Field Report 2: Warm Winter Packrafting in December Report

It’s been a balmy winter so far here in the high desert Deschutes river basin so I’ve been able to continue monitoring the beaver sites by packraft. The beaver activity seen from a packraft is the absolute best way to observe where beavers may be bank denning and what trees they are browsing. At the Tumalo site, I was surprised to see a potential new bank den at a riverbank where a new home remodel has been on-going. It makes sense the beavers can relax here at night as many other homes have fire pits and regular human and dog activity. The water flows along the Middle Deschutes are just perfect right now and the ripples are lively but not intense. Rocks are submerged. The golden afternoon sunlit is magical. Now through early spring is the best time to get on this stretch of the river before the irrigation water is pulled and the flows make it a boney ride. The only bummer is there has been way more trash discovered this past month. I hope us humans get outside and inside the river- but also pack up their belongings to keep our river beautiful and safe for all river neighbors.

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