Deschutes River Update: Flows will be Increasing for the Spring in the Upper Deschutes

FLOW UPDATE:

As per the existing agreements and requirements, US Fish and Wildlife Service, in coordination with the water managers in Central Oregon, have agreed to changes to this year’s spring increase in flows in the Deschutes River. Due to cooler temperatures and the late season snow, which is currently still covering many of the Oregon spotted frog breeding sites, flows will be increased to 400 cfs by April 1 and held there until April 5. During that period, experts will be on the ground to assess the habitat conditions for breeding. If spotted frogs become active, flows will be increased to 600 cfs. We will revisit the flow regime on or before April 5, as needed. Our goal is to maximize the available habitat for spotted frog breeding while using the water in the Upper Deschutes as efficiently as possible.

 

Water releases out of Wickiup Reservoir will start increasing from 100 cubic feet per second (cfs) to 600 cfs over the next 5 days (March 26th to 31st) to support the Oregon Spotted Frog breeding period. The spotted frog is a fully amphibious species that lives only in the water. This flow increase is a part of a recent settlement agreement in the basin related to preserving frog habitat and populations. Flows in the Upper Deschutes will not decrease until fall.

Irrigation districts will begin diverting water through their canals in Bend between April 1st and 15th,  but flows may be higher than average downstream from Bend and through the town of Tumalo until all of the districts have begun diverting.

The Deschutes River Conservancy is working with basin partners to bring more balance to the seasonal flow fluctuations that challenge the Upper Deschutes in the winter and the Middle Deschutes in the summer. Find out more about the future of water management in the Deschutes Basin.

CORRECTION:

As per the existing agreements and requirements, FWS in coordination with the water managers in Central Oregon have agreed to changes to this year’s spring increase in flows in the Deschutes River. Due to cooler temperatures and the late season snow, which is currently still covering many of the Oregon spotted frog breeding sites, flows will be increased to 400 cfs by April 1 and held there until April 5. During that period, experts will be on the ground to assess the habitat conditions for breeding. If spotted frogs become active, flows will be increased to 600 cfs. We will revisit the flow regime on or before April 5, as needed. Our goal is to maximize the available habitat for spotted frog breeding, while using the water in the Upper Deschutes as efficiently as possible.