Nestucca Wild and Scenic River by BLM Oregon & Washington

Late-winter view of the Nestucca Wild and Scenic River, Mar. 15, 2019, by Greg Shine, BLM.

The Nestucca River, from its confluence with Ginger Creek downstream to a point near the U.S. Forest Service’s Rocky Bend Recreation Site, was one of several stretches of Oregon rivers to receive wild and scenic river designation through the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act passed by Congress and signed into law by President Donald Trump on March 12, 2019.

This 15.5 mile section of the Nestucca River is a key feature of the larger Nestucca River Recreation Area. The Nestucca River Back Country Byway parallels the wild and scenic river and provides access to recreational activities – including 37 campsites and fishing areas– at the Alder Glen, Dovre, Fan Creek and Elk Bend Recreation Sites.

Please note that, beginning in mid to late May 2019, the Nestucca Access Road will be temporarily closed for construction between Elk Creek and Davidson pit (gravel section), mile post 12.76 to 15.44. The road will remain closed until the end of October. Detours will use the Bald Mountain and Bible Creek Access Roads. No public access will be allowed during these time periods. Elk Bend campground will be temporarily closed. Alder Glen campground will remain open, accessed only from the west. Fan Creek and Dovre campgrounds will remain open, accessed only from the east. The Upper Nestucca OHV trail system will also remain open during all time periods.

The Nestucca River originates in the northern Oregon Coast Range and flows 50 miles, draining the western slope of range in Yamhill and Tillamook Counties. The river impounded has been near its headwaters to create McGuire Reservoir, the primary water source for the city of McMinnville. The river flows generally west through BLM and USFS administered land, past the communities of Beaver, Hebo, and Cloverdale before entering Nestucca Bay and draining into the Pacific Ocean.

Congress enacted the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act on October 2, 1968, to address the need for a national system of river protection. The WSR Act stipulated that selected rivers should be preserved in a free flowing condition and be protected for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations. It seeks to protect and enhance a river’s natural and cultural values and to provide for public use consistent with its free flowing character, water quality, and Oustandingly Remarkable Values (ORVs). A WSR designation affords certain legal protection from development. For instance, new dams cannot be constructed, and Federally-assisted water resource development projects that might negatively affect the designated river values are not permitted within the designated segment.

The Nestucca remains one of the most popular recreation fisheries on Oregon’s North Coast, regularly attracting attention and visitors from outside the region. It is one of the top sport fishing rivers in the state for summer and winter steelhead, and cutthroat trout fishing is also better than average. The fishing along this river includes both drift fishing and bank fishing, with both methods attracting large numbers of both local and out-of-region participants. Due to these factors, recreation values along the Nestucca are outstandingly remarkable.

For more information, visit or contact the Northwest Oregon District Office at 503-375-5646.

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