South Fork John Day Watershed Council

Advice from a River - Go with the Flow. Immerse yourself in nature. Slow Down and Meander. Go around the obstacles. Be thoughtful of those downstream. Stay Current. The beauty is in the journey. - Ilan Shamir



South Fork of the John Day River Watershed

Located in central Oregon, the South Fork of the John Day River (SFJDR) flows northward from its headwaters in the Ochoco and Aldrich Mountains and enters the mainstem of the John Day River at Dayville, OR.  In its entirety, the South Fork subbasin drains approximately 607 square miles. The length of the mainstem of the South Fork, from its headwaters to it's mouth, is approximately 55 miles.

Upstream fish migration is prevented at river mile 28 by the Izee Falls, a 45 foot tall cascading waterfall. The watershed above Izee Falls is referred to as the Upper South Fork of the John Day River Watershed and below is the Lower South Fork John Day Watershed.

Council's Mission

Maintain and enhance the health of the South Fork John Day River watershed and the long term economic stability of the region, foster a better understanding of the multiple resources, represent broad and diverse geographies and interests, work collaboratively to carry out voluntary watershed restoration activities.

Council Goals

1. Education & Outreach
Promote a sense of awareness and understanding among all watershed users and landowners as to how their land management practices and personal actions can positively or adversely impact the South Fork John Day River watershed.

2. Partnership Development
Foster an atmosphere of cooperation and coordination with all landowners, citizens, organizations, and agencies with responsibilities and interests in the watershed.

3. Water Quality and Water Quantity
Maintain, enhance, or restore water quality suitable for all beneficial uses in watershed streams.

4. Fish and Wildlife Habitat
Maintain, enhance, and restore fish and wildlife habitat throughout the watershed.


150 East Main Street, Suite 102, John Day, Oregon 97845, 541-792-0435