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The Rivermile Ranch is located on the John Day River at River Mile 175, two and one-half miles east of the small town of Spray. This productive river property includes approximately 153 acres of bottom land in a rare combination of irrigated hay field and private river frontage. State Highway 19 borders the northern boundary of the Rivermile Ranch and provides excellent year-round access in an area of light traffic. The entire southern boundary is defined by the incredible beauty of the John Day River. The property enjoys a mild climate at an elevation of less than 1,800 feet and averages nearly 14 inches of rainfall per year. With crops in and irrigation equipment installed, the property is now available to develop your own riverfront dream.
The dominant features of the property include the John Day River, the towering highlands and a sensational variety of wildlife inhabiting the area. The John Day River is the second longest free flowing river in the continental United States and begins its 280-mile journey to the Columbia River approximately 100 miles above the ranch. The drainage area of the John Day Basin exceeds 8,000 square miles. There are no releases of sea run hatchery fish in the John Day Basin. Only the wild production of Spring Chinook Salmon and Steelhead Trout is managed in this area. The Salmon angling in the basin has been closed since 1977 to provide adequate spawning escapement. This run is increasing and is the healthiest Chinook run in the State. Other than stray hatchery fish coming up from the Columbia River, Steelhead fishing is the catch and release of wild fish. The River is widely known for its world class Smallmouth Bass fishery. With reports of 4,000 fish per mile, a fisherman’s catch of 100 fish per day is not uncommon, 300 in a day has happened and can include bass exceeding 20 inches long. A constant gathering of wildlife occurs on the river and within the property. Upland bird populations include California Quail, Mountain Quail, Pheasants, Chukars and Doves. The river hosts Waterfowl year-round while Rocky Mountain Elk and Mule Deer feed in the fields and surrounding highlands.
The property includes the right to use water from the John Day River for the irrigation of approximately 124 acres. Water is pumped from the river and delivered by six wheelines and some handline. Detailed information pertaining to water rights can be obtained by contacting the District 21 Watermaster in Condon at (541) 384-2167.
Located in north central Oregon, Wheeler County is the least populated and one of the most beautiful counties in the state. 1,404 people are reported as neighbors in the 1,700 square mile county known as a "Geologic Wonderland" and as the place "Where the Sidewalk Ends and the Old West Begins." Wheeler County is as rugged and uneven as any Oregon county, with the terrain varying widely from deep river canyons edged in rimrock to high timbered mountains covered in pine and fir. Portions of the Ochoco and Umatilla National Forests lie within its boundaries, covering nearly one third of the county. The three units of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument are located all or in part within Wheeler County featuring painted hills and unique geologic formations. The Clarno Unit is world-renowned for its well-preserved, remarkably complete record of fossil plants and animals that spans more than 40 million years.
One of Wheeler County’s three incorporated cities, Spray is a small agricultural community with a post office, two stores, two cafés, two gas stations, a motel, and a few other small businesses. The current population of the town is 160 and has remained relatively constant over the past four decades. The community has a K-12 school with approximately 80 students, a preschool and a dormitory (boarding house) that usually houses 6 exchange students.