Category Archives: Lake Billy Chinook

Fire Ban in Effect Statewide

Governor Brown declared a fire emergency today. In accordance with this, the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department has temporarily banned campfires in all facilities statewide to help do our part to ensure the safety of Oregon’s Parks and their surrounding communities.  This includes the use of charcoal briquettes, tiki torches, all candles, or any open flame that cannot be immediately turned off with a valve.  Large propane fire rings are not permitted on all sites. (check with the park you are headed to for current restrictions.)  Propane cook stoves are permitted; however propane fires may not be left on and unattended.

Visitors planning a trip to a state park should check for up-to-date information about fire restrictions by calling the state parks info line at 800-551-6949.

Partial Fire Restriction at The Cove

 

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Photo by Hasan Albari on Pexels.com

The Cove Palisades Management Unit is instituting a partial campfire restriction effective immediately. 

7 AM – 8 PM  until further notice there will be NO open flames of any kind except for propane cook stoves (allowed for cooking only.)

8 PM – 7 AM small campfires in designated areas within the campgrounds will be allowed, which will include the use of charcoal briquettes and propane stoves.  No citronella or regular candles, tiki torches, or other open flames will be allowed.

These restrictions will remain in effect until we see temperatures and relative humidity change to a less dangerous level – see park website for the most up to date information: The Cove Palisades State Park

If you have questions, please call the park at 541-546-3412.

Bats at The Cove

Oregon has 15 species of bats, up to 13 of those species are found in Central Oregon and 8 of those are Oregon Conservation Strategy Species. (These are animals that have small or declining populations, are at-risk, and/or of management concern.)

Bats are flying mammals that can reach speeds of 20 to 30 mph.  All bats in Oregon are insectivores.  Bats use echolocation which allows them to make high-pitched sounds then listen to the echo of those sounds to locate where objects are. Echolocation helps them find even the smallest insect. Bats are incredibly important as pollinators and provide humans with natural pest control.  One little brown bat can eat up to 1000 insects in an hour!

Recently The Cove purchased a new bat detector to be used on visitor hikes in the park.  It is called an Eco Meter Touch 2 by Wildlife Acoustics and it uses smartphone technology to display bats ultrasonic echolocation calls as they fly and identifies the bat species.

While we see bats and even here them occasionally, with this new technology Rangers can quickly identify the type of bats that are here in real time.  We can record their sounds and even email them to visitors on the hike.  Interpretive Ranger Erin Bennett used the detector for the first time on Thursday.   “It is so exciting to know exactly what kind of bats are flying around out there in the dark.  Now when a visitor asks, I can tell them definitively,” Bennett said.  She found five different species of bats flying just east of the Deschutes River –

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Little Brown Bat

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California Myotis

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Western Small-footed Myotis

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Canyon Bat

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Hoary Bat

Learn more about Oregon’s bats by joining Cove staff on night hikes at The Cove this summer or go online to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s websites Living with Wildlife, Bats page including a fun batty for bats flyer, plans for building bat houses and information on White Nose Syndrome.

2018 Programa de ¡Vamos a Acampar!

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Stay and play for free at one of the three camping events in Central Oregon!
¡Quédate y juega gratuitamente en uno de los tres eventos en el centro de Oregon!

• June 2-3 (one night only) – Tumalo State Park, 5 miles NE of Bend on OB Riley Road.
Junio 2-3 (una noche solamente) — Tumalo State Park, 5 millas al noreste de Bend en la calle OB Riley.

• Aug. 17-19 (two nights) — The Cove Palisades State Park, 16 miles SW of Madras.
Agosto 17-19 (dos noches) — The Cove Palisades State Park, 16 millas al suroeste de Madras.

• Aug. 24-26 (two nights) — Prineville Reservoir State Park, 16 miles SE of Prineville.
Agosto 24-26 (dos noches) — Prineville Reservoir State Park, 16 millas al sureste de Prineville.

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Registration/La registracion click here:   To Register

Registration for Tumalo event closes Mon, May 21.
La registración para Tumalo cerrara el lunes 21 de mayo.

Registration for August events closes Monday, August 6.
La registración para los eventos en agosto cerrara el lunes 6 de agosto.

