Organic matter retention is an integral ecosystem process affecting C and nutrient dynamics and biota in streams. Influences of discharge (Q), reach-scale channel form, and riparian vegetation on coarse particulate organic matter (CPOM) retention were analyzed in 2 headwater streams in northeastern Oregon. Ginkgo biloba leaves were released in coniferous forest reaches and downstream floodplain meadow reaches during spring high flow and summer baseflow. Transitional reaches were also analyzed during summer baseflow. Paper strips, simulating sedge blade retention, were released in meadow reaches during high flow. Mean transport distances (S,) were calculated as the inverse of the longitudinal loss rate (k) of leaves in transport.