As I recently posted, last Monday through early Wednesday the irrigators raised the level of the Middle Deschutes almost 50% from 410 CFS to 600 CFS before dropping it to 250 CFS in about 6.5 hours during the day Wednesday. Today I had to go into Bend so I stopped by Sawyer Park to take a look.
In the photos the river is at 310 CFS. The first photo shows a wide riparian area with the river visible through the trees. There is wet mud in the foreground from when the river was higher just 3 days ago as well as trapped water.
This area was flooded when the river was briefly raised early in the week and then cut off from the river when it was abruptly dropped. I was not wearing my waders so did not venture out to look for trapped fish.
The second photo shows more of the riparian area that is still draining. You get a better view of the river on the right. Per their websites, NUID irrigation season begins on April 8 and COID on April 13. NUID says they took water out on Wednesday to “prime the system”, whatever that means. I really have no idea, the system isn’t “primed” during winter stock runs.
If this year is like past years, the river will soon be dropped below 100 CFS which will completely dewater the riparian areas and side channels and expose parts of the river bottom.