The Owens River Watershed drains about 2,604 square miles. Its headwaters feed Big Springs that in turn feeds into the Upper Owens River.
Water also flows into the Upper Owens via exports from the Mono Basin. Fed by numerous tributaries, the river rises in the Eastern Sierra Nevada approximately 20 miles south of Mono Lake and 25 miles east of Yosemite. The Upper Owens flows into Crowley Lake.
The Lower Owens then flows another 110 miles or so into the now dry Owen’s Lake. The Upper and Lower Owens River are iconic fisheries fed by both runoff and springs. The river is host to rainbow and brown trout.
Ensuring adequate flows and water quality standards (necessary to maintain healthy fisheries and associated habitats) and prevention of invasive species are the primary challenges on the Owens River.