Conseration Corner – Update on the Crooked River from WaterWatch

Photo courtesy of BLM

Keeping the Crooked River Flowing

Editor’s Note: This message from WaterWatch Executive Director John DeVoe* was sent recently to Foundation President, John Pyrch. WaterWatch’s Crooked River Proposal was the recipient of a $31,050 grant from the 2019 Keith Hansen Memorial Paddle Raise and Mr. DeVoe has updated us on their work to improve water quality in the Crooked. LKH


I wanted to let you know that today we received letters from the Oregon Water Resources Department finalizing the withdrawal of five applications by the Les Schwab heirs (Waibel family) for proposed new reservoirs in the Upper Crooked drainage in the Deschutes Basin. These reservoirs proposed to store about 14,000 acre feet of water, water that in a more normal water year, would be, in part, available for flow augmentation below Bowman Dam. One of these proposed reservoirs would have backed up water and inundated a portion of the federally designated Wild and Scenic North Fork Crooked River. They all would also have heated up the water and added to water quality problems in the Deschutes Basin.

The Flyfisher Foundation’s support assisted WaterWatch in opposing these applications and, ultimately, in securing this withdrawal of the proposals. While I know the Crooked is facing a number of serious issues, this is a success and a victory made possible in part by the Foundation’s support for the Crooked.

Thanks John.

For rivers,

John DeVoe

*On January 12, 2023, John DeVoe posted an eloquent message to friends and supporters of WaterWatch announcing that he is stepping down from the executive director position after 2 decades leading the organization. John and his team have worked tirelessly and successfully to improve river health throughout our state. John will remain active in WaterWatch as a fundraiser and advisor while Development Director Neil Brandt will assume the executive director position. We wish both John and Neil the best on this transition. LKH