Letters to the Editor: Deschutes treated like an irrigation canal

December 26, 2013
Letters to the Editor: Deschutes treated like an irrigation canal

Deschutes treated like an irrigation canal

Much discussion and opinion has been bantered about concerning the Mirror Pond dam.

The bigger issue is the Deschutes River being treated as an irrigation canal.

What once was one of the most flood-proof, even-flowing rivers in the West is now manipulated by man raising and lowering water levels. This has proven damaging to fish populations and had an environmental impact.

The undulating water levels in the Deschutes produces lots of silt that collects behind any barrier, such as the Mirror Pond dam and the Colorado Street dam.

Removing the Mirror Pond dam would merely allow silt to fill up Pioneer Park Pond behind the Steidl Dam. The problem would be shifted but not resolved.

The Mirror Pond dam, with some annual, upkeep is in good enough condition to support the continued existence of the iconic pond — even if it has no use as a power dam.

A reasonable solution for man, fish and wildlife would be to focus on stabilizing year-round water flows in the Deschutes River and to dredge out a main channel in the pond on an annual basis.

Another island or two in Mirror Pond created from the dredgings wouldn’t hurt a thing and would give the waterfowl a safe place to hang out.

Win-win, as they say.

Bill Enyart


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An aerial view of a body of water.