We provide: Camping gear, Saturday night dinner, and the ingredients to make s’mores.  Plus, you will learn about the park, take a guided hike, and try kayaking (August events only).  We’ll also help you set up your tent, cook over a campfire, and learn how to be a great camping neighbor.
Ofrecemos: Equipo para campamento, la cena del sábado, y los ingredientes para hacer malvaviscos. Además, vas a aprender acerca del parque, participar en una caminata guiada por un guardabosque, y probar paseos en kayak (solo durante los eventos en agosto). También te ayudaremos a construir tu tienda, cocinar en una fogata, y aprender cómo ser un gran vecino de campamento.
Questions? Call Jill Nishball, 541-388-6073.
¿Preguntas? Llama a Priscilla Calleros, 541-633-7834.

National Bat Appreciation Day

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Photo (c) Merlin D. Tuttle, Bat Conservation International, www.batcon.org.

National Bat Appreciation Day occurs annually on April 17th.  April is a good time of year to observe bats, as they are now beginning to emerge from hibernation. If you see one, be sure not to touch them.

It is also an excellent time to learn about the role bats play in nature. One important reason to celebrate bats is that they are considered to be an “insectivorous” creature because they rid our world of many annoying insects.  In one hour, a bat can eat up to 1,000 mosquitoes.  Oregon bats also happen to feed on a number of pests, such as spruce budworm moths, tussock moths, pine bark beetle moths and gypsy moths.

Fun Bat Facts:

  • Some species of bats can live up to 40 years.
  • Many bats can see in the dark and use their extreme sense of hearing.
  • Bats are the only mammal naturally capable of true and sustained flight.
  • There are over 1,200 known species of bats.
  • The United States is home to an estimated 48 species of bats.
  • Nearly 70% of bats are insectivores.
  • One of the largest bats is the Giant Golden-Crowned Flying Fox bat weighing up to 4 lbs with a wingspan of up to 5 feet, 7 inches.
  • Bats are clean animals, grooming themselves almost constantly.
  • North America’s largest urban bat colony is found on the Congress Avenue Bridge in Austin, Texas. It is home to an estimated 1,500,000 Mexican Free-Tailed bats. This colony of bats eats approximately 10,000 to 30,000 lbs of insects each night.  It is estimated 100,000 tourists visit the bridge annually to watch the bats leave the roost at twilight.
  • One colony of 150 Big Brown bats can protect farmers from up to 33 million or more rootworms each summer.
  • Almost 40% of American bat species are in severe decline, with some already listed as endangered or threatened.
  • Three U.S. states have an official state bat. Texas and Oklahoma have named the Mexican Free-Tailed bat their state bat, and Virginia has dubbed the Virginia Big-Eared bat their state bat.

One of my favorite Oregon bats is the Townsend Big Eared Bat

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Townsend Big Eared Bat – listed as a sensitive species in Oregon – photo credit: encyclopedia of Puget Sound

Townsend’s big-eared bats (Corynorhinus townsendii) are a medium-sized bat with very long ears. Their fur is pale gray or brown above and buff colored on the underside. Their wingspan is12-13 in (30-34 cm) and they weigh between 0.3-0.5 oz.  This bat’s ears are enormous, reaching a length of 38 mm. When the ears are laid back they extend to the middle of its body.  They can be found in pine forests and arid desert scrub habitats. When roosting they do not tuck themselves into cracks and crevices like many bat species do, but prefer large open areas.  They specialize in eating moths and other insects such as beetles, flies and wasps. Townsend’s big-eared bat is usually a late flier and will forage along the edge of vegetation.

Extra Fun-facts

  • When it’s roosting or hibernating, Townsend’s big-eared bat curls up its long ears so they look like rams horns.
  • When flying they can rapidly extend or contract their ears. When flying with their ears extended the ears point forward and are nearly parallel to their body.

To learn more about Oregon’s Bats go to:  living with bats

Sign Up to Kayak at The Cove

“The Rivers flow not past us but through us.” – John Muir

Spring is just around the bend and it will once again be time for Oregonians and visitors to our beautiful state to start a new adventure.  Do something healthy and fun for yourself.  Check out our kayaking page on The Cove Rattler – you can sign up for a tour at http://www.oregonstateparks.org

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Jack Frost is Out!

Folklore from countries around the world surround the harsh, cold, dark, mysterious time of year known as winter.

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Boreas – God of the North Wind – In Greek mythology, each direction of wind was considered a god. Depicted in ancient art as an old man, he was considered the bringer of winter and the cold. The harshness of the season was paralleled by his supposedly harsh personality, short-tempered and severe.-

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In some Celtic traditions, According to legend, the Oak King would battle the Holly King who ruled from the start of summer. Though the Oak King’s reign would begin at the darkest time of the year, his coming marked the gradual progression towards spring and summer, rather than being seen as the bringer of the winter season.

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For the Norse mythologies, Ullr was the god of winter. Son of a frost giant, he would rule Asgard in Odin’s absence in the winter.

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Jack Frost, is the personification of snow, sleet, ice, and freezing temperatures.  He is the variation of Old Man Winter nipping at your nose and leaves fern-like patterns on the windows as he walks by. Jack Frost has been referenced in stories and songs since at least the 1700s.

Every now and then, nature transforms The Cove into a spectacle of shimmering ice and frost which coats literally everything in a mantle of glistening ice crystals, this is known as Ammil.  This phenomenon occurs when a winter thaw is suddenly arrested by a rapid drop in temperature which results in the moisture being frozen. Sometimes larger objects can get a build up of several layers of ice which because of its weight can cause havoc with old trees and dead branches.

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 Ammil – The glittering layer of ice that dusts everything after a freeze.

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Frost crystals form on a smooth cold surface like glass, they often make beautiful patterns.  These patterns are the result of changes in the surface of the glass; tiny scratches or specks of dust can affect the way that the crystals form and interlink.

While this picture perfect fairyland is beautiful, it can be dangerous.  Be careful not to slip on ice, don’t stand under trees or things that can break and fall on you.  Driving can be especially tricky.  If you can, avoid Jack Frost, enjoy these days from the warmth of your fireplace; if not, bundle up and go slow!

 

 

Holiday Season – Savings & Gifts

 

Publication2.jpgThis holiday season, give your loved ones a year of unlimited access to Oregon’s state parks with an annual day-use parking permit. From Dec. 1-31, holiday shoppers can buy the annual parking permit for only $25–that’s $5 off the regular price of $30. The permits are transferable from vehicle to vehicle.

Shoppers can round out their gift with holiday gear branded with the iconic Oregon State Parks shield, including hats, water bottles, dog bowls, ornaments and stickers. The holiday gear will be on sale during the month of December.  Gift gear and parking permits are for sale online at https://store.oregonstateparks.org/. Gift items can also be purchased in person at Oregon State Parks headquarters in Salem, 725 Summer St. NE Suite C.  Parking permits are also sold at major OPRD offices, some state park friends’ group stores and selected local businesses throughout the state. List of vendors.

Alternately, if you would like to give back to the parks you love, consider becoming a member of — or giving the gift of a membership to — the nonprofit Oregon State Parks Foundation. The Foundation is dedicated to raising funds to enhance the state park experience. Those who give a tax-deductible donation of $45 or more will receive a 12-month day-use parking pass as a thank you. Learn more at www.oregonstateparksfoundation.org.

 

Is the Lake Lower?

Visitors at Lake Billy Chinook may notice that the lake level has gone down since this fall.  Boaters will easily see the waterline is a couple of feet lower than it was.  Portland General Electric (PGE) manages lake levels on Lake Billy Chinook to accommodate spring runoff and control flooding downstream.  Some years it is necessary to lower it further like in the spring of 2017 to catch above average snow melt.

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PGE currently plans is to draw the water line down 3 feet by Christmas and keep it there until March and April. The lake level is measured in actual elevation, so full pool is 1,945’ above sea level and hold lake level to approximately 1,942’ after the holidays.

For current water temperature and flow data from U.S. Geological Survey monitoring stations water temperature/water levels

to be sorted 12 2015 007.JPGBoating is allowed all year at Lake Billy Chinook however safety is our priority.  Snow, high winds, icy conditions and low water can make launching difficult or unsafe.  This may require some boat docks to be temporarily closed.  Boaters, stay safe, do not try to launch from a closed dock. For current park conditions, call the park office 541-546-3412, Monday – Friday from 7:30 – 4 pm.

Crooked River Campground Closed for Winter

to be sorted 12 2015 030.JPGThe Crooked River Campground will be closed between

December 15, 2017 – February 15, 2018. 

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Cabins are open year-round, weather permitting. 
For current conditions, please call the park office 541-546-3412

 

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