City encourages silt study for river

Bend city officials hope to develop a master plan to keep the Deschutes River from becoming blocked with silt, City Manager Art Johnson said Tuesday.

Johnson told the city commission studies need to be done that would determine how deep silt deposits in the river are and where the rock ledges are.

And if any silt were removed from the river, care would have to be taken because water from the river is used for drinking downstream, he said.

Local officials have expressed concern that silt deposits in the river may be building up slowly in Mirror Pond and at other points where the Deschutes passes through Bend. If silt continues to build up, small marshy islands could form in the river and the way the river looks would be altered.

Johnson told the city commission at their Tuesday luncheon he has been meeting occasionally with Army Corps of Engineer representatives and other persons who are knowledgeable of the river.

Johnson said the Corps of Engineers “didn’t paint a rosy picture about getting money from them (to dredge the river) because it’s not considered a navigable steam.”

City officials need to determine how much silt needs to be dredged from the river and how much it would cost, he said.

Johnson said he can explore the possibility of getting federal funds for dredging the river. He said silt removed from the river might also be marketable as topsoil and the city could reduce its cost by selling the silt.

He also said there could be some ecological problems with dredging because removing material from one part of the river cold have an impact on what happens in other areas.

Removing silt from one side of Mirror Pond could cause unwanted changes on the other side, he said.

Johnson said officials of the state Highway Division and of Pacific Power & Light Co. have told him their hydraulics engineers would work with the city on the problem.

The city commission meets tonight at 7:00 at city hall.

Source: The Bulletin ©1977


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

Swimming Pool Work Started

swimming-pool-work-startedDredging of Mirror pond, adjoining Harmon playfleld, for use as a swimming pool has been started by The Shevlin-Hixon Company’s dredge which was moved Sunday from the mill pond to Mirror pond.

Booms used in the Fourth of July water pageant In other years, have been placed to enclose a 300-foot pool.

The dredge pumps a heavy stream of water which Is directed against the bottom ot the river, sluicing out dlrt and gravel to the desired depth.

City and school budgets Include funds for the development, which will provide a swimming pool and a dressing room building as well as lifeguards.

Source: Bend Bulletin ©1943