Victory: Trout Creek & Crooked River pH Standards Remain Protective
Thanks to comments submitted by Native Fish Society members, volunteers, staff, and our partner organizations, the staff of Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (ODEQ) have decided to not relax the upper pH limit in Trout Creek and the Crooked River from 8.5 to 9.0. This decision will help prevent further water quality degradation in the Deschutes River. The upper limit for pH in the Deschutes is also 8.5, so allowing a lesser standard on two of its key tributaries would make it almost impossible to enforce that standard in the lower Deschutes.
However, we're not completely out of the woods yet. The Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) determination for the Crooked River will begin in a few years. Until then, ODEQ will examine additional data and may decide to increase the upper pH limit on the Crooked at that time. So stay tuned to take further action to protect water quality on the Crooked and lower Deschutes rivers!