Creek restoration at Whychus Canyon Preserve. Photo: Scott Nelson

Internationally-renowned river scientist to study stream restoration projects on Whychus Creek

Aug 01, 2018 by
Internationally renowned river scientist Dr. Colin Thorne and a team of students from the University of Nottingham in England will conduct research at the Deschutes Land Trusts's Whychus Canyon Preserve.

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The Deschutes Land Trust and Upper Deschutes Watershed Council announced today that internationally renowned river scientist Dr. Colin Thorne will be visiting two large-scale stream restoration projects on Whychus Creek. Dr. Thorne brings a team of students from the University of Nottingham in England to study recent restoration projects on two Deschutes Land Trust Preserves designed to improve fish and wildlife habitat.

The Land Trust and Watershed Council have partnered with restoration specialists from the Deschutes National Forest to restore several miles of Whychus Creek over the last ten years. Dr. Thorne and his team will visit two of these projects: Camp Polk Meadow Preserve, the site of a massive two mile creek and meadow restoration project completed in 2012, and Whychus Canyon Preserve which underwent the first phase of a similar restoration project in 2016. Dr. Thorne’s team will spend ten days collecting and evaluating data on a variety of biological and physical factors associate with stream restoration. The goal is to study restoration techniques and learn more about the condition of Whychus Creek.  

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to learn from Dr. Thorne and his team,” said Ryan Houston, the Upper Deschutes Watershed Council’s executive director. “We are looking forward to enhancing and expanding our collective understanding of the cutting-edge restoration approaches that the Deschutes National Forest has brought to our projects along Whychus Creek.”
“The Land Trust’s long-term goal is to return health and natural function to the lands and waters we protect. It’s not often you get a chance to share your efforts with one of the world’s foremost river restoration scientists,” said Deschutes Land Trust executive director, Brad Chalfant. “We are very pleased to partner with the Watershed Council on this project to bring the best science possible to our collaborative restoration projects.”

Dr. Colin Thorne is a fluvial geomorphologist with an educational background in environmental sciences, civil engineering and physical geography. He has published nine books and over 120 journal papers and book chapters. During a career spanning four decades, has held academic posts at UEA, Colorado State University, the USDA National Sedimentation Laboratory, USACE Waterways Experiment Station, NOAA Fisheries, and the University of Nottingham. He is also a Concurrent Professor at Nanjing University and an Affiliate Professor at Colorado State University.

The Deschutes Land Trust is Central Oregon’s locally-based, nationally-accredited land trust. Since 1995, the Deschutes Land Trust has protected more than 9,052 acres for wildlife, scenic views, and local communities. For more information on the Deschutes Land Trust, contact us at (541) 330-0017 or visit

The Upper Deschutes Watershed Council seeks to protect and restore the Deschutes River and its tributaries through collaborative projects in habitat restoration and community education.  For more information on the Watershed Council, contact us at (541) 382-6103 or visit