The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission staff is recommending the panel reject a request by Ochoco Irrigation District for a waiver of fish passage requirements for its planned hydroelectric project at Bowman Dam.
Collected and curated media Articles about the water and rivers in the western united states
The Deschutes Land Trust announced Wednesday the acquisition of Priday Ranch, its newest conservation project, on 4,500 acres north of Madras.
What are we supposed to do about water conservation in Central Oregon? The simple answer is that we need to do more. But there’s no end of debate about how to get there.
Sep 30, 2020 - My Central Oregon Daily - Deschutes Land Trust secures Madras ranch land, 10 miles of creeks for conservation
The Deschutes Land Trust announced Wednesday it has secured Priday Ranch, a new 4,500-acre conservation project near Madras.
Restoring Whychus Creek as a healthy waterway has taken many years, multiple funding sources, and teamwork. The removal of the last dam and fish passage barrier will help support reintroduction of Chinook and steelhead, which started in Whychus Creek in 2007. Efforts are helping transform the once-dammed and over-stressed water system into a life-giving, vital flow of clean, hospitable water able to support a diverse habitat.
As water becomes scarce on the High Desert and farms continue to find themselves lacking water, the Ochoco Irrigation District near Prineville has proposed a plan to install 16.8 miles of buried pipe, a high-cost move but one that could conserve significant amounts of water for the Crooked River.
Wildfires are natural; this level of devastation is not. We all breathe the same air, and the relentless hazardous smoke has made it clear that sustainable natural resource management is an urgent — and shared — priority.
Work is underway to remove the Plainview Dam, a barrier that for decades prevented fish from migrating to the farthest reaches of Whychus Creek.
“The Deschutes is probably one of the best places in the West to fly-fish for steelhead,” said Rod French, an Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife biologist based in The Dalles. “Just from the nature of the river, the desert environment, the run timing, and water conditions when fish are present. But you need to be persistent to catch them.”
Sep 18, 2020 - KTVZ - Comments sought on Ochoco Irrigation District plans to pipe 10 miles of canals
PRINEVILLE, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Federal officials released a draft watershed plan and environmental assessment Tuesday on the Ochoco Irrigation District's proposal to pipe more than 10 miles of canals and make other improvements to boost streamflows in McKay Creek and the Crooked River.
Sep 17, 2020 - Bend Bulletin - Sisters looks to develop former ranch land for trails or wastewater projects
Public Works Director Paul Bertagna said expanding the wastewater system onto the 50 acres was necessary as the city continues to grow. The city of about 3,000 residents is expected to increase to more than 5,000 by 2040, according to city data.
The Deschutes River Conservancy and Central Oregon Irrigation District announced plans Wednesday for a new on-farm program that will seek to increase on-farm irrigation efficiencies and conserve water.
Wickiup Reservoir, which stores water for thousands of ranchers and farmers in Central Oregon, has been drained to its bare bottom. As farmers attempt to manage water cutbacks, biologists are also faced with potentially dire circumstances for fish and wildlife in the area.
The Whychus Trailhead off Forest Road 16 south of Sisters will be closed to allow for construction of a project to improve fish passage in the area. The Whychus Trail will remain accessible.
As reported by The Bulletin on Aug. 28th, Lone Pine Irrigation District is the latest local district to run out of water to deliver to their patrons. This is terrible news; no one wants to see farmers losing their livelihoods. Water is a complicated topic in Central Oregon with many factors contributing to the shortage. Unfortunately, rather than addressing the real issues, Terry Smith, chairman of the board for LPID, places the blame on the Endangered Species Act.
To that end, the City has issued a request for proposal for a Lazy Z Master Plan (see sidebar) that will identify and evaluate effluent irrigation options for the portion of the property suitable for that purpose, and evaluate open space park concepts and a highway view corridor for the rest of the property.
Lone Pine Irrigation District, which serves 19 patrons east of Terrebonne, was forced to shut off its water to patrons after depleting its storage and live water flow rights.
Sudden drops in the flow of the Deschutes River have been registered several times this week, causing concern among biologists for the health of fish along the middle stretch of the river.
Farmers in Jefferson County find themselves in an analogous position to other businesses in Bend, Portland and throughout the state. Lack of water for crops, this year and last, has caused them to leave 30% to 40% of their fields unplanted, much like a brick -and -mortar shop closing its doors for months on end.
Aug 19, 2020 - Bend Bulletin - Editorial: Should irrigation districts consolidate into one in the Deschutes Basin?
The Deschutes River can get so low below Bend at some times of year water temperatures shoot up, making it poor wildlife habitat. Upstream of Bend things can get worse. Fish can be left flopping around, stranded in shallow pools. Some irrigation district customers also get plenty of water while others with more junior rights can suffer.