Trout Creek (Deschutes River)

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Trout Creek
Country United States
State Oregon
Counties Crook, Jefferson, and Wasco
Source Ochoco Mountains
 - location northeast of Prineville, Crook County, Oregon
 - elevation 5,593 ft (1,705 m) [1]
 - coordinates 44°30′42″N 120°33′20″W / 44.51167°N 120.55556°W / 44.51167; -120.55556 [2]
Mouth Deschutes River
 - location at the Jefferson/Wasco county line, Oregon
 - elevation 1,283 ft (391 m) [2]
 - coordinates 44°49′17″N 121°05′19″W / 44.82139°N 121.08861°W / 44.82139; -121.08861Coordinates: 44°49′17″N 121°05′19″W / 44.82139°N 121.08861°W / 44.82139; -121.08861 [2]
Length 51 mi (82 km) [3]
Basin 692 sq mi (1,792 km2) [4]
Location of the mouth of Trout Creek in Oregon
Trout Creek Watershed.png
The Trout Creek watershed

Trout Creek is a 51-mile (82 km) long tributary of the Deschutes River in the U.S. state of Oregon. It drains approximately 692 square miles (1,792 km2) of Crook, Jefferson, and Wasco counties. Arising in the Ochoco Mountains, it flows north and then west to its confluence with the Deschutes River.


Trout Creek's headwaters are in the western Ochoco Mountains, northeast of Prineville. It flows north, gathering minor tributaries such as Auger Creek and Amity Creek. The creek turns northwest and then west near the ghost town of Ashwood, straddling the Jefferson/Wasco county line. It receives Antelope Creek on the right bank. Highway 97 crosses the creek near Willowdale. Several miles downstream, Trout Creek receives Hay and Mud Springs creeks on the left bank.[5] It then flows into the Deschutes River 87 miles (140 km) above its confluence with the Columbia River.[4]


Trout Creek drains 692 square miles (1,792 km2) of central Oregon.[4] Elevations range from 5,940 feet (1,810 m) near the creek's headwaters to 1,283 feet (391 m) at its mouth.[2][4] The average precipitation in the watershed ranges from 8 to 10 inches (203 to 254 mm) in the lower regions to 28 inches (711 mm) in the mountains. Eighty-eight percent of the watershed is privately owned, while the remaining twelve percent is owned by the United States Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and United States Department of Agriculture. Eighty-six percent is rangeland, twelve percent is forested, two percent is used for agriculture, and less than one percent is urban or rural.[4]


Humans first arrived in the Trout Creek area around 10,000 years ago. A pit-house discovered near Willowdale dates back at least 5,000 years. The first European Americans to arrive in the area were fur traders in the 1820s, including a group led by Peter Skene Ogden. The first settlers arrived in the 1860s. In 1896 and 1897, gold and silver were discovered. The Ashwood post office opened in 1898, and it quickly expanded as silver and cinnabar mines operated in the area. Many homesteaders arrived in the area in the early 1910s, and cinnabar production peaked in the 1960s. After major floods in 1964, the United States Army Corps of Engineers straightened portions of Trout Creek, creating berms that have obstructed some of the creek's smaller tributaries.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Source elevation derived from Google Earth search using GNIS source coordinates.
  2. ^ a b c d "Trout Creek". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. November 28, 1980. Retrieved September 13, 2010. 
  3. ^ "National Hydrography Dataset". United States Geological Survey. Retrieved September 13, 2010. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Trout Creek Watershed Assessment" (PDF). Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. August 2002. Retrieved September 13, 2010. 
  5. ^ Oregon Road and Recreation Atlas (Map) (4th ed.). 1:225,000. Benchmark Maps. 2010. pp. 50–51. ISBN 978-0-929591-62-9. OCLC 466904230. 

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