One Mirror Pond option could mean faster river
Project leaders say dam removal would water speed a bit
As the temperatures continue to rise in Bend, so does activity on parts of the Deschutes River, with people floating and boating to beat the heat.
On Sunday, Drake Park was filled with people splashing, tubing the river and stand-up paddle-boarding.
But recreation in Mirror Pond could look a little different in the future.
The Mirror Pond project, spearheaded by Bend Parks and Rec, has laid out four potential options for the pond. One option includes removing the Pacific Power hydro dam and allowing the river to become narrower and go back to a more natural state.
Mirror Pond Project Manager Jim Figurski said that wouldl mean a slightly faster channel.
Figurski described the pace of the flow as going from a 'slow walk' to a 'walk' if the dam is removed.
He said this option would allow for more fish in the river, but a faster river could also mean a quicker float downriver.
"You're not going to be trying to stand-up paddle board through whitewater or rapids," Figurski said. "There might be small riffles in it, a lot of it will just depend on the bottom configuration. But the gradient, or slope on the river is pretty mild."
He said this portion of the river could become more difficult for beginners in rafting or stand0up paddle-boarding, but he said the water speed will still be relatively slow.
Other options for Mirror Pond involve either leaving the pond alone, dredging to remove all of the silt buildup, or doing a partial dredging.
However, Pacific Power could pull out its dam in the future, no matter which option is picked.
Project leaders want to know which option you like best. A questionnaire is available online at www.mirrorpondbend.com. The survey will be closing on July 12th, On July 16th, the Bend City Council and Park Board plan a joint meeting on Mirror Pond, to review the options and public input on them.
Check part 2 of this story, posted Monday, to hear what some users are saying about the potential of a faster river.
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