Wallowa River, Prairie Creek, and unnamed stream (McCully Creek)
McCully Creek in T2S, R45E, Sec 2, SW SE (note: 8.5 miles north of point where Sheep Creek Ditch spills into Prairie Creek drainage, after McCully Creek water flows through Farmers Ditch)
T1S, R45E, Sec 20,29
(1) Decree = Imnaha Decree; the Decree was signed May 29, 1930.
(2) The Imnaha Decree has the following water use provisions:
Amounts for irrigation are (a) 1/40th cfs per acre April 1 - July 31 and (b) 1/80th cfs per acre August 1 – October 15.
Amount for stock is 0.1 cfs/1000 head, but the flow can be increased to prevent ditches from freezing over.
Amount for domestic use is undefined and may have included gardening; older allowances for domestic use were about 0.01 to 0.05 cfs.
Stock and domestic use have preference over irrigation.
[Note that amounts for stock and domestic use are not shown in the table; Mike Coppin, manager of the Wallowa Valley Canal indicated in December 2000 that all water diverted during the non-irrigation season is routed into the Wallowa subbasin for stock and domestic uses.]
(3) McCully Creek is intercepted by Sheep Creek Ditch, now referred as Wallowa Valley Canal.
(4) Sheep Creek Ditch and Little Sheep Ditch are the same.
(5) Diversions appear to be on main channel of McCully Creek after it flows into the Wallowa Subbasin.
(6) The Decree Map clearly shows McCully Creek with two channels, one entering the Wallowa Subbasin and one continuing on down to what is interpreted as the (Little) Sheep Creek Ditch, then on to Little Sheep Creek.
(7) It is unclear how to interpret what is meant by “Sheep Creek Ditch” in reference to the two McCully Creek channels and the 1877 water rights. A review of points of diversion in the Proofs and permits may clarify this. The Decree map, dated 1927, shows a split channel, with one channel flowing north into the Prairie Creek drainage and the other flowing east to Sheep Creek Ditch, then north into the Prairie Creek drainage. Today, the north channel has a permanent diversion structure. This has been referred to as McCully Creek Diversion #1. The 1877 rights appear to be associated with this diversion, even though the Decree indicates Sheep Creek Ditch. The other channel is intercepted by Sheep Creek Ditch (Wallowa Valley Improvement District canal) in T3S, R46E, Sec 19, NW NE, which matches the location noted on the enclosed USGS reference map as T3S, R46E, Sec 19, SE SE NW NE. This has been referred to as McCully Creek Diversion #2. Waters from the two diversions do not mix as they enter the Prairie Creek drainage, as shown on the Decree map and based on a recent site inspection. It is possible that the 1877 rights were at first diverted from Sheep Creek ditch (diversion #2), with the diversion later moved to diversion #1. It is also possible that there are two Sheep Creek ditches, or that the 1877 rights could be diverted from either diversion, or that the name of the ditch applicable to the 1877 rights was inaccurately recorded in the Decree.
(8) The watermaster, Shad Hatton, has indicated he is unable to determine at this time what the legal diversion point is for the 1877 rights. He stated that many of the early rights were not very accurate, and that interpretation of the rights today would require a site inspection for each right to determine current diversion locations.