Date: 4/26/19 6:43 pm
From: Alan Contreras <acontrer56...>
Subject: [obol] Harney water questions
I have been asked for current data on Steens snowpack and what’s happening here with water.

Steens snow water content last I checked was 136 percent of the median, which is far above recent years. The Blues are not much below that.

The Silvies is running over bank at Burns as of Wednesday. A lot of that water eventually reaches the lake. Silver Creek at Riley was running just below bank on April 15. That’s the OO area feeder. The whole valley at Riley is wet. The Blitzen is running close to bank high and the s end of the refuge is heavily ponded. Malheur Lake is rising perceptibly. There is no doubt that water will reach the Narrows and Mud Lake. It’s not there yet. Early May?

The Catlow Valley has loads of water and there are springs running all along the eastern wall north and south of Roaring Springs. There is still a lot of snow on Beaty’s Butte and Hart/Warner.

Fields oasis is basically dry with puddles. As I understand the hydro situation, there is now a retaining berm at a ranch on the creek above Fields so the creek won’t necessarily get the full benefit of the snow in the Pueblos. However, that’s year-old second-hand information. Note: Fields is now owned by Jake and Jade, the young couple who have been helping manage it in recent years.

Heavy snowpack on Steens, especially if there are any May storms, tends to result in downslope appearance of Broad-tailed Hummingbird and, in theory, of Virginia’s Warbler if they have an “up” year in extreme se Oregon, which is the bleeding edge of their range.

Alan Contreras
Eugene, Oregon

Malheur NWR
36391 Sodhouse Ln
Princeton OR 97721

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