From the Deschutes River Alliance: Fishing guides on the lower 100 miles of the Deschutes River have observed a number of changes since the Pelton Round Butte Dam started mixing surface and bottom water for release beginning in 2010, and raised concerns about what effect the new water management program may be having on the health of the river ecosystem.
Observed changes include declines in major insect hatches, changes in insect hatch timing, the absence of insect feeding birds such as swallows, changes in fish movement and behavior, increased summer turbidity, and changes in the type and extent of benthic algal growth.
In order to address these concerns, and engage Portland General Electric (PGE) and the appropriate agencies in open discussion about them, local guides and other concerned anglers formed the Deschutes River Alliance (DRA).
The DRA, through meetings with PGE and agency personnel, has completed a monitoring plan for 2014 that includes an assessment of water quality (temperature, DO, pH, conductivity), algal biomass and species composition, and aquatic insect hatch activity.
One of the first steps taken by DRA in 2013 was to more systematically gather guide observations about insect hatch activity. To this end a field data form was created for guides to fill out while on the river. This report describes the results of the guides observations collected from May through October 2013.