We have received many inquires related to the unseasonably low lake levels and offer this explanation. The Devils Lake Water Improvement District has been conducting an erosion study to determine if and how the lake level impacts erosion on properties surrounding Devils Lake. In order to facilitate the study the dam has been left out until completion of the fieldwork. The work was scheduled to begin June 14, 2011 and last one week.
The Devils Lake Water Improvement District holds a Recreational Water Use Right on Devils Lake. The water impoundment right allows the District to store additional water in the lake between April 15 and October 15. The level of the impoundment has been a hotly debated topic in the communnity over the past two years. The DLWID board resolved last year to exercise the maximum impoundment right of 9.53′; the current lake level is at 8.9′ approximately 7 1/2″ lower than the target level.
We are hopeful that the dam will be constructed in the coming week. We have inspected the site and found that the vertical members are all in place. Therefore all that would be required is the placement of the horizontal elements which should be able to be accomplished in short order. At that point we can hope for a period of rain to restore the lake level.
The News Guard
Chinese grass carp seen as vital in fight against weed
The group charged with improving the quality of water in Devils Lake is hoping to persuade the state that it needs more weed-eating Chinese grass carp to prevent the lake becoming choked with invasive species like it was in the late 1980s.
“You would think that would be pretty simple,” Lake Manager Paul Robertson said, “if grass carp were not illegal.”
The addition of more grass carp is a central strategy in the Devils Lake Water Improvement District’s newly updated Devils Lake Plan, which credits the ravenous creatures with saving the lake from weed in the late ‘80s and boosting lakefront property values in the process. Continue reading
District Requests Public Input
The Devils Lake Water Improvement District Board has just released The Devils Lake Plan and is seeking public input. We would encourage you to attend one of a series of Open Houses featuring the newly released plan. The Devils Lake Plan will eventually become the management plan for the District, guiding the District’s projects for many years to come. This is your opportunity to ask questions and to provide the District with your comments on the plan. The District is seeking to formally adopt the plan at its March 2011 Meeting.
The District has made the Devils Lake Plan available for your review in two formats, MS Word or Adobe PDF. Please download the plan and familiarize yourself with our lake’s future. We have reviewed the document and found it to be quite comprehensive outlining a multi-faceted management approach to the lake. Even still, our review raised some questions and perhaps generated a comment or two, and the District has created a public input process for us to do that very thing.
Each of the open houses will start with a short presentation. There will be ample time for you to ask your questions and provide the District your comments. The District has also made the presentation available online. Therefore, if you cannot attend one of the sessions you can view the slideshow of the plan here and still provide input using the District’s online comment form. You may also wish to provide written comments by email to the Lake Manager at Lake.Manager@DLWID.org an to the full board simultaneously at Board@DLWID.org.
Please mark your calendar for one of the featured sessions.
Open House Events:
Friday, January 28, 2011
- Session 1: 10 am – 12 pm
- Session 2: 2 pm – 4 pm
Saturday, January 29, 2011
- Session 3: 10 am – 12 pm
- Session 4: 2 pm – 4 pm
Thursday, February 3, 2011
- Session 5: 6 pm – 7 pm (as part of regular meeting)
Devils Lake Water Improvement District Office
820 SE Hwy 101, Suite D, Lincoln City, Oregon.
Rains and Tides and a Whole Lot of Sand
November brought a couple of unusually high tidal events washing the mighty Pacific and a portion of the wayside beach into the mouth of the D-River. Sand was deposited well beyond the Highway 101 bridge completing shutting down flow from the lake to the ocean. This month’s DLWID Manager report provides a description of what to occured.
Except from DLWID Manager Report (11-01-2010)
The D River became clogged with sand by high seas on October 24. Lake level was about 9.5 feet. On October 29th we received the last of the bids for dredging, and thus we used the lowest bid to dredge the D River on Monday Nov 1. The reason for waiting was that Kyllos had started a project sand blasting and repainting their I beams, which could have been greatly impacted by a reopened channel. The lake was not very high at that time. We did though receive a great deal more rain than was predicted over the weekend, and thus the lake level did rise sharply causing suitable alarm by many around the lake. The Monday dredging though predictably did not last long as ocean swells clogged the River by early Tuesday morning. On Wednesday we dredge again with the lake reaching its peak at 11.2’. The river has been running wide and clear since. As of 4 pm Friday the lake level was reportedly at 10.2′.
Much of this was captured by our Lake Manager by short videos and posted on the Districts Facebook Page. Some of the interesting posts included; 31 Foot Seas Takes Its Toll, D-River Down But Not Out, D-River 2011-11-02, D-River 2011-11-03, D-River Tubing, and Coho Salmon in the D River.
Rain Event Adds Complexity to Management Plan
This is the first year that the DLWID has defined a method to comply with the requirements of their water impoundment permit and recent rain events have added a new level of complexity. This month’s DLWID Manager report provides a description of what to expect.
Except from DLWID Manager Report (10-07-2010)
We have had significant rains this month and as a result managing the lake level has increased in complexity. This is the first year that we have had to account for the evaporation, and thus our methodology is a bit experimental. Obviously we are widely impacted by large rain events such as we had in mid September. In the five days starting on the 15th, we had nearly 4” or rain, with a full 1.7”
recorded the first day. In response the Lake Contractor pulled 2 north boards on 9-17-10 and pulled 4 boards north to south on 9-19-10. Overtime this appears to have compensated for the heavy rains as the most recent value sits very near the theoretic value.
Gradual Drop Planned for September
This is the first year that the DLWID has defined a method to comply with the requirements of their water impoundment permit that will result in the lake level dropping by approximately .40” from August 1st through October 1st. This month’s DLWID Manager report provides a description of what to expect.
Except from DLWID Manager Report (09-10-2010)
The lake has been manually dropped in the month of August by the Lake Contractor and will continue to be dropped through the month of September. This is being done in an effort to comply with the conditions of our permit that state that inflow and outflow must be equal during this time of the year. Effectively no additional water can be impounded in August and September, and in fact a slight decline in the lake height needs to be afforded to account for evaporation. This decline is on the order of 2/3” a week in August and a ½” a week in September.
Boards have been removed in an attempt to mimic this changing lake level. This is certainly an imprecise method, but the lake does respond over time with the removal of additional boards. I have included a graph of the actual height of the water and what should theoretically be the height of the water based on the evaporation calculations. On October1st, the lake level can again be increased, hence the last point on the theoretic line jumps back to the maximum height allowed under our permit of 9.53’. Continue reading
The City of Lincoln City and the Confederated Tribes of the Siletz Indians of Oregon made a presentation and answered questions related to the use of water from Devils Lake to irrigate the golf course at the June Devils Lake Water Improvement District board meeting. The Board of Directors of DLWID passed a resolution by a vote of 4-1 indicating support for the proposal. Since that time, several residents have expressed their opinions on the matter; some support the proposal, some do not. For the record, the Navigator has not taken a position on the proposal.
The proper place to express your opinion on this proposal is during the formal Oregon Water Resources Department (OWRD) application process. In order for the City to meet the terms of their agreement with the Siletz Tribe they will apply for a change in the Point of Diversion (P.O.D.) of their existing Rock Creek water right. This process is described in OAR 690 Division 380 Water Rights Transfers.
In an attempt to simplify the process for interested parties we have summarized the required steps below. The summary is necessarily general, and may not specifically address the facts in this specific application. Water rights can impact citizens in unexpected ways; that is why a formal process has been established. If you feel, the City’s proposal will have an impact that is not being considered follow the steps below to provide public input into the process. Continue reading