A New Low For The North Umpqua

Because the North Umpqua is not dam-controlled, it is not unusual for it to vary widely in size from season to season.  But nobody could anticipate that the river would reach an all-time low that saw this proud stream reduced to a creek.  But it happened last August.  In fact, the river was so low that the Oregon Dept. of Fish and Game banned fishermen from the stream.  The Dept. felt that the water was too low and too warm.  Now the North Umpqua is known throughout the world for its splendid steelhead fishing, so this was quite a disappointment for many eager fishermen and, especially for Steamboat Lodge, which offers a well-known late fisherman’s dinner.  Normally, the Lodge offered picturesque views of a falls, but the falls disappeared into a pile of boulders. A plethora of fires didn’t help any of the tourist businesses either.  All in all, a strange and sad summer for people who frequent the North Umpqua.

Sign Welcoming You To Steamboat Lodge.

Sign welcoming you to Steamboat Lodge.

Lots of luck floating this rapid. There is a sharp rock in the middle.

Lots of luck floating this rapid. There is a sharp rock in the middle.

Not much of the river left in the ribbon ahead.

Not much of the river left in the ribbon ahead.

Notice how narrow the river is.

Notice how narrow the river is.

Another view of the same rapid.

Another view of the same rapid.