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City of Madras transfers water rights to Jefferson County Fairgrounds so the fishing pond can be used.

TERESA JACKSON/MADRAS PIONEER - The sun rose over an almost-full fishing pond at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds Tuesday, April 21. The county wasn't planning to fill the pond due to a lack of water, but the city of Madras offered to temporarily transfer water rights so the pond could be filled.The fishing pond at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds will be filled after all.

Two weeks ago, Rick Rohach read in the Pioneer that the Board of Commissioners had decided not to fill the pond this year because irrigation water allotments are lower than usual, and the pond takes about one-third of the fairgrounds' total allotment.

Rohach manages the golf course, parks and streets for the city of Madras, and he thought something should be done to fill the pond. He also thought the city had enough water rights from North Unit Irrigation to make it happen.

Rohach called Dana Lundy, the county's director of building and grounds, to see how much water it would take.

Because the city uses treated sewer water for irrigation, it had the extra 3 acre-feet needed, said Madras Public Works Director Jeff Hurd.

So the city is temporarily transferring 3 acre-feet of its water rights to the Jefferson County Fairgrounds, and PGE will supply fish for the pond.

Hurd said Rohach want to do "something to maybe brighten everybody's spirits, give the kids something to do."

Water is going into the pond this week, and the fish will come shortly after.

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