Two Good Reads

As I say in the “About” section of this blog, I believe that WaterWatch is the most important water conservation organization in Oregon.  They have done amazing work to restore flows, breach dams, and protect groundwater.  Their latest newsletter is well worth reading.  The Osprey is an excellent, research-based publication for anyone interested in anadromous fish in the Pacific Northwest and beyond.  The September issue is filled with great data, including the statement that the full cost of every hatchery steelhead returning to the Columbia Basin is on the order of $1,000, while degrading the opportunity for wild fish to recover.  I have read this issue a couple of times now and underlined much of it.

Middle Deschutes Mismanagement

Today the US Fish & Wildlife Service held a public update meeting on the Habitat Conservation Plan status.  I’ve written extensively on the HCP in this blog but, briefly, it is an application by Central Oregon irrigation districts and the City of Prineville to continue to withdraw water from local rivers while incidentally “taking” (killing) endangered species like bull trout, steelhead, and the Oregon Spotted Frog.  The meeting had a wealth of information but the shocker for me was an admission by the irrigation districts that they have been badly mismanaging flows in the middle Deschutes.Read More »

How will climate change affect local rivers?

Today the Bend Bulletin ran a story on climate change’s impact to local rivers and I was one of the people quoted.  I am always frustrated with the experience of spending time discussing an issue in depth and seeing cursory coverage as a result.  I respect work the reporter does for the paper and understand that space is limited but there is so much more to say.  Oh well. The good news is the article does capture the big picture and hopefully adds to the general awareness of global warming’s current local impact, not sometime in the future.  That being said, I do have one quibble with the story.Read More »

Irrigators Kill the Deschutes Again

Here’s the latest graph of flows in the middle Deschutes below North Dam in Bend near the Riverhouse. On November 26 the river got down to 63.8 cfs. On a relative basis, that’s worse than 20 cfs in the upper Deschutes below Wickiup.  Years of discussion and “cooperation” at the Basin Study Work Group between the irrigators, government agencies, and various other groups has made no improvement in how the river is managed.  For the second time this year the irrigators have killed the middle Deschutes (visit the prior post for a more detailed discussion of this topic).

Capture

 

Bend Bulletin Article on Crooked River Flows

A reporter at the Bend Bulletin saw my post on the potential for a fish kill on the Crooked River this winter and wrote this article.  If you’ve ever been quoted for an article you know how it can be a frustrating experience.  So it almost goes without saying that I would have written the story differently but I think the reporter did a good job overall of capturing the big picture of what is currently happening on the Crooked River and the challenges it faces this winter.

 

 

Steelhead Returns and a Climate Change Denying Environmental Group

D Steel 10.31.18

October through the end of the year is one of my favorite times to fish the lower Deschutes River.  The crowds are gone and the trout are still there.  On Halloween a friend and I had a good day.  One of the trout I landed measured at just under 18”.  The bonus was this hatchery steelhead which was a thrill to land using trout gear.  Nevertheless, the outlook for wild Deschutes steelhead remains bleak.Read More »