Wood River (Oregon)

Wood River (Oregon)

Infobox River
river_name = Wood River


caption = Kayaking on Wood River
origin = Crater Lake watershed
length_mi = 18
mouth = Agency Lake
mouth_elevation_ft = 4144
elevation_ft = 4211
discharge_cuft/s =
watershed_sqmi =220

The Wood River is a short river in the southern region of the U.S. state of Oregon, and part of the Klamath Basin drainage. It flows convert|18|mi|km through the Fremont-Winema National Forests, Bureau of Land Management land, and private property in southern Oregon. Its watershed consists of convert|220|mi2|km2 of conifer forest, rural pasture land, and marsh. The river provides habitat for many species of wildlife including native redband trout.

Course

The Wood River flows through Klamath County, Oregon. The Wood River headwaters emanate from a large natural spring located in Jackson F. Kimball State Recreation Site. The aquifer that feeds the spring is believed to originate twenty miles (32 km) to the northwest in the east side drainage of Crater Lake National Park. The Wood River meanders through pine forest and agricultural land for convert|18|mi|km before flowing into Agency Lake. cite web
url = http://www.odf.state.or.us/DIVISIONS/management/state_forests/sfplan/eorfmp95-final/3_1_half.pdf
title = Section III, Resource Description
format = pdf
author = James E. Brown, Oregon State Forester
coauthors = Roy Woo, Klamath-Lake District Forester
work = Eastern Oregon Region Long-Range Forest Management Plan
publisher = Oregon Department of Forestry
date = May 1995
accessdate = 2008-06-09
]

The Wood River’s largest tributary is Anne Creek which originates inside the boundary of Crater Lake National Park, and is fed by the park’s snowpack as well as groundwater from natural springs. After leaving the park, Anne Creek passes through the Fremont-Winema National Forests and then runs along the western border of Sun Pass State Forest for about a mile. It then crosses private pasture land and is joined by Sun Creek before joining the Wood River, about a mile south of Kimball State Recreation Site.

From there, the Wood runs south through the Fremont-Winema National Forests and private pasture land before Fort Creek joins the flow. Below Fort Creek, the river flows through private pasture land and then opens into a wide marsh. Much of the original marsh is now pasture land. Water from the river is diverted into a system of canals to irrigate grazing land in the surrounding valley. Finally, Crooked Creek joins the Wood approximately one mile before it empties into Agency Lake, which is connected to Upper Klamath Lake.

Watershed

The Wood River watershed drains convert|220|mi2|km2 forest land in the Cascade Mountains southeast of Crater Lake and the Wood River Valley. The drainage around its headwaters is forest county dominated by ponderosa pine and lodgepole pine with some quaking aspen in meadow lands. Anne Creek drains steep alpine forest country. From near its headwaters to the border of Crater Lake National Park, the creek has cut a deep canyon through the forest that is a well know feature within the park. After leaving the park, Anne Creek flows into flat meadow lands on the western border of Sun Pass State Forest. Anne creek also feeds several irrigation canals including Scott Ditch, Shattuck Ditch, Loosely-Streeter-Cardwell Ditch, and Copeland Lateral Ditch. Excess flow from these canals is returned to Annie Creek and the Wood River. The lower Wood River flows through pasture land and ultimately opens into a large marsh before draining into Agency Lake. [http://www.oregonstateparks.org/park_229.php "Jackson F. Kimball State Recreation Site"] , Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, Oregon.gov, 21 May 2008.] [ [http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/technical/nri/ceap/special.html "Wood River Watershed, Oregon 2006-2008"] , Watershed Fact Sheet, Natural Resources Conservation Service, United States Department of Agriculture, July 2006.]

History

In 1863, the United States Army established Fort Klamath near the Wood River in south central Oregon. Soldiers constructed a sawmill on Fort Creek, and use the lumber it produced to build officers’ quarters, troop barracks, a guardhouse and arsenal, a small hospital, a bakery, stables, and other necessary structures. To the north of the post, the army planted convert|3000|acre|km2 of hay to supply fodder for it horses and mules. The fort was abandoned in 1889. None of the original buildings remain today. [Brown, Jame E. (Oregon State Forester) and Roy Woo (Klamath-Lake District Forester), [http://www.odf.state.or.us/DIVISIONS/management/state_forests/sfplan/eorfmp95-final/1_back.pdf “Section I, Background and Planning Process”] , Eastern Oregon Region Long-Range Forest Management Plan Oregon Department of Forestry, Salem, Oregon, May 1995.]

River habitat

The Wood River habitat supports Brook, brown, and rainbow trout. These species are widely distributed throughout the river system from the headwaters to Agency Lake. Bull trout are native to upper Sun Creek inside Crater Lake National Park. In addition, Bureau of Land Management biologist have found native redband trout in the Wood River between the Kimball State Recreation Site and the confluence of Annie Creek. [ [http://www.oregon.gov/OWEB/MONITOR/docs/mr_WRW_2003-05.pdf "Wood River Wetland Monitoring Report 2003-2005"] , Klamath resource Area, Bureau of Land Management, United States Department of Interior, Klamath Falls, Oregon, 2005.]

Annie Creek and Sun Creek are extremely important because of the relative rarity of water and riparian habitat in the area. Both creeks are classified as a large, fish-bearing stream under provisions of Oregon Forest Practices Act. This reserves sufficient stream flow to support aquatic life, but does not override the most senior water rights.

In addition to the fish habitat, the Wood River Valley supports a diverse population of nesting ducks, shorebirds, and migratory songbirds. These include wood ducks, mallards, cinnamon teal, Canadian geese, mergansers, American coots, common snipes, mourning doves, killdeer, great egrets, meadowlarks, and yellow warblers. The area also supports nesting populations of bald eagles, ospreys, and northern harriers. [http://www.blm.gov/or/resources/recreation/files/brochures/Wood%20River%20Wetland.pdf "Wood River Wetland"] , Lakeview District, Bureau of Land Management, United States Department of Interior, Lakeview, Oregon, 7 June 2008.]

The waterway provides habitat for river wildlife including beaver, river otter, and muskrats. The river also supports non-aquatic animals. Common animals in the Wood River area include raccoons, gray squirrels, martins, mink, red fox, gray fox, mule deer, bob cats, and black bear. Domestic beef cattle are common in the Wood River Valley.

In September 1992, Congress appropriated funds for the Bureau of Land Management to purchase convert|3200|acre|km2 of natural wetland along the north end of Agency Lake at the mouth of the Wood River. This wetland area was converted to pasture land in the 1950s and 1960s. The land purchase was completed in 1994. Since acquiring the Wood River property, the Bureau of Land Management has successfully restored the wetland area and adjacent Wood River channel to a more natural state. The channel restoration project was completed in the 2001. The new channel meander through the marsh. This meandering flow has increase in the length of the Wood River by over one half mile. Overall, this project has improved water quality and created better habitat for fish, birds, and wildlife. [ [http://www.oregon.gov/OWEB/MONITOR/docs/mr_WRW_2003-05.pdf "Wood River Wetland Monitoring Report 2003-2005"] , Klamath Resource Area, Bureau of Land Management, United States Department of Interior, Klamath Falls, Oregon, 2005.]

Recreation

There are several recreation sites along the Wood River. Jackson F. Kimball State Recreation Site has a day-use picnic area and ten campsites. Visitors to the park can also enjoy water activities like fishing, canoeing, and kayaking. A short trail connects the main campground to the Wood River’s headwaters spring. The park is located just off of Highway 232, approximately convert|20|mi|km southeast of Crater Lake National Park, and convert|40|mi|km northwest of Klamath Falls, Oregon.

The Fremont-Winema National Forest maintains a day-use site along the Wood River. The Forest Service site provides access to hiking trails and shoreline fishing. It also has picnic tables and restrooms, but visitor must bring their own drinking water. The site is located convert|33|mi|km|sing=on north of Klamath Falls on Sun Pass Road, a mile off Highway 62 (also know as Crater Lake Highway). [ [http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/frewin/recreation/winema/picnicking/wood.shtml "Wood River Day Use Area"] , Fremont-Winema National Forest, Unites States Department of Agriculture, Lakeview, Oregon, 2 May 2005.]

At the mouth of the Wood River, the Bureau of Land Management maintains the convert|3200|acre|km2|sing=on Wood River Wetland area. The Wood River Wetland is open year-round for day-use activities including fishing, canoeing, kayaking, bird and wildlife watching, and waterfowl hunting in season. Facilities include a paved parking area, restrooms, picnic areas, nature trails, a canoe launch, and interpretive signs; however, there is no drinking water at the site. Motorized vehicles are not allowed beyond the parking area. During hunting season, the Wood River Wetland opens two hours before sunrise and closes a half hour after sunset. The entrance to the Wood River Wetland is just off Modoc Point Road, convert|26|mi|km|sing=on north of Klamath Falls.

Wood River offers excellent fishing that can be accessed from the shore or by canoe or kayak. Brook, brown, and rainbow trout are found in the Wood River and its tributaries. A population of native Redband trout lives in the upper Wood River between Kimball state park and the confluence of Anne Creek.

References

External links

* [http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/frewin/ Fremont-Winema National Forest]
* [http://www.oregonstateparks.org/park_229.php Jackson F. Kimball State Recreation Site]
* [http://www.oregon.gov/OPRD/PARKS/ Oregon Parks and Recreation Department]


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