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‘We didn’t expect it that full’: Prineville Reservoir rebounds to full capacity, just in time for summer

(Update: Adding video, comments from Oregon State Park camp hosts, visitors)

PRINEVILLE Ore. (KTVZ) -- All the late-season snow has helped a popular reservoir reach full capacity, just in time for summer.  Prineville Reservoir recently hit 100% capacity, a big rebound from some record low levels in recent years. 

Some Friday visitors at the state park were smiling about the turnaround.

 "It's good to see the lake with this much water. absolutely," Prineville resident Mike Chappell said. "It's been years."

Bend resident James Bjorvik said, "Yeah, I never thought there would be this much water in here again."

The US Bureau of Reclamation said as of Friday, the Prineville Reservoir was at 100% capacity, thanks to all that late-season snowfall.

With the capacity and warmer weather headed to Central Oregon, it means preparations for crowds by the state park camp hosts, a week from Memorial Day weekend. 

Camp host Edward Egging said, "The lake is already full. We didn't expect it that full. So there's a lot of maintenance going on."

Egging said their duties include building docks, fixing swimming areas, trimming the bushes and making sure the boat ramps are clean.

Prineville Reservoir State Park offers a number of activities for you and your families. You can go swimming, fishing and boating. 

At Bi-Mart in Prineville, the store manager says he's seeing strong sales, including tons of fishing tackle, inflatables for the water, and all-around camping and picnic supplies, from food to beverages.

Bjorvik  and Chappell were eager to get fishing. 

Bjorvik said, "We heard there was water down at the docks here, and so we're out here fishing."

Chappell added, "We came out to chase some small mouth in their pre-spawn and beds."

Despite all the hard work, Egging is excited to see all the people come out and enjoy a return to more favorable conditions, ahead of a big holiday weekend and the summer months. 

"This weekend will be pretty busy," he said, "so come on out and enjoy the weather, the water -- and it's wonderful."

All four boat ramps are now open. You can also sign up for year-round camping. You need to book reservations for the main campground up to six months in advance.

Article Topic Follows: Crook County

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Kelsey McGee

Kelsey McGee is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Kelsey here.


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