Deschutes: A River Worth Fighting For

Portland General Electric in 2010 began operating a “Selective Water Withdrawal” tower above Round Butte Dam on central Oregon’s Deschutes River. The ecology of the lower Deschutes, one of the West’s premier flyfishing destinations, has suffered ever since. These ecological impacts, in turn, have negatively affected businesses and communities in north Central Oregon that rely on the river. This short vid explains how selective water withdrawal operations have impacted the community of Maupin, Oregon, and highlights the efforts of the Deschutes River Alliance to fight back.

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EPA Flip-Flop on Pebble Raises Flags

 “In politics, nothing happens by accident. If it happens, you can bet it was planned that way.”
—Franklin D. Roosevelt

What a difference a year makes. Just over a year ago, the proposed Pebble Mine at the headwaters of the world’s largest wild salmon run located in Bristol Bay, Alaska was on its deathbed. Then the regime change led to a directive from new EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt last May to withdraw protections for the watershed against certain mining activities.

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Wyoming’s Drug Ranch

Cocaine smuggler’s former Clarks Fork property returns to the spotlight for a public lands squabble

Boat captain Stewart Allen Bost and his pals almost slipped into obscurity after they smuggled more than 3,000 kilos of Columbian cocaine from the Bahamas to South Florida in 1986. With approximately $1.35 million lining his pockets, Bost sought early retirement a year later, purchasing a 657-acre spread on the banks of the Clarks Fork of the Yellowstone River, in northwestern Wyoming.

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Down the Homestretch of the #DrakeMagBigYear

With less than three months remaining, competition is fierce

Goatfish, grayling, giant trevally, brown trout, one “huuuuge sunfish,” and many, many more, this edition of the #DrakeMagBigYear has anglers around North America chasing an incredible diversity of fish species on the fly. Which as it were, is pretty much the point of the contest—explore beyond your typical spots, make everyday on the water fun, and catch new fish.

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The DrakeCast Episode #28 – Big & Horny in Montana

Montana’s Bighorn River is known throughout the world as a premier, blue-ribbon trout stream. The fishery below Yellowtail Dam holds some of the most robust tour-per-mile numbers in the nation. But in the last decade, the river has changed. There’s more water, the fish are skinnier, and some say it’s just not the way it used to be. This episode of The DrakeCast takes a float down the Bighorn in search of why this river is experiencing these negative results. While we’re on the water, we’ll hear from ranchers, fisheries biologists, and the happiest fisherman in the world.

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Oversaturated on Montana’s Bighorn River

In 2008, the feds introduced a new flow-management regime at Yellowtail Dam designed to increase water levels at the Horseshoe Bend boat ramp in Wyoming. Since then eastern Montana’s Bighorn River, on the downstream side, has been gushing—experiencing more days above 8,000 cfs than during the previous 40 years combined. A new report from the Bighorn River Alliance (BRA) details the resulting erosion of both wild trout habitat and economic opportunity in the region. This vid tells the story of those affected by the big water bumps.

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Yellowstoned

deLocals fight to protect Paradise Valley from mining

THE YELLOWSTONE RIVER’S pristine headwaters are tucked into some of the most remote land in the Lower 48, draining roughly 70,000 square miles across Wyoming and Montana. These wild waters serve as a stronghold for native Yellowstone cutthroat, and, combined with Yellowstone Lake, make up the largest inland population of cutthroat in the world.

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Now or Neverglades Needs You

Last year Sunshine State Gov. Rick Scott signed landmark legislation that called for a catch-all reservoir to be built below Lake Okeechobee in order to improve the spiraling health of the Everglades. Unfortunately, designs for the project recently submitted by the Water Management District don’t do enough. And in short, experts say we need a lot more land to fix the problems.

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