Letter to the Editor: Fish passage and Mirror Pond

April 22, 2019
Letter to the Editor: Fish passage and Mirror Pond

There is no question that if the city and park district are considering using public money for dredging Mirror Pond the issue must go to the voters.

One of the options voters should be allowed to consider is whether the project should include fish passage at the dam.

I would not support any proposal that does not include an effort to restore habitat connectivity for redband trout and other species. These trout are adapted for life in the desert. The Deschutes Basin “redsides” are part of the Columbia River redband trout species for which range and abundance have declined substantially. The major threat to these fish are streamflow barriers that create isolated populations.

Across the Northwest a priority is being placed on removing fish passage blockages.

Large dams have gone down on the Sandy, White Salmon and Elwha rivers. Smaller diversion are being eliminated or improved for fish passage.

So what about Bend? Do we want to be a community that says “no” to taking care of the river and its critters? Will we settle for simply digging a new hole for the pond and keeping the old dam as the only fish passage blockage in the Upper Deschutes?

Or do we want to join the rest of the Northwest in taking steps to improve salmonid populations? And therefore do something we, as a community, can be proud of.

Fish passage at the dam will not eliminate Mirror Pond. It will just make it different, and better.

Bill Crampton

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