Paddling the Siletz Bay National Wildlife Refuge - Oregon Coast Visitors Association

Paddling the Siletz Bay National Wildlife Refuge

Posted by OCVA / May 17, 2016


Interested in getting on the water this summer? The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service invites you to explore Siletz Bay National Wildlife Refuge with a series of twelve guided paddle trips from June through August. These roughly two-hour trips will take visitors through the heart of Siletz Bay Refuge, all the while learning about its wildlife and natural history.

The trip is completely free, but participants must provide their own canoe or kayak for each trip.  During the summer, the area of Siletz River nearest the mouth of the bay often has unpredictable winds and waves.  For this reason we do not recommend this paddle trip for beginners; experience is strongly recommended. For your safety, please dress appropriately for paddling in all weather conditions. Wearing a personal flotation device (PFD) is mandatory.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service can provide binoculars, field guides, and PFDs to use during the trip if needed. Trips are limited in size, and scheduled on a first-come first-serve basis; therefore, you must call or e-mail ahead to make a reservation. Please include the amount of boats in your party when making the reservation. Once you are registered, we will send out additional information regarding the trips.  All trips will launch within 15 minutes of the time listed. Visit our website events calendar for updates and space availability.

Siletz Bay is one of numerous estuaries located along the Pacific Coast Scenic Byway. On either side of Highway 101, starched skeleton trees jut forth from the estuary and are reminiscent of a time when the salt marsh was diked for pasture. Osprey, Red-tailed Hawk, and occasionally Bald Eagle can be seen roosting at the top of these snags.  A variety of estuarine-dependent birds including Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, and some species of waterfowl can be seen foraging in the tidally influenced waters. Songbird choruses accompany paddlers throughout their trip, including Purple Martin, Song Sparrow, Marsh and Pacific Wren, Pacific-slope Flycatcher, and Cedar Waxwing.

For 10 years, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has offered interpretive-guided canoe and kayak tours during summer months on the Siletz Bay Refuge. For more information about the paddle route on the Siletz Bay or to make a reservation contact Elena Smith: [email protected], (541) 270-061

Sun. June 12         6-8 PM
Mon. June 27       6-8 PM
Wed. June 29        8-10 AM
Thurs. June 30      9-11 AM

Sun. July 10          5-7 PM
Mon. July 11        6-8 PM
Mon. July 25        5-7 PM
Fri. July 29            9-11 AM

Tues. Aug 9           5-7 PM
Thurs. Aug 25       6-8 PM
Sat. Aug 27           9-11 AM
Sun. Aug 28          9:30-11:30 AM

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit Connect with our Facebook page at

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