Elk Falls Canyon below the suspension bridge. Campbell River Mirror file photo

BC Hydro to increase flow down Elk Falls Canyon to aid steelhead

BC Hydro is increasing water flows down Elk Falls Canyon to assist steelhead in migrating and spawning below Elk Falls.

BC Hydro is commencing five, two-day’s duration, steelhead migration and spawning flows down Elk Falls Canyon. This is to enable fish to access good habitat from the powerhouse tunnel outlet area up to the base of Elk Falls. The water releases from the John Hart Dam, which will increase from four cubic metres per second (m3/s) to 10 m3/s, will take place February 19-20 and then each Wednesday-Thursday to March 19.

Out of consideration for public safety, BC Hydro begins to increase the water discharges for each of the migration flows from the dam at night. For the first two-day pulse flow, the increase will begin the evening of February 18.

A public safety advisory is in place for the river from John Hart Dam to Elk Falls during the migration flows. You are asked to stay away from the river at this location during the migration flows. Temporary safety signage will be in place.

Water levels update:

The water levels in the upper Campbell River watershed have been slowly dropping since the Jan. 31 rain event and high inflows on Feb. 1. Upper Campbell Reservoir/Buttle Lake, which provides about 80 per cent of the watershed’s total water storage, is now at 219.65 metres, from its high of about 220.3 metres. With the current weather forecast, the reservoir level will continue to slowly drop, just as it will at Lower Campbell Reservoir/McIvor Lake.

RELATED: BC Hydro extends warning to be cautious around Campbell River

The John Hart generating station continues to run at full capacity, and may also do so during the canyon’s fish migration flows, with the total Campbell River flow being about 130 m3/s. Water inflows into the Campbell River system over the next week are forecast to be around 70 m3/s.

RELATED: Campbell River’s Canyon View Trail loop opens noon today

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