff person to develop projects, and to coordinate with the council and chapters on restoration, field events and outreach activities. This program truly exemplifies the concept of One TU with everyone working toward the common goals of "protect, reconnect and restore." The Upper Deschutes will be the 20th watershed to become a HRI since its inception in 1994.
The potential benefits to the upper Deschutes' fisheries, communities, and all who rely on this great river for their livelihoods, their living, or for simple peace of mind are limitless. Trout Unlimited will work in partnership with local communities and other groups currently hard at work in the Basin to help ensure a healthier Upper Deschutes watershed, which will pay dividends well beyond its “borders” and will be felt all through the greater Deschutes Basin, to lower Deschutes, surrounding ecosystems and beyond. It will also bring economic and quality-of-life benefits to watershed communities and economies large and small, old, new, or on the way. Through engagement of ranchers, farmers, anglers, sportsmen, developers, local government and agencies, and communities, a constituency can be built for the river that will be the core of a conservation ethic for the region.