Umpqua River | Oregon Rivers on the Oregon Coast
The Umpqua River is located on the Oregon coast near a town called Reedsport. The river consists of several estuaries, including the North Umpqua River and the South Umpqua River. One of the most beautiful rivers along the Oregon coast, the Umpqua River Oregon appeals to many interests. Famous for sturgeon and salmon fishing, white-water rafting, and its nearby trails and campgrounds, Umpqua River Oregon caters to a wide variety of aquatic and outdoor adventurers.
Umpqua River Fishing
The Umpqua River boasts some of the world’s best fly-fishing, salmon fishing, and sturgeon fishing. Umpqua river fishing is also famous for its small-mouth bass, striped bass, and shad population. Many angling packages and tours are available locally to help visitors find the best fishing spots, best fish running times, and best local secrets for snagging the perfect fish. Umpqua river fishing reports are also available locally. These river fishing reports are often updated daily and detail weather forecasts for optimal fishing, hot fishing spots, and the latest salmon runs. Many places have an Umpqua river map available along with their Umpqua fishing reports. Umpqua river maps can be important guides when planning a fishing expedition to the North Umpqua River. Sections of the North Umpqua River are designated for fly-fishermen only. The Umpqua River fishing experience remains one of the most popular vacations on the Oregon Coast.
Umpqua River Lighthouse
The Umpqua River Lighthouse is located approximately six miles from the town of Reedsport near the ocean and the mouth of the Umpqua River. The Umpqua River Lighthouse is instantly recognizable by its white stucco exterior and unique rotating light. The current Umpqua River Lighthouse is actually the second to grace the shores of the Umpqua River. The first lighthouse was built in 1857 and was built close to the riverbank. After six years, the sandy foundation under the lighthouse completely eroded causing the lighthouse to collapse. No plans were made to rebuild the lighthouse until 1888 when the mouth of the Umpqua River proved to be dangerous. The current Umpqua River Lighthouse was built at a safer distance from the shore on the top of a hundred-foot bluff, and still stands.
Umpqua River Reedsport
Reedsport is a coastal community built on the Umpqua River Estuary. It was established on January 7, 1852 as a camp to house railroad workers. Reedsport was later named for the explorer Alfred Reed, who officially founded the city. Because Reedsport was built on marshy ground, it has suffered through flooding in the past century, including a severe flood in the 1960’s that left much of the town damaged, if not underwater. But the community bounced back, creating a system of dikes to prevent future damage. Reedsport has also suffered economic difficulties due to the decline of the Oregon timber industry. In the last two decades, Umpqua River Reedsport has seen an increase of tourism. Part of this is due to its close proximity to the fishing of the Umpqua River. Another part of the recent surge in tourism is due to the sand dunes that are near Umpqua River Reedsport.
North Umpqua River
The North Umpqua River is a Mecca for anyone who enjoys outdoor activities. Home to numerous campgrounds, RV parks, hiking trails, and white-water rafting excursions, the North Umpqua River is one of the Oregon Coast’s national treasures. In 1988, Congress set aside over thirty-three miles of the river area to be classified as a national recreation site. Congress lists five of the river’s attributes as being outstanding. Congress lists fish, water, recreation, scenery, and cultural resources. The North Umpqua River is also a lure for the rafting and kayaking enthusiasts. Known for its mild water ranging quickly to short intense rapids, the North Umpqua River proves a challenge for even the most experienced rafters. The river is rated from Class I rapids to Class V rapids. The best months to traverse the rapids are May, June, and July. Kayak season begins in the late summer months when the river is calmer. Expeditions usually begin in late July. Along with river fishing reports, the Umpqua National forest also provides water condition reports detailing weather forecasts, flow measurements, and boating conditions.
South Umpqua River
The South Umpqua River empties into its larger tributary, the North Umpqua River. While the North Umpqua River is known primarily for its fishing and its white-water rafting, the South Umpqua River is known more for its commercial use and history. The South Umpqua River Valley was occupied and used by the Hudson Trading Company in the 1820’s. It became a central trading location and a stronghold of the timber industry. Before traders occupied the river valley it was inhabited by an indigenous band of Coquille Indians that included the Upper Umpquas and the Cow Creek Band. The valley was signed over to the US government in 1854.
When the town of Reedsport was first established, the buildings were erected on tall poles, sometimes 3-8 feet high in an effort to combat the inevitable flooding.
For most of its history, Reedsport has struggled with the constant flooding and the damage this flooding has caused. Ironically, the same flooding that plagued the town for over a century later aided the tourism industry. In 1964, Reedsport experienced the worst flooding it had ever seen. The flooding and damage encountered that year led to the construction of dikes surrounding the community. During this flood, the waters reached the fish hatchery and overflowed the fish troughs. Hundreds of thousands of small-mouth bass were introduced into the Umpqua River, and according to Umpqua fishing reports became the most abundant fish in the Umpqua River. Umpqua fishing reports claim that the small-mouth bass have replaced the chub population of the Umpqua River Oregon.
In 1996, the North Umpqua trail was completed. The trail boasts 79 miles of hiking overseeing the North Umpqua River. This project was completed after twenty years of labor. The trail branches off to several smaller trailheads, but is well marked on Umpqua River maps.
In 1988, the Umpqua River Lighthouse beacon was damaged. The city decided to replace the old revolving red light with a more traditional beacon. The public outcry was so great that the city council voted to replace the broken light with an almost exact replica.