Comments Needed Today on the Deschutes River

As many river runners know, the Deschutes River in Oregon is the only non-allocated first come, first served “common pool” river. The river is broken into 4 segments. Due to the limitations on the numbers of boaters/passes allowed on the Deschutes, from time to time one or more of these four segments may go into what is called "limited entry", which means that there are tighter restrictions on the numbers of people allowed on each section.

If there is no improvement or if the numbers continue to go over the defined limits, than each consecutive year the number of passes available is dropped by 10%.

In the past several years Segments 3 and 4 have been in limited entry due to overuse. Currently there are 4 miles of Segment 3 that the commercial outfitters are taking customers into after running Segment 2. These outfitters generally ONLY utilize segment 2 for their customers.

As a result, when others want to get passes for Segment 3 which then runs into Segment 4 and ends at the mouth of the Columbia River, permits are not available. 

There are a couple of things happening here. One is the outfitters want the boundaries changed on the segments to accommodate their needs. The second is the outfitters have not cut back on their use, believing they are not leaving any kind of impact.

The Pineville Bureau of Reclamation (BLM) Office has admitted they does not know what kind of impact may be happening due to this prolonged overuse, and has initiated an Environmental Assessment to look at the resource impacts in Segment 3.

The BLM is now asking for comments regarding peoples’ experiences on Segment 3 as well as overall concerns with the Lower Segments of the river.

River Runners who may not have floated Segment 3 can still comment.

Here’s what you need to tell the folks at the Pineville BLM Office:

1_ Please tell the BLM to follow the existing Deschutes River Management Plan until the EA is completed.

2_ Please tell the BLM to immediately reduce the number of daily passes in Section 3 due to exceeding the existing limits already identified in the existing river plan set in place to protect the river resources. 

You can comment on this EA through June 6, 2014, by either e-mail: with Segment 3 in your subject lime

Or by regular mail:

Prineville BLM

3050 NE 3rd St.

Prineville, OR 97754

For additional information on this environmental assessment, please see: