Bend’s Mirror Pond Going the Way of the Buffalo


Kicking back after a day of fishing, perhaps you like to enjoy a nice cold Mirror Pond Pale Ale from Deschutes Brewery? Well, your beverage of choice might soon become an ode to the past.

Mirror Pond was created on the Deschutes River in downtown Bend’s Drake Park 102 years ago with the construction of the Newport Avenue Dam. With the dam showing its age, Pacific Power (who owns the structure) and the City of Bend are in a tricky spot.

According to water-right certificate No. 29581, Pacific Power & Light Co. (now PacifiCorp, which owns Pacific Power) has the right only to use the water stored behind the dam for power generation and ice and debris removal. Translation… the dam cannot remain if it ceases to function as a hydroelectric facility.

With a number of designs in the works, the City of Bend is attempting to balance the interests of recreationist, homeowners, river health, and park aesthetics. The Bend Source Weekly has the full story here.


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3 Responses to Bend’s Mirror Pond Going the Way of the Buffalo

  1. David Jensen says:

    I’ll go first, knowing that many will feel differently. For years I have spent many work days in Bend, and enjoyed Mirror Pond’s beauty until you get out of your vehicle and walk through the omnipresent Goose shit to either jog or have some quiet time at a picnic table. I have fished above and immediately below the dam and caught many trout. My hope is that in my lifetime the Deschutes in Bend will be returned to a navigable river and support a fishery accessible by boat and land.

  2. doublebluff says:

    If you’ve ever been to downtown Missoula, you probably have seen the standing wave structures that were built in the Clark Fork. Why not create a wonderful kayak run? It is a great thing to watch from th epark on th eedge of the river. And I’ve never been in a kayak in my life.

  3. Jason Porter says:

    I’ll secant both ideas, a kayak run and fish habitat would serve downtown Bend well. I don’t think that it is a good idea to just let it go native state. I think it would turn into a gully filled with windblown trash. I also don’t think a concrete type kayak run would fit Bend’s look and feel they’d like you to get from their town. I think if they used natural native stone to make the water features for kayaking you’ll can serve both. Add some natural native stone around native plants at the bake and a walkways. And you have something for everyone whitewater, fish habitat, or a run/walk, Bend can keep or enhances downtown.

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