Current Use and Potential Impacts of Whitewater Recreation in Oregon

Document Type


Journal/Book Title

Final technical completion report #WRRI-111. Oregon Water Resources Research Institute


Oregon Water Resources Research Institute

Publication Date



This report describes the range of whitewater resources available in Oregon, with special emphasis on the region within 100 miles of the state's major Willamette Valley population centers. It is argued that recreation resources such as whitewater rivers can be viewed as a system, and that interactions between a user and a particular river may also affect other users and other rivers. River segments which lie within a couple hours' drive from the Willamette Valley are defined as the state's primary-whitewater recreation "system."

Current use patterns within the system are discussed, as well as the potential impacts of whitewater boating on river settings and their users. Rivers which receive the heaviest use are the Clackamas, Deschutes, McKenzie, Molalia, North Santiam, North Umpqua, Sandy, White Salmon, and Willamette. Social and ecological impacts associated with recreation use are well-documented on the Deschutes. Other rivers where social impacts may be a source of future concern include the- Clackamas, which is the closest major whitewater river to Portland, and the McKenzie and North Umpqua, two rivers where rafting is a growing recreational use of resources that have Jong been important to specialist anglers.


Final technical completion report #WRRI-111