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The Crooked River is a tributary of the Deschutes River in the U.S. state of Oregon. The river properly begins at the confluence of two tributaries, South Fork Crooked River and Beaver Creek. Of the two tributaries, the South Fork Crooked River is the larger and is sometimes considered part of the Crooked River proper. A variant name of the South Fork Crooked River is simply "Crooked River".
The river is part of the Columbia River basin, being a tributary of the Deschutes River, which is tributary to the Columbia River.
The South Fork Crooked River originates in an area called Misery Flat, along the Deschutes County, Lake County and Harney County boundaries, north of Glass Buttes. South Fork's tributaries drain Hampton Buttes to the west and Mackey Butte to the east. The South Fork Crooked River flows north for about 40 miles (64 km), collecting tributaries including Buck Creek and Twelvemile Creek before joining Beaver Creek to form the Crooked River proper near Paulina, Oregon in Crook County. From the confluence of the South Fork and Beaver Creek, the Crooked River flows west, collecting the tributary Camp Creek from the south and then the North Fork Crooked River from the north. The North Fork Crooked River arises in Big Summit Prairie on the southern side of the Ochoco Mountains.
Below the North Fork confluence, the Crooked River continues flowing west, between the Ochoco Mountains to the north and the Maury Mountains to the south. The river passes Post, Oregon, the geographic center of the state. Then the river flows into Prineville Reservoir, created by Bowman Dam (also called Prineville Dam) on the Crooked River. Below the dam, the river bends northward to Prineville, Oregon, where it is joined by Ochoco Creek from the northeast. Like the North Fork, Ochoco Creek drains the Ochoco Mountains. After Prineville, the Crooked River flows northwest, collecting McKay Creek and several other minor tributaries before emptying into Lake Billy Chinook, an impoundment of the Deschutes River created by Round Butte Dam. The dam also impounds the lower reach of the Crooked River.
Some of the Crooked River's drainage basin lies within Ochoco National Forest and Crooked River National Grassland. A portion of the Crooked River near the Crooked River National Grassland is designated a National Wild and Scenic River. Most of the North Fork Crooked River is also designated a National Wild and Scenic River. The Crooked River and its tributaries were once a major spawning ground for anadromous fish such as spring Chinook Salmon, Steelhead trout, and Pacific lamprey. Non-migratory fish such as Redband trout and Bull trout, as well as various non-game fish were also abundant. Fish populations began to drop in the early 1800s due to irrigation withdrawals.
Redband trout are the only native game fish left in the Crooked River basin. There are efforts currently underway to reestablish fish passage at the dam. Some hatchery fish have been introduced in an attempt to mitigate the losses.