The water level in the Crooked River took a dramatic drop this week after dam operators cranked down the gates at Bowman Dam due to drought conditions that produced historic low levels in Prineville Reservoir.

The reduced flow will make it difficult for fish to survive until more water becomes available in November.

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Michael Kohn has been public lands and environment reporter with The Bulletin since 2019. He enjoys hiking in the hills and forests near Bend with his family and exploring the state of Oregon.

(3) comments


The statement that 10 cfs before the dam was built is misleading. 10 cfs reflected the impact of irrigation prior to the dam. The real natural state of the river, before irrigation began, is higher than 10 cfs.


we should add this to our efforts to try and mitigate Climate Change ,


This is impacting not just fish, but birds, like Herons and Kingfishers, and all of the wildlife that depend on clean water. The river hopefully doesn't fill with deadly algea. Why do we have to do this? Drought is a handy excuse for decades of poor water policies. Water rights from an antiquated era give priority to some golf courses and small acreage owners who do not produce any agricultural products at all. And those that want a tax break grow hay - and for what? Mainly horses. Yes, I love horses too. It's time for legislation and proper appropriation of our water here in Central Oregon.

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