Some Things Never Change

Bulletin 4.28.59

Here’s an editorial from 1959, written by the editor of The Bulletin, discussing why a new irrigation dam should not be built on the upper Deschutes at Benham Falls.  The arguments about water for agriculture versus other uses have not changed in 60 years.  Mr. Chandler states that ag wastes too much water and is not as valuable as other economic uses.  Same as it ever was.

 

Opal Springs Fish Ladder Operational!

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The fish ladder is under the walkway, the spillway for downstream migration is to the right.

For over 20 years a wide range of companies, organizations, agencies, and individuals have been working on the reintroduction of steelhead and salmon into the upper Deschutes Basin above Lake Billy Chinook.  This includes the middle Deschutes, the Crooked River, the Metolius Rivers, and their tributaries.

To the surprise of fish biologists who had anticipated that Whychus Creek and the Metolius Rivers would be the primary destinations, the great majority of the returning steelhead and Chinook salmon have attempted to head up the Crooked River to spawn.  The overwhelming preference for the Crooked has been the case every year there have been anadromous fish returns.  Unfortunately, until last week a dam at the bottom of the Crooked River had largely blocked upstream passage for these returning anadromous fish. Read More »

Good News, Bad News

The Blob 11.7.19A rare but welcome bit of good news is the hot water “Blob” off the Pacific NW coast has shrunk in size and moved off shore.  “Low salmon returns to many West Coast rivers in the last few years have been linked to the Blob, which reduced the availability of food when the salmon first entered the ocean as juveniles.”  The Blog is still huge, however.  “The question is, where does it go from here?”

But, are we simply rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic?  Another scientific report was recently released stating that we are currently in a “climate emergency”.Read More »

A Great Read on the HCP

Alfafa-and-irrigation-sprinkers-near-Bend-OR-George-Wuerthner-4150-768x512

George Wuerthner has published another great article on the environment, this time on the Habitat Conservation Plan.  It’s a worthwhile read.

Why are irrigators legally permitted to degrade our river? Every year tens of thousands of fish are killed in the Deschutes River due to Ag water withdrawal, not to mention the overall degradation of the river ecosystem from sedimentation, channel widening, and radical changes in flow regimes. If a fisherman or fisherwoman were to keep one or two extra fish over the daily limit, they would be fined for “poaching,” but if irrigators kill tens of thousands of fish and destroy the river channel, they suffer no legal consequences.

Klamath Lake Land Trust

Wood River 11.2.19

I like to spend as much time as possible in the Klamath Basin, it has incredible fishing and relatively low pressure.  Above is a photo of the Wood River I took yesterday during a hike in the Wood River Wetlands, it was beautiful as always.  Below is a photo of my friend Matt with a 26 inch trout he caught when we were fishing there last August.

Matt 26in 8.23.19

I spent yesterday evening at the Klamath Lake Land Trust’s annual dinner and fund raiser.  The KLLT is a small, woefully underfunded group working to preserve places on the Sycan and Sprague rivers where steelhead and salmon may spawn once the impassable dams on the Klamath are removed in 2022.  I was glad to see a number of Klamath residents open their wallets for this worthy goal.

The spectacular fishing in this part of the state may soon be even better.