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Smith Brothers' Chronological History of Crater Lake National Park



<< 1989   1990   1991 >>

January 18

A team of scientists fly on to Wizard Island to continue research on the quality of winter water in the Lake. They will take readings on the clarity of the Lake water, temperature layers in the water and the mixing between layers. This is the fifth winter expedition to Wizard Island.

1989 - 1990

Snowfall: 331 inches, 28 feet.

July 27

A woman falls 700 to her death at Discovery Point at 3:20 p.m. The only eyewitness, besides her three children (Jeremy, 16; John, 7; and Brittany, 5) was former ranger, Bruce Black, who saw the fall from Wizard Island. Bruce resides at 850 N.W. Antelope Place, Corvallis 97330. The body of Della Marie Zielinski, 33, of Mead, Washington was recovered the next day. The Zielinski family had walked out beyond the warning signs to a narrow, rocky, spine-like ridge to gain a better view of Wizard Island. The mother was holding the youngest child when she lost her footing. The woman tossed the youngster to her teenager as she fell to her death.

1990 Season

Crater Lake Lodge Company grosses $2.7 million in sales and earns a profit of 28 percent. Its contract called for a 2 percent return to the Federal Government which works out to $50,000. The company also pays $695 per year rent for the five government comfort stations at Mazama Campground. The rent for the new lodge will be purposely kept low so as to encourage the Lodge Company to invest in supplies and operationally equipment.

1990 Season

A Lodge reconstruction study finds that: the roof joists were built from single 2x4’s with three foot centers. The roof, with its annual winter snow load was 300% over stressed. The engineers are wondering what kept the Lodge from total collapse. Present Lodge has 125 rooms. The rebuilt Lodge will have 71 rooms.


Lake study results in the lowest reading ever of a Secchi Disc in Crater lake: 20.5 feet. 110 species of Diatoms are identified, with 5 major species. Researchers found 1,000,000 Diatoms per liter. 

20 to 50 million gallons of sewage are generated each summer at Rim Village. Conclusion: The sewer leach field west to the Cafeteria is thought to be contaminating the Lake.


Grigory Galazy, a Lake Baikal scientist and director of the Baikal Ecological Museum, along with another Russian scientist visit Crater Lake. The visit comes two month after a Soviet-American team found evidence of a hot vent field in Lake Baikal. The vent area lies about 1300 feet down.

1990 or 1989

A C-130 cargo jet was seen flying inside the caldera so low that the jet blast blew a ranger’s hat off.

October 11

Rick Attig, writer for the Bend, Oregon, Bulletin, claims that Park Superintendent Benton is allowing his friends to float tube fish in the Lake. Since no private boating is allowed, “folks who saw (a fisherman) bobbing around the sapphire-blue lake ...and waving to passing tour boats seemed a little perturbed...I called Bob Benton, who patiently explained that he personally approved the three-night stay on the island and that the unusual camping and fishing outing actually was a ‘research’ trip.” The researcher, Dr. Philip Paden of Medford, said, “There were some very big rainbows in there, mostly 17 to 21 inches. I only caught about one fish an hour. You can’t imagine what it’s like to be floating there, to be able to see so deep into the water.”

Fiscal Year 1990-91

ONPS Budget set at $1.9 million

Season Visitation: 462,152

<< 1989   1990   1991 >>



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