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Friday, July 17, 2015

Drought Desparaged Columbia Basin- Deschutes River July 2015

The lower Deschutes River continues to see a cooling trend with cooler weather in Central Oregon.   Water released from Pelton Dam near Madras, Oregon is much cooler than during the deadly heatwave we saw in the last several weeks.  Wild salmon and steelhead are now breathing a sigh of releif and are flooding into the lower Deschutes for rest in the cooler waters.  The Columbia river is still at near leathal temperatures creating a strong vacuum-like pull for these fish to enter the lower Deschutes River.

This is good news for the Deschutes River fishery.  With the selective water with-drawl system in place at the dam on the Deschutes near the 100 mile mark PGE (who manages the complex) should take note of how adjusting their mix to the cooler water deep in the reservior has possibly saved untold wild fish in the Deschutes and Columbia basin.

Note the difference in water temperature from the Deschutes compared to the Columbia River.
The Columbia River Water Temps near the mouth of the Deschutes

The Lower Deschutes River water Temp near the Columbia

Deschutes River water Temp near the Dam

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