Fifteenmile Creek Watershed is a 373 square mile (238,720 acre) drainage area mostly in northern Wasco County with some headwaters in Hood River County. The City of Dufur, in the center of the watershed, encompasses 730 acres.
Fifteenmile Creek and tributaries: Eightmile, Fivemile, and Ramsey Creeks originate in the Mt. Hood National Forest and flow northeasterly, discharging into the Columbia River just downstream of The Dalles Dam. In the rainshadow of the Cascades, the watershed receives most of its rain in the winter with an occasional summer thunderstorm. Rainfall averages are 27 inches in the west grading to 12 inches in the east. It is home to the eastern-most run of wild winter steelhead in the Columbia Basin. Land use is primarily forestry and recreation in the westernmost 10 miles with dryland wheat and range in the remainder. Agriculture is about 72% of the land base.
The Fifteenmile Watershed Council was formed on March 19, 1997. The Council meets every other month. Meetings, regularly attended by many landowners, agencies, and partners, are focused mainly on managing irrigation needs with fish needs. The spirit of cooperation that exists within the council is extraordinary and one of mutual respect for each other needs. NOAA fisheries, tribes, and Oregon Dept of Fish and Wildlife, have their mandates to protect fish and oversee the health of the creek, US Forest Service where the creek originates and the farmers who have the need to irrigate to raise food crops, have come together to find ways to manage the watershed in order to see that all needs are met.
ODFW Steelhead Monitoring
Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs Lamprey Monitoring
OWRD Groundwater Monitoring
Next meeting date will be announced when regular meetings can resume.