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Riparian Environment

The Little Deschutes River meanders for two miles through Vandevert Ranch.  A profusion of old river channels is visible on aerial photos and on Google Earth.  As recent examples, two oxbows shown in a 1979 aerial photo have since been cut off by the river. 

The wetlands and floodplain constitute the wildest and most “natural” part of the ranch.  They are well on the road to recovery from eighty years of cattle grazing (from 1892 to the 1970’s) which collapsed some banks into the river and limited the growth of willows. For a description of the full 92 mile course of the river click here



River with Birdhouse

The river hosts migratory ducks and geese and provides habitat for brown trout, otter, beaver, and a few mink. It provides a great recreational opportunity for owners who canoe or float the ranch.

The Little Deschutes is not listed for any chemical or biological pollutants but the oxygen in the water is less than optimal from miles above the ranch down to where the river joins the "Big" Deschutes. There would be more fish in the river if the oxygen levels were higher. Fortunately there are plenty of big strong rainbow trout in the lake for owners to catch.







Under two grants administered by the Oregon Water Enhancement Board, the ranch has done extensive work to stabilize the river banks and improve fish habitat.  (See report in the appendices)  The work consisted of anchoring live pine trees, harvested from the ranch, horizontally along the banks of the river at or below water level (See photo at right taken when the water level was low.  The water is flowing toward the camera).  The trees prevent erosion and help to direct water toward the center of the river.  Deeper, narrower, and faster currents clear silt from between the small stones on the river floor, creating a better environment for spawning and for the small aquatic animals that are food for fish.


Copyright 2004-2010 The Vandevert Ranch Association Neither the Association nor its members guarantees the accuracy or completeness of information or representations on this Web Site. Buyers should obtain definitive information from their real estate agent.