CREWS RUSH SPAN
Fourth of July Committee Surveys Situation and Makes Plan
Bend’s scenic mirror pond, over which geese, swans and ducks cruised at dark last night, had disappeared at sunup this morning and over its huge basin, marked by mudflats, tule islands and rocks, swiftly flowed the Deschutes River, back in its ancient channel. The strange mudflats, looking very much as if a devastating flood had swept through town, attracted hundreds of people today as augmented crews worked to sink concrete piers for the Newport Avenue bridge.
The mirror pond was drained at the request of the bridge contractors, to expedite the work of constructing the piers. The pond will remain waterless, except for the natural flow of the river, for about five days. In the meantime committees arranging for the Fourth of July water pageant are making a survey of the mudflats and owners of homes bordering on the basin are taking the opportunity provided by low water to repair retaining walls and construct boat docks.
Out near the west bank of the river, the “Queen of the Deschutes,” one of the entries in the 1935 pageant was mired in the slimy mud and some bets were being offered that the showboat would remain in the bottom when the natural lake is refilled.
The River is Muddy
The draining of the mirror pond is of interest not only to Bend, but to much of the state, for the river is ripping through the mudflats in the basin here, discoloring the water. It is believed that the river will be muddy over its entire length between Bend and the Columbia River. Portland is especially interested in the emptying of the huge pond, for a Memorial Day excursion of anglers from that city to the lower Deschutes was planned. These anglers are to be reminded that the Deschutes above Bend will be perfectly clear over the weekend.
Wildlife took the draining of the pond as a matter of course today and were obtaining an abundance of feed on the mudflats. Clyde and Lela and their four cygnets approached dangerously close to the swift current just above the Newport Avenue bridge early in the day but later retreated to the tules near the Tumalo Avenue bridge and found refuge in a cove among the tule islands. Geese and ducks strolled back and forth across the mudflats, between the swift river and Drake Park.
Some fear was expressed by sportsmen that all the young trout placed in the mirror pond last season will go through the spillway.
Weed Bed Revealed
The lowering of the pond revealed part of the vast acreage of aquatic weeds that have been growing in the mirror lake. Most of the weed beds were out in the sun today and hope was held that they will be killed. Out in the deeper channel, the swift water was washing away the ooze in which the weeds were growing.
Member of the Forth of July committee have decided that the anchorage for the pageant arch should be reconstructed.
The draining of the lake today recalled for old timers of Bend the days before the power dam was constructed, when the Deschutes coursed through its natural channel. In those days, the Bend pioneers report, willows grew down to the water edge and fish were plentiful in the deep pools.
The pond was drained in the early morning hours when the power dam gates, just north of Newport bridge, were opened.
Small boys were securing a rich harvest of crawfish near the banks of the river today and was expected that the bottom would drop out of the “crawdad” market before evening.
Children are being warned that the soft mud is very dangerous and may prove more dangerous when a deceptive, apparently dry crust forms. Dogs that ventured out in the flats today mired in the mud.
Source: Bend Bulletin ©1936