The river is host to fish, including trout, grayling, perch, chub, roach and dace. It held good populations of native crayfish until at least the 1980s. River waters were used in cloth and woollen blanket making in Witney from mid 17th century. In 2007, the Windrush was one of many rivers in the area to flood. Towns and villages along the entire length of the river were affected, but particular problems were caused in Witney, which was cut in half by the closure of the only bridge across the river.