By BROOKE SNAVELY
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS
With the ongoing drought and water levels dropping, another seasonal hazard has appeared: Getting stuck in the mud.
One man was rescued over the weekend from the muddy banks of Wickiup Reservoir.
“A fisherman had gone a little too far out in the mudflat area and began sinking. He could not get out and ended up sinking up to about his waist,” said Lt. Bryan Husband, Deschutes County Search & Rescue Coordinator. “He tried for about a half hour to self-rescue himself but was unable to do so.”
Fortunately, the angler was with a friend who had cell service and called for help.
La Pine Firefighters used an ice rescue raft to reach the man, dig him out and bring him back to dry ground.
One firefighter lost a boot in the deep mud during the rescue effort.
The man’s name has not been released.
“The subject was fine other than being a little cold and uncomfortable from being stuck in the mud for that length of time. Once they got him to shore, he refused any further medical attention and was released to his friend to go home,” Husband said.
The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation reports Wickiup Reservoir contains 2,600-acre-feet of water, 1 percent of capacity.
The low water level has left hundreds of acres of muddy lakebed exposed.
In a matter of days, flows in the Deschutes River below Wickiup Dam will drop, exposing more mud.
Deschutes County Search & Rescue encourages people to stay on firm, dry ground while exploring the area’s lakes and rivers.