Pond refilling due to begin

Refilling of Bend’s Mirror Pond, through which the Deschutes River has coursed virtually unhampered since last Thursday afternoon, will start Tuesday afternoon.

Water will start piling up in the basin, to hide ugly mud flats, when gates are lowered at the power dam.

The city asked Pacific Power & Light Co. to lower the level, to make possible a survey of the mud accumulations, as a preliminary step to a suggested desilting of the basin

Source: The Bulletin ©1964

Ice breaks, miring boy in pond mud

A boy who mired in the mud of the drained Mirror Pond narrowly escaped possible suffocation this morning about 10 o’clock.

The Youngster, identified by companions as Gifford Akins, about 8, had walked out on an Icy fringe from the east bank of the river, upstream from the Drake Park footbridge. Suddenly the ice broke and the boy started sinking in the soft mud.

Boys nearby noticed the plight of the youngster. Two of them, Doug Brown and Don Williams, quickly “borrowed” a coat from another youngster, tossed It toward the stranded boy while holding to one arm of the garment, then started a slow rescue.

Gradually, the boy was pulled from the mud and taken ashore.

When first sighted by companions, Gifford was sinking fast in the mud, line of which was between his waist and his arm pits.

Officers have cautioned all youngsters to stay away from the treacherous mud banks, which in some places are like quicksands.

The river was drained Thursday afternoon, to permit the frost kill of aquatic weeds, and survey of the mud banks.

Source: The Bulletin ©1964

Bend Without Familiar Pond On Thanksgiving


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


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

Mud Flats Appear


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

Pond Not A Mirror Here

Pond Not A Mirror Here — Manner in which mud flats in the bottom of Bend’s Mirror Pond have expanded in recent years became evident Thursday when the basin was partly drained to recover the body of Harry G. Clement. This is a view downstream from the Tumalo Avenue bridge. Some of these flats are visible even when the Mirror Pond is at capacity. (Bend Bulletin Photo)

Pond Not A Mirror Here — Manner in which mud flats in the bottom of Bend’s Mirror Pond have expanded in recent years became evident Thursday when the basin was partly drained to recover the body of Harry G. Clement. This is a view downstream from the Tumalo Avenue bridge. Some of these flats are visible even when the Mirror Pond is at capacity. (Bend Bulletin Photo)

Source: Bend Bulletin ©1955


Litter in the Deschutes

Magnitude of the task that faces Bend in the not distant future became evident when the Mirror pond was recently drained to it expansive mud flats.

That task will be the removal of at least some of the mud and debris that has collected in the basin in the 45 years the Mirror pond has existed.

When the pond bottom was bared recently, it became evident that the accumulation of mud has been heavy in recent years. Practically all of this was deposited a very fine silt that drifted in from upriver sources.

But the Mirror pond, far-famed as a beauty spot when its water laps the edge of lawns and parks, is also an accumulation of debris that largely results from the habits of litterbugs.

Bottles, cans, old tires, bicycle tires–all these and more are a part of the litter strewn over the river bottom.

Some of the litter was tossed from bridges. Much of it found its way into the river from park side. There is considerable debris directly offshore from Pageant park, where the gay pageant fleet assembles each year.

The problem of removing mud and silt from the rapidly-filling basin cannot easily be solved. It will eventually call for planning, and for funds. The mud cannot be dredged from Mirror pond, as was done in the Brooks-Scanlon mill pond upstream.

If the mud is flushed downstream, some major problems will be faced.

But there should be some solution to the problem of halting the year-around activity of litterbugs.

Possibly that solution would be an appeal to the public to cooperate in keeping clean one of Oregon’s most beautiful spots, the Mirror pond of the Deschutes.

Source: Bend Bulletin ©1955

Mirror Pond Waterfowl Need Feed, Declared By Observers

Dr. J. C.. Vandevert, picture here feeding hungry Mirror pond ducks, declared today that there is danger that the birds will migrate upstream unless feed is provided. The season ducks and geese will again open on Dec. 19, and birds outside the Bend refuge will be legal game.

The city should take immediate steps to provide feed for Mirror pond wildlife if a heavy migration of birds is to be prevented, Dr. J. C. Vandevert, former member of the state game commission, declared today. Unless feed is provided the birds will move upstream, where some natural food is available, and will suffer a heavy slaughter when the waterfowl season is again opened next week, Dr. Vanvedert said.

The ex-game commissioner said the birds are in need of feed, and are receiving some from  persons living near the Mirror pond. However, he believes this is not adequate to prevent a migration of birds to areas where the competition for feed is not so keen.

Arid conditions of the present fall left Drake park unusually dry and the birds are obtaining little green feed there, .Dr. Vandevert mentioned. Aquatic feed has largely slumped into mudbanks in the Mirror pond, he added.

Reports indicate that the upstream migration of ducks has already started. The “second season” on ducks and geese will open Dec. 19 and remain open to Jan. 7, both dates inclusive.

Source: Bend Bulletin ©1949