Drag Free Drift - Fall RIver Conservation

Emerging from volcanic bedrock, the Fall River has long been a place to escape the bustle of everyday life. Birders, bikers, hikers and trout-chasing anglers flock to the Fall River each year to enjoy its wild nature. And like so many beloved places it is showing signs of abuse. This past summer a group of local river users and Trout Unlimited initiated a grassroots movement to monitor, restore and sustain the unique character of this spring fed stream.


In early summer 2014, this partnership mobilized anglers and other recreationalists in a number of well-attended community forums to delineate conservation goals. What do people love about the Fall? Beautiful old growth forest, undeveloped areas, scenic vistas and fishing topped the list. But people also shared concerns including increased sedimentation from stream bank degradation, catastrophic wildfire, overfishing and the potential for development.


These concerns contributed to a series of action steps. In July, Trout Unlimited hosted a natural history walk to educate locals about the river’s flora, fauna and human history. September began with a pilot aquatic macro-invertebrate study to engage stewards in a study of biological productivity. 


Trout Unlimited staff inventoried forty-five degraded streambank sites for future restoration. The sites exist on United States Forest Service and La Pine State Park lands. They will be featured in a "Problem Site Inventory" to be released winter 2015. 


Developing and following a stewardship plan for the Fall will ensure the river’s special features will be protected and restored. With support from the Embrace-a-Stream grants program, Trout Unlimited and collaborating partners are taking action to restore and sustain the river’s ecological integrity, and the health of its human communities for future generations.