Native Fish and Wildlife

Native Fish and Wildlife



River Otter

Across Oregon, streams and rivers make life possible for thousands of kinds of native plants, animals and fish. Healthy streams and rivers form essential habitat needed to support Oregon’s native fish and wildlife.

Ribbons of life

Rivers and streams are the arteries of life in Oregon. Oregon rivers support fish and wildlife by providing essentials including:

  • instream habitat
  • food and water sources
  • riparian habitat areas
  • freshwater to our estuaries 

Many of our most treasured native plants also find their homes along Oregon waterways.

Threats to rivers and streams

Dams and water diversions degrade rivers and streams across Oregon. In many places, so much water has been promised to out-of-stream uses that there is not enough left in streams and rivers to support native plants, fish and wildlife.

Fish being rescued out of the Walla Walla River due to irrigation-caused low flows in 2000. Due to the work of WaterWatch and others, more water has been left in the river for fish in recent years.
Copyright Walla Walla Union Bulletin (2000).

Oregon’s rivers and streams also face constant demands for new water from agriculture, cities, resorts, industry and developers. When these users demand more water from our rivers and streams, WaterWatch makes sure that the government agencies that allocate water account for the water needs of native plants, fish and wildlife.

Learn more about WaterWatch’s Programs to protect and restore streamflows in Oregon rivers.

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