McKenzie River

Coburg Road Quarry

A Coburg rock products company faces more than $20,ooo in fines for letting muddy water run into the McKenzie River.

Wikimedia commons

Eugene’s drinking water is among the best in the nation. That’s according to the Eugene Water and Electric Board’s annual quality report release this week.

  Internationally acclaimed author Barry Lopez has lived along the upper McKenzie River for forty-six years. In a conversation with Eric Alan, he reflects on the river as a teacher and the wisdom it offers, as he celebrates the history and preservation of the river near Finn Rock Logging Camp. Barry Lopez will speak at the annual McKenzie Memories event in Eugene on Friday, April 1st.  


The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is lowering Cougar Reservoir in order to do what it says is urgently needed repair work.

Tim Giraudier / McKenzie River Trust

A former logging camp along the McKenzie River will be preserved in perpetuity. The 154 acres near the town of Blue River was purchased this week by the McKenzie River Trust.

Rachael McDonald

The McKenzie River Trust for years has been working to return the area around the confluence of the McKenzie and Willamette Rivers to a more natural free-flowing waterway.

At Green Island, north of Coburg, the trust is restoring a side channel of the Willamette River where gravel pits had disrupted habitat for salmon and other wildlife.

The project was a partnership with Wildish Company which did the work of reconfiguring the three ponds.


Eugene Water and Electric Board is suing the firm that designed and engineered a roll-gate lifting system on the Leaburg Dam. Two of the three gates have failed.

Leaburg Hatchery

The trout and sturgeon show pond at the Leaburg Hatchery on the McKenzie River will be closed for renovations beginning Monday, July 7.

The construction is expected to take 4 to 6 weeks. The show pond will be off-limits but the rest of the hatchery will remain open to the public.

Hatchery Manager Erik Withalm says they have 70 to 90-thousand visitors each year. The show pond has large rainbow trout and a 9-foot long, 350-pound sturgeon.

Rachael McDonald

The McKenzie River Trust is embarking on a project to turn gravel beds into native fish habitat on its Green Island property north of Eugene. The project brings together two unexpected partners: conservationists and the gravel industry.

The Coburg Aggregate Reclamation Project, or CARP, is at a place along the historic McKenzie River channel where gravel was mined for many years. Now, three ponds are the remnants of that mining operation. Joe Moll is Executive Director of McKenzie River Trust.


For decades, the government has relied on regulations to protect water quality. But what if cities tried something other than simply telling people what they can -- and cannot -- do?

What if cities actually rewarded people for managing their land in ways that keep rivers cool and clean?

Two Oregon cities are trying this approach.

Marilyn Cross lives alongside the McKenzie River. It’s home to salmon and steelhead and the source of drinking water for the downstream city of Eugene.