Drift Creek - Alsea River

Reviving a coastal stronghold for Oregon's imperiled coho salmon.

In 2012, WRC bolstered hopes that coho salmon might someday thrive again on the Oregon coast when it conveyed a second conservation property along Drift Creek, in the Alsea River estuary, to Siuslaw National Forest.

The Alsea River was once the most productive coho salmon stream in Oregon, and its estuary is now the focus of a coho recovery effort. WRC worked to enhance this effort by conserving lands within the Alsea River estuary.

Western Rivers Conservancy's work on Drift Creek and the Alsea river also improved recreational access for boaters, hikers, birdwatchers and anglers.

Coastal coho salmon are listed as Threatened on the Endangered Species Act from the Columbia River south to California. On the California coast, they are Endangered. The Alsea River provides some of the best coho habitat on the entire Oregon coast.

Western Rivers Conservancy began its work on the Alsea River in 2002 when it protected a 1,402-acre property spanning both sides of lower Drift Creek and a critical portion of the Alsea.

A herd of Roosevelt elk grazes near the Alsea River.

Drift Creek, a major tributary to the Alsea River, supports a healthy run of fall Chinook as well as spring Chinook, winter steelhead, cutthroat trout and other species.

Sunrise on the Alsea River.

WRC staff members explore the Alsea River estuary by kayak. By following tides, paddlers can easily explore the Alsea and Drift Creek by boat.

In addition to conserving salmon and steelhead habitat, WRC's acquisitions on Drift Creek and the Alsea River improved access for boaters.