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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As Central Oregonians know, the City of Bend is expanding and incorporating land into its urban growth boundary, land that may have irrigation water rights. This land will primarily be used for housing or commercial purposes and, with perhaps the exception of the Park District, will no longer need irrigation water. Water from one of the three existing municipal water systems will be used instead. Unfortunately, the irrigators are not returning the now unneeded water back to the Deschutes. Read More »
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 »
One of the most important issues for local anglers and river lovers is the dismal state of the upper Deschutes River (above Bend). This is a complex topic that I will cover in depth over time, but for those of you who have some familiarity with it, my Upper Deschutes Backgrounder could be of interest.