Smith River Gets Boost From State Of Oregon

User BigT67 /

For Northern California anglers who live in or around the Crescent City area, the nearby Smith River is a popular salmon fishery.  The North Fork Smith flows across the border in Oregon, and that state’s Oregon Water Resource Commission has done a solid for the Smith River watershed.

Here’s Cal Trout with more on the plan’s impact to the Smith:

We are excited to share the good news: the pristine flows of the Smith River have earned further protection, as determined recently by the Oregon Water Resources Commission (WRC) to reserve the surface waters of the North Fork Smith River for the specific purpose and support of instream fish, wildlife, recreation, and domestic human consumption, and withdraws them from any further appropriations (i.e., diversions, captures, impounding from its natural course or channel). The Commission also limited groundwater development in the basin. In simple terms, this means that the pure waters of the North Fork Smith River, flowing 28 miles from Southern Oregon into California, are safeguarded into the future.

This added layer of protection for the North Fork of the Smith River is a win for the environment and for us. The Smith River is one of the premier “salmon strongholds” along the Pacific Coast; the North Fork serves as a refuge for threatened Coho Salmon and is an incredible producer of winter steelhead and Cutthroat Trout. It also is a major contributor of clean water to the Smith River downstream, which provides drinking water to much of Del Norte County.

Over the last few years, CalTrout has teamed up with other organizations, notably the Smith River Alliance, working hard to earn protections for the Smith River basin. It’s amazing to share these successes with our partners!