Pond mudflats under water

October 15, 2013
Pond mudflats under water

Mirror Pond’s mudflats were under water again Monday as the end of irrigation diversion upstream left more water in the Deschutes River.

The Central Oregon Irrigation District ended its diversion upstream of Mirror Pond on Monday, leaving about 200 cubic feet per second of water in the river, said Kyle Gorman, regional manager for the Oregon Water Resources Department. As of Monday afternoon, the river was flowing at about 500 cubic feet per second through Mirror Pond — higher than it had been over the past week.

A leak in the Newport Avenue Dam earlier this month left Mirror Pond low and the mudflats exposed as the river stayed in its main channel through Bend. PacifiCorp plans to lower the level of the pond dramatically to allow for an inspection of the dam, but that won’t be until next week at the earliest, said Bob Gravely, spokesman for the Portland-based power company that owns the dam.

“Our intention is to do it as soon as we can," he said.

In the meantime, changes in flows upstream of the dam aren’t done yet. Releases from Wickiup Reservoir are winding down to wintertime levels recently, Gorman said. The result will be less water coming down the Deschutes. He said flows through Mirror Pond will likely drop to about 400 to 450 cubic feet per second later this week.

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