OAR 736-060-0015
Recreation Flow Requirement Methodology


Recreation flow requirements requested in Department instream water right applications shall be based on the methodology in this section. According to this methodology, the recreation flow is the flow or water level needed to accommodate the predominant recreational use(s) occurring during any given month. The Department shall make this determination using the following procedure:


Each existing type of recreational use shall be identified and fully described. Each type may have separate, discrete, instream flow requirements and seasons of use. Some stream flow dependent uses may occur on the riverbank including, but not limited to, scenic attraction and wildlife viewing, camping, hiking, boating access, and picnicking;


Each type of recreational use shall be described as follows and according to the definitions (OAR 736-060-0010 (Definitions)):


Time period of recreational use;


Stream flow, or range of flows, that support the use depicted by month, or by half-month if appropriate, and quantified in cubic feet per second (cfs), or, if for a lake or other standing water body, in feet above mean sea level or acre feet;


Location(s) of recreational use. Locations may be described in any way that provides sufficient details to identify a common location for the use, including by reference to the Environmental Protection Agency’s stream reach numbering system or other such documented system in wide use;


Experience setting. Reference to the “Recreation Opportunity Spectrum” system of the U.S. Forest Service is helpful, but not mandatory. A discussion of current and planned recreation developments and management programs must be included;


Amount of recreational use. The popularity of a stream, river, lake, or wetland, while not the sole basis for instream water rights requests, must be taken into account. The Department will use its best efforts to obtain quantifiable data on actual recreational use. Professional judgment described in relative terms (i.e., low, moderate, or high) may be used when precise data are not available;


Competing use(s), if any;


Institutional constraints. These may include, but are not limited to:
Recreation use permits;
Fishing regulations;
Dam releases;
Minimum perennial streamflows or other instream water rights;
Court decisions;
Standards contained in OAR 690-077-0045 (WRD);
Acknowledged comprehensive land use plan of local government.


Depict the flows needed by month to accommodate the predominant recreational use(s), and explain how these flows were established.


The following sources may be consulted for information described in subsections (1)(a) and (b) of this rule and for determining recreation flow requirements. Other appropriate sources may be used:


“Recreational Values on Oregon Rivers” prepared for the Northwest Power Planning Council (1987) by State Parks and Recreation Department;


Local, state, and federal managing agency plans, records, and reports;


Professional guide service records (i.e., trip logs, etc.);


River recreation guides and publications;


Professional or expert opinion, i.e., published authors, professional guides, agency staff, etc.;


On-site surveys of recreational users;


Water Resources Department records, basin reports, and water use programs pertinent to recreation flow;


U.S. Geologic Survey and Oregon stream gauge records;


Reports prepared under the National Environmental Policy Act;


“Nationwide River Inventory” prepared by the National Park Service;


“Oregon Outdoor Recreation Plan” (SCORP) prepared by the Department;


Findings and conclusions of other instream recreation flow studies conducted using generally accepted methods where consistent with goals and policies of the Parks and Recreation Department;


Recreation flow assessments conducted by WRD.


In situations where recreation flow data does not exist, the instream flow requirements of ODFW or DEQ, whichever is higher, may satisfy the recreation flow requirement necessary for recreational value and scenic attraction.


Staff gauges or other generally established river level measuring devices shall be used to report recreation flow requirements only when a stream cross section analysis has been conducted which will allow accurate conversion to cfs. Direct measurement shall be used to determine lake water surface elevations above mean sea level necessary to maintain recreational value or scenic attraction.
[Publications: Publications referenced are available from the agency.]

Source: Rule 736-060-0015 — Recreation Flow Requirement Methodology, https://secure.­sos.­state.­or.­us/oard/view.­action?ruleNumber=736-060-0015.

Last Updated

Jun. 8, 2021

Rule 736-060-0015’s source at or​.us