North Santiam River

Hope for native fish in Oregon's Willamette Basin

If there's a river in Oregon's Willamette Valley that holds hope for native fish, it's the North Santiam. This Willamette River tributary once produced two-thirds of the entire Willamette Basin's winter steelhead and a third of its spring Chinook. (Photo by Tyler Roemer)

In 2011, Western Rivers Conservancy embarked on a long-term effort to purchase and conserve the finest remaining intact riverlands along the North Santiam. To date, WRC has conserved 338 acres, including over two miles of main-stem and side-channel frontage. (Photo by Steve Terrill)

A steelhead angler fishes through a run on the North Santiam as the sun rises behind a stand of cottonwoods. (Photo by Tyler Roemer)

Current conservation lands include over 20 acres of wetlands, seven side channels and sloughs, and portions of Dieckman Creek, an important side-channel habitat for salmon and steelhead. WRC is working to purchase additional lands along the North Santiam to protect more of this great river. (Photo by Peter Marbach)

Dieckman Creek, actually a side channel of the main-stem Santiam, provides important spawning and rearing habitat for salmon and steelhead. (Photo by Peter Marbach)

In 2013, WRC conveyed the 338-acre Gray Farm to the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, which will act as the property's long-term conservation steward. (Photo by Peter Marbach)

A fly angler enjoys a beautiful morning on the North Santiam. WRC's conservation efforts will improve fish habitat and open access to areas of the river that were formerly off limits. (Photo by Tyler Roemer)

A blacktail deer above the North Santiam River. (Photo by Steve Terrill)

Oregon chub, which teetered on the brink of extinction, inhabit side-channel habitat along the North Santiam River. This tiny fish is native to the Willamette River basin and was only recently removed from the Endangered Species Act list. (Photo by Peter Marbach)