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The Crooked River is flowing through Prineville at its highest water levels since 2019, according to Crooked River water master Bill Nashem. It’s due to warmer weather melting this year’s above average snowpack, which can put a strain on the Prineville reservoir.
“Those flows have been filling the reservoir wonderfully,” Nashem said. “To alleviate some of the pressure of the reservoir and knowing how much more snow we got up in the mountains, they wanted to release a bit more water out of the reservoir.”
In some lower lying areas of Prineville, the river is flowing over its banks, especially at Meadow Lakes Golf course. Head Golf Professional and Facilities Manager at Meadow Lakes Zach Lampert says alterations to the course have been made.
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“Right now our No. 10 bridge is closed. It’s too high on the side they drive down on. They can’t get through it, so we have to close that one and reroute the golfers over the No. 9 bridge. It’s a little bit inconvenient, but overall it’s not too impactful at this point,” Lampert said.
All holes on the course are still open, but temporary changes have been made to a couple.
“We have No. 10 as a par 3 at the moment. No. 16 has a temporary green because the water has surrounded the green so it’s an island but you cant get to it. So, we have a temporary green out in front for 16,” Lampert said.
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Nashem says they have incrementally increased the Bowman Dam outflow by 500 to 700 cubic feet per second (CFS) since April 25th. They peaked that outflow at 2,700 CFS on Friday. The outflow has since decreased on Monday morning to around 2,000 CFS.