Bend Without Familiar Pond On Thanksgiving

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Bend today observed Thanksgiving Day without its tradional feature, the Mirror Pond, for the first time since the Descutes was dammed.

Through the years, the big pond of the Deschutes has been a part of Bend’s Thanksgiving setting, with pines, standing like pilgrims, on the water’s edge, and with waterfowl accepting the Thanksgiving offering of visitors.

The pond was drained earlier this week to permit work on the power dam grates, and for the past several days the Deschutes has been flowing swiftly through mud bottoms formerly occupied by the lake.

Pacific Power & Light Co. officials said work on the dam will be completed Friday morning. Refilling of the basin will start about noon that day.

Source: The Bend Bulletin ©1957

Work Continues On Mirror Pond As Level Down

The silted basin of the Deschutes river in Bend, which normally cradles the Mirror Pond, remained a source of attraction today, as repair work continued on the Pacific Power & Light Co. dam.

Water was drained from the basin early Monday, to permit extensive repair work to grates and other structures. It is expected that the work will be completed by Wednesday, when the pond will be refilled.

City crews, taking advantage of the low water, are engaged in various tasks. These include the removal of some of the debris from the basin. Early today, some of the junk taken from the pond was stacked at the east approach to the Drake Park footbridge. This included some articles believed stolen and thrown in the river from the bridge.

Many Bend residents were amazed at the extent of the mud flats, and their growth in recent years. Yawning fissures were appearing in some of the steep-sloped flats today as the silt toppled into the river.

Most of the ducks and geese which normally make their home on their Mirror Pond have temporarily migrated upstream to the mill pond area.

Through the basin, the Deschutes river raced today, and old timers said it is closely following its old channel. Through that channel the river flowed past willow-fringed embankments prior to the construction of the power dam.

 

Source: The Bend Bulletin ©1957

Float Site Cleared

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Some of the silt covering the shoreline of Pageant Park was removed late Monday through spray from a fire department hose. It is in this area that Mirror Pond floats are launched. The accumulation of soil reached the point where some floats scraped bottom. Work of improving the float launching area on the Deschutes was undertaken while the level of the Mirror Pond was low. Today, the Deschutes coursed through the Mirror Pond basin as a swift, rapidly clearing stream.

Source: The Bend Bulletin ©1957

Mirrored in Mud

Bend’s scenic Mirror Pond, one of the beauty spots of the state, was replaced temporary by ugly mud flats by this morning.

The pond, a part of the Deschutes River, is being lowered by the Pacific Power & Light Co. to make repair work possible in the grates adjacent to the power plant  The work will be completed some time Wednesday, and the river level will again rise.

Then the mud flats, with their stench, will disappear and ducks and geese will again cruise over the man-made lake that mirrors tall pines and riverside homes.

It was just short of 45 years ago that the Mirror Pond came into existence, when a power dam was constructed across the Deschutes. Before that time, the unharnessed river flowed swiftly past Bend.

The channel through the present Mirror Pond area was not broad. It was fringed, in early years, with willows and alders. There were some fine, deep pools in the area.

Those pools, incidentally, were tempting to early-day staff members of The Bulletin, when the paper was housed in old log cabin in a corner of what is now Drake Park. The Bulletin’s first editor was Don Rea. He wrote entertainingly of the beauty of the river as it slashed its way north through the willows — and he told of the fine catches of trout he had taken from the stream over the lunch hours.

In the years since the power dam was constructed, silt has been filling the basin. After nearly half a century, much silt has accumulated. It forms the ugly banks exposed in the river bottom. This accumulation of mud was not unexpected. Similar siltation is occurring back of all dams. Even massive Lake Mead on the Colorado, back of Hoover Dam, is rapidly silting.

Bend residents who have looked on Mirror Pond as one of the city’s major attractions may be a bit frightened this week as they look over tho ugly flats of black ooze. They may ask:

“What is the future of the Mirror Pond?”

This Is a question that cannot be answered. There may come a time when the mud flats will have to be incorporated into the Drake Park lawn and planted to grass. Should that day ever come, The Deschutes will be again meandering through a narrow channel – a channel super-imposed on its ancestral bed of yesteryear.

The Mirror Pond may not be again drained for many years. Thia might be a good time for the city’s long-range planners to study the exposed mud flats, chart their positions, determine the course of the main channel, and plan for the future.

Source: The Bend Bulletin ©1957

Mud Flats Appear

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When water was drained from the Mirror Pond early this morning, ugly mud flats took shape in the big basin, with waterfowl feasting on crawdads. This is a view upstream showing the extensive mud flats in the cove that fronts on Drake Park near the band stand. This is one of the most extensive areas of siltation in the pond. (Bend Bulletin Photo)

Pond Down, Revealing Rocks, Mud, Debris

Acres or mud flats, ooze-covered rocks and much debris came into view this morning as the Mirror Pond was lowered.

Past the mud banks, the Deschutes, brown and swift, raced in a strong current through the basin normally occupied by the Mirror Pond, one of the state’s beauty spots.

But there was only ugliness in the basin today, and the smell like that of a drying tide flat.

Ducks, geese, swans and coots were enjoying life, however. The lowering of the pond not only brought to view aquatic weeds, but hundreds of big crawfish. Ducks were feeding voraciously on the crawdads, which were attempting to move over the mud to reach the swift water.

The Mirror Pond has been lowered to make it possible for the Pacific Power and Light Co. to do some long delayed work on the grates at the power dam.

Cooperating with the power company, irrigation districts have diverted water into canals south of town, to reduce the flow past Bend. Also, water is being stored at Wickiup and Crane Prairie.

The power company expects to complete the repair work by Wednesday.

City crews are also busy while the Mirror Pond is missing, with Percy Drosi, city water and street superintendent, compiling an imposing list of things that must be done while the water is low.

Lowering of the pond started last night, and by daylight this morning mud flats were coming into view. Some of these are imposing, with on in front of the Drake Park bandstand covering more than an acre. This bank is about six feet deep. There are other huge flats upstream, just below the Tumalo Bridge, and downstream in front of Brooks Park.

Mud banks were slumping into the river this morning, as the stream undercut the flats.

Old timers said the river has changed its course in a number of places since the pond was last lowered.

Fish were jumping in the muddy stream this morning, and some fear was held they would suffocate because of the amount of silt in the water.

Source: The Bend Bulletin ©1957