On Thursday, April 5, the Oregon Business Journal published a detailed report on the impact of Selective Water Withdrawal operations on the community of Maupin. Since SWW operations began, businesses in Maupin have been severely impacted by the changes in lower Deschutes River water quality, new proliferations of nuisance algae, and subsequent impacts to aquatic insects, fish, and other wildlife.
One point to correct from the article: Ceratonova Shasta, described in the article as a small worm, is actually a microscopic parasite that has been shown to cause up to 95% mortality in infected spring Chinook juveniles. The intermediate host for that parasite, a polychaete worm called Manayunkia speciosa, was rarely collected in the lower river before SWW operations began. Unfortunately, in post-SWW samples it is quite abundant, with collections showing up to 4,000 of these polychaetes per square meter.
As the Oregon Business article demonstrates, the ecological changes occurring in the lower Deschutes are having a concrete, negative impact on the community of Maupin, and on businesses throughout central Oregon that rely on a a clean, healthy lower Deschutes River.
Click below to watch the DRA’s recent documentary film, A River Worth Fighting For, that touches on many of these same issues.
Deschutes River Alliance: Cooler, cleaner H2O for the lower Deschutes River.
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