|Wild & Scenic Chetco River (Andy Maser Photo).|
An Oregon Treasure
- World class salmon and steelhead fishery,
- Strikingly clear, blue to emerald green waters, and
- Recreational opportunities, including fishing for large salmon and steelhead trout.
The mining threat to the Wild and Scenic Chetco
Read more about:
- The mining threats to this beautiful river;
- The 1872 Mining Law in the 21st Century;
- What's being done to save the Chetco and how you can help.
|Brooking/Harbor at the mouth of the Chetco River during the Salmon Derby (Barbara Ullian Photo).|
Why the Chetco River is so special and important economically
The Wild and Scenic Chetco is a relative rarity among United States' West Coast rivers—outside of Alaska. It has a high percentage of National Forest land (78%) and Congressionally protected Wilderness (44%) in its watershed, with additional potential Wilderness (21%).
|Chetco in the Kalmiopsis Wilderness. US Forest Service.|
The upper half of the Chetco flows through the rugged, remote canyons of the 179,000-acre Kalmiopsis Wilderness. Emerging from the Wilderness it continues through the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest. The last 10 miles flows through private land to the port of Brookings-Harbor.
The best of America's great outdoors
To get a sense of how beautiful this wild river is, watch Oregon Field Guide’s 11 minute video of a 20 mile kayak trip down the Chetco through the Kalmiopsis, one of the wildest wildernesses in the West (where mining is also proposed). Watch this Oregon Field trip "up" the beautiful Wild and Scenic Chetco River with Tim Palmer, Ann Vileisis and Alan Wilson.
The Chetco River is not only special in its wildest reaches. Angling for its large salmon and steelhead for takes place mostly on the lower river. Here families camp and picnic along its banks. Children wade in crystal clear shallows and teenagers seek its cool depths in the heat of the summer.
|Wild and Scenic Chetco River at Nook Bar and area threatened by mining (Richard Nawa Photo).|
A source of pure water for communities and recreation
The river serves as an exceptionally pure source of water for the communities of Brookings and Harbor. In the winter the Chetco’s salmon and steelhead fishery is an important economic engine for the coastal communities of southern Oregon and northern California.
The Chetco River's corridor supports between 150 and 200 species of wildlife, including the federally protected northern spotted owl and marbled murrelet.
A Wild Salmon and Steelhead Stronghold
In this time of climate change and declining health of our oceans, the Chetco is priceless as a refuge for self sustaining wild salmon, steelhead and cutthroat trout populations. It’s also a refuge for those seeking the solitude of Wilderness or an afternoon’s picnic in the sun with friends and family.
Photo below is Chetco Watershed Council on a dual purpose outing—enjoying the river and cleaning it up.
|Drift boasts on the Chetco. The offers a unique and quality experience because motors are banned.|