Impact on the Crooked River

The proposed Deschutes Basin Habitat Conservation Plan includes a section on the Crooked River (see pages 34 to 37).  While I have heard some in the angling and conservation communities speak favorably about the proposal for the Crooked, I am not in agreement.

In summary, my concerns are:

  • There is no scientific justification for the 50 cfs average minimum target during the winter and it is unclear what is meant by “average”.
  • There is no provision for reducing the incidence of gas bubble disease.
  • There is no mention of water quality.
  • It does not address the low flow, high temperature problem that exists below the Wild & Scenic section during irrigation season.

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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 »