Crazy Flow Changes Between Wickiup and Billy Chinook

Deschutes River - Maupin, OR

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Fly and Field Outfitters

by Fly and Field Outfitters

The Middle Deschutes River

We’ve seen some crazy flow changes on the Deschutes River between Wickiup and Billy Chinook. That’s not too unusual this time of the year. We’ve seen flows double from Benham Falls down through Bend. That’s pretty normal as irrigation season begins. Seeing the flows below Bend go under 100cfs, now that’s unusual. On April 16th we saw 67cfs on that gauge. That is really bad news. This morning (4/27/20) they are holding at 85cfs. This is simply not enough water. There will be a fish kill downriver. The invertebrates will be destroyed throughout large sections of the river. Trout habitat is suffering right now, right when the Redbands are spawning. Not a good scenario. Until these flows come back up above 100cfs, avoid fishing immediately downriver from town. Way downriver, closer to Billy Chinook, springs help the flow and there is enough water for the fish, but from Bend, down to at least Steelhead Falls should be left alone in these low flows. We will revise this report as soon as we see more water in the river.

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