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Re: “In Hot Water


This is not the right forum for one of our typical interactions, but I did want to bring attention to the press release from ODFW this morning on this very topic:…

After analyzing the fish they have determined that water temps in the Deschutes had nothing to do with the recent mortalities. These were Columbia fish, not Deschutes fish, who secumbed to the record high temps in the Columbia and resulting bacterial infection.

The entire western US is in the grip of a multiyear dry cycle / drought. Rivers throughout Oregon are at extreme lows with high temps. As a result, ODFW is limiting or closing fishing on a wide scale. They may have to do so on the Deschutes as well.

I truly wish the solution was in the hands of PGE, but the issue is much larger.


0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Yancy on 07/09/2015 at 12:06 PM

Re: “In Hot Water

Hummm... The DRA in their own analysis in various documents (and as Greg McMillan has said in various forums) has confirmed what PGE and ODFW's analysis has shown: by the time the water makes it's way down the river towards anywhere near the mouth of the lower Deschutes the temperature in the river is completely dependent on air temperature. The temperature of the water being released at the bottom of the PRB dam complex in this stretch has no impact.

PGE and the Tribes operate PRB per their FERC operating agreement which calls for them to maintain the river at the temperature that it would be at if the dams were not in place, which is exactly what they are doing. They continue to modify their output regime, but it is only fiddling at the margins.

Let's face it: global warming is real. The past 2 summers have been the warmest on record and this summer could be warmer still. The Columbia is the warmest it has ever been right now as well. We can look for scapegoats but that is not going to cool off our summers and lower the water temps. Asking PGE to counteract the warmest air temperatures on record is an interesting request. As stated in the article, there is only so much cold water at the bottom of the reservoir. As the release protocol calls for, they will start to release it in larger quantities in August when the anadromous fish need it to start their journey upriver to their spawning grounds in earnest. Hopefully, air temps will recede then as well as the days get shorter.

This is an emotional issue for many anglers. As an avid steelhead angler I too am distressed by the water temps and it's impact on a fishery I love, but we need to stick to the best available science. Many of us think dams are bad and should be removed. Current river temps mimic what they would be if that were to happen.

1 like, 4 dislikes
Posted by Yancy on 07/08/2015 at 8:59 PM

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