North Umpqua River

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Coordinates: 43°16′05″N 123°26′45″W / 43.26806°N 123.44583°W / 43.26806; -123.44583
North Umpqua River
Deadline Falls.jpg
Deadline Falls on the North Umpqua River
Country United States
State Oregon
County Douglas
Source Maidu Lake
 - location Cascade Range
 - elevation 5,994 ft (1,827 m) [1]
 - coordinates 45°15′24″N 122°00′03″W / 45.25667°N 122.00083°W / 45.25667; -122.00083 [2]
Mouth Confluence of the North Umpqua and South Umpqua rivers
 - location near Roseburg
 - elevation 361 ft (110 m) [2]
 - coordinates 43°16′05″N 123°26′45″W / 43.26806°N 123.44583°W / 43.26806; -123.44583 [2]
Length 110 mi (177 km) [3]
Basin 1,373 sq mi (3,556 km2) [4]
Discharge for Winchester
 - average 3,687 cu ft/s (104 m3/s) [5]
 - max 150,000 cu ft/s (4,248 m3/s)
 - min 235 cu ft/s (7 m3/s)
Location of the mouth of the North Umpqua River in Oregon
Wikimedia Commons: North Umpqua River

The North Umpqua River is a tributary of the Umpqua River, about 110 miles (177 km) long, in southwestern Oregon in the United States. It drains a scenic and rugged area of the Cascade Range southeast of Eugene, flowing through steep canyons and surrounded by large Douglas-fir forests. Renowned for its emerald green waters, it is considered one of the best fly fishing streams in the Pacific Northwest for anadromous fish.

Description[edit]

It rises in the high Cascades, issuing from Maidu Lake at elevation of 5,994 feet (1,827 m) in the Mount Thielsen Wilderness, along the Douglas-Klamath county line approximately 70 miles (113 km) east of Roseburg. It follows a serpentine course down from the Cascades, westward along the southern side of the Calapooya Mountains. Its upper course passes through the Umpqua National Forest, past Toketee Falls and Steamboat, where it receives Steamboat Creek from the north. It receives the Little River from the south at Glide and joins the South Umpqua from the east approximately 5 miles (8 km) northwest of Roseburg to form the Umpqua.

It is impounded in its upper reaches in the Cascades to form Lemolo Lake for hydroelectricity. It is also impounded for hydroelectricity at Soda Springs Dam, forming a small reservoir on the upper river.

The river's reputation as a world-class steelhead stream and its famous emerald waters are a result of the fact the river source is high enough in the Cascades to derive from snowmelt during the entire year. The melting snow is trapped in volcanic soil and pumice and released during the summer months, providing an even cool-temperature flow. During the summer the flow of the river is approximately 20 times that of the nearby South Umpqua. In its lower reaches, the river's flow becomes increasingly erratic, in a manner typical of mountain streams of the region.

The region around the river has long been a timber-producing area. Starting in 1955, the watershed of the river was extensively clear cut, a practice which continued until 1969 when forestry management practices were changed. During this period many tributary streambeds were used as impromptu logging roads. The recovery of the river from these practices has been closely monitored by state and federal agencies.

Recreation[edit]

In 1988 the United States Congress designated 33.8 miles (54.4 km) of the river between the Soda Springs Powerhouse and Rock Creek as wild and scenic under the National Wild and Scenic River program.[6] Angling on this part of the river, frequented by salmon and steelhead, is limited to fly fishing.[7]

On the North Umpqua, rafters and kayakers find whitewater challenges from Class I through IV on the International Scale of River Difficulty from May through the summer months. The North Umpqua Trail, which runs parallel to the river, supports hiking and biking.[7]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Source elevation derived from Google Earth search using GNIS source coordinates.
  2. ^ a b c "North Umpqua River". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. November 28, 1980. Retrieved December 30, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Summary of Environmental Information on the Umpqua River Basin". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved December 30, 2011. 
  4. ^ "North Umpqua – 17100301: 8-Digit Hydrologic Unit Profile" (PDF). National Resources Conservation Service, United States Department of Agriculture. May 2006. Retrieved December 30, 2011. 
  5. ^ "Water-data report 2010: 14319500 North Umpqua River at Winchester, OR" (PDF). United States Geological Survey. Retrieved December 30, 2011. 
  6. ^ "North Umpqua River". Interagency Wild and Scenic Rivers Coordinating Council. Retrieved February 7, 2013. 
  7. ^ a b "North Umpqua Wild and Scenic River". Bureau of Land Management. Retrieved December 31, 2011. 

External links[edit]