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Upper Deschutes Historic Fishery

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Bend Downtown Library, Brooks Room

601 Northwest Wall Street

Bend, OR 97701

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Upper Deschutes Historic Fishery

Join former Coalition for the Deschutes board member, Craig Lacy, for a presentation about the Upper Deschutes fishery of decades past. Craig was one of the founders of the original Coalition for the Deschutes, and in 2016, he helped launch the new Coalition. He has a degree in fishery science and has worked tirelessly to restore and protect the rivers he loves, including the Deschutes River, Crooked River, and the John Day River.

We'll also hear about the more recent situation on the Upper Deschutes.


Craig Lacy bio

Bend resident Craig Lacy has been an advocate for wild rivers and wild fish for more than four decades. Craig grew up in Albany, California, but summer vacations were spent at a rustic family ranch at the headwaters of the John Day River in northeastern Oregon. These early childhood vacations spawned a passion for rivers that has been a major force throughout his life.

In the early 1980s, Craig worked as a guide for a flyfishing business out of Sisters and then started his own outfitting business — Whitewater and Wild Fish — in 1985, becoming the first full time outfitter out of Bend to do extended trips on the Deschutes. The business grew over the years, with seven guides taking flyfishers throughout the area, including the high cascade lakes, the Deschutes and the John Day.

In 1995, after 11 years of guiding, Craig decided to give his back a rest and work on a degree in fishery science at Oregon State University. He delved into studying all the aspects of healthy streams — not only fish, but entomology, biology and botany. With this degree, Craig began consulting on river issues, working primarily with the Warm Springs Tribes regarding the current Pelton Round Butte Dam relicensing.

In the mid 1980s, Craig served on the board of the original Coalition for the Deschutes. The group worked to successfully stop 16 proposed hydro-electric dams on the Deschutes, all of which would have been within 15 miles of Bend. Craig and company succeeded in getting the Deschutes added to the state scenic waterway list, which not only stopped the hydro projects from going forward but also gained long-standing state protection for the river. It also inspired activists from around the state to seek similar protection for their own beloved rivers.

In 1987, Craig was named “Oregon Flyfisher of the Year” by the Federation of Flyfishers, primarily because of his conservation work.

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Bend Downtown Library, Brooks Room

601 Northwest Wall Street

Bend, OR 97701

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