Elk Falls flowing at 60 cubic metres per second. Photo courtesy BC Hydro

Last chance to see a vigorous Elk Falls

Flow to be returned to normal by Tuesday

BC Hydro is extending the public safety advisory to stay away from the Campbell River, particularly above Elk Falls, through Tuesday morning.

“Please view Elk Falls from the safety of the Elk Falls suspension bridge,” BC Hydro spokesperson Stephen Watson said.

The flow over the falls will be high this weekend but by Tuesday it will be reduced drastically. The canyon flow will combine with a reduced flow out of the John Hart Generating Station, maintaining a combined flow in the Campbell River of about 200 cubic metres per second (m3/s).

BC Hydro has made a commitment to report to the community and stakeholders its actions in managing the water flow levels in the Campbell River hydroelectric system because of its potential impact on fish habitat and flooding in the Campbell River.

After the first public notice last Friday (Nov. 24), BC Hydro increased the water spill down Elk Falls Canyon to 100 cubic meters per second (m3/s) on Sunday. The utility has maintained that water discharge and reduced the canyon flow down to 60 m3/s Wednesday evening. The weather forecast is looking much drier into next week.

BC Hydro plans to provide a canyon flow of 60 m3/s to 100 m3/s through to Monday and reduce the flow further to the base flow of 4 m3/s by Tuesday morning.

By releasing the extra water past BC Hydro’s three Campbell River dams, the company has been able to slightly reduce the rate of rise in the Upper Campbell Reservoir/Buttle Lake. The current level is 219.9 metres and has levelled off. It should stay in this range and begin to trend down very slowly starting this weekend.

The reservoir has increased by about 3.7 metres over the past 10 days from all the storm activity and snowmelt. Though subject to weather, BC Hydro prefers to preserve the reservoir flood control zone of 220.5 metres to 222 metres for more intensive flood risk management operations.

The five of the six remaining operating units in the John Hart generating station continue to run at full capacity, and with the canyon flow, are combining to provide a total Campbell River flow of about 200 m3/s. The river flow below the generating station dropped to about 160 m3/s Wednesday night.

Gravel within the Elk Falls Canyon begins to move at flow rates of about 110 m3/s and higher and Hydro has been able to keep flows below that threshold out of consideration for fish habitat and recent spawning activity.

Just Posted

Families learn to navigate the perils of the Internet

Speaker talks to Campbell River kids, parents about staying safe in a social media world

‘Priceless’ hat stolen from Indigenous art store in Campbell River during break-in

Ernie Smith, co-owner of Awatin Aboriginal Art, looking for help in recovering stolen hat

Vancouver measles outbreak prompