While its true that the recent management of the Lower Deschutes has produced higher water temps earlier in the summer and lower water temps earlier in late summer and that has postponed the early returns of summer steelhead in the last few years, the quality of the water coming from the mixing tower seems to be a bigger issue. DRA recently filed suit claiming Clean Water Act violations. It will be interesting to see how this one works out; the Deschutes hasn’t been flowing in a natural state since the time before de-watering at Bend….and that was a LONG time ago.
In the end, what’s good for wild fish is good for us. This issue is unique in that both sides of the issue are claiming to be speaking for the fish—PGE is operating Pelton Dam with the intention of returning wild salmon to the Metolious River and other tributaries, and the DRA is representing a sports fishing industry, which, without fish, would not thrive.
Check them out and stay tuned.