Bad News for the Upper Deschutes

One of the most important issues for anglers and river lovers in the Deschutes Basin is restoring flows in the upper Deschutes River.  This is a complex topic where I will spend significant time posting with explanations and analysis, but last week the eight Central Oregon irrigation districts and the City of Prineville presented the outline of their proposed Habitat Conservation Plan for the upper Deschutes Basin.  There were a few reasonable ideas presented but overall it was bad news for the upper Deschutes.  Read More »

Wickiup Reservoir Kokanee

In response to the Oregon Spotted Frog being listed as an endangered species, more water is being released into the upper Deschutes in the winter in order to provide improved overwintering habitat.  At the same time, levels in Crane Prairie Reservoir are being more stably managed for consistent habitat.  As a result, levels in Wickiup Reservoir should see larger draw downs in the winter which in turn will likely negatively impact its fish population.  As a result, ODFW is changing the regulations for Wickiup to reduce the number of kokanee that may be harvested.Read More »

Opal Springs Fish Ladder Final Funding

After years of effort the final funding for a volitional fish ladder at Opal Springs Dam was obtained earlier this month.  There are some regulatory hurdles remaining but construction should begin in the spring and be complete within two years.  Opal Springs is a small hydroelectric facility owned by Deschutes Valley Water District about a quarter mile up the Crooked River from where it enters Lake Billy Chinook.  Downstream fish passage has been available, mostly through the turbines, but not upstream passage.Read More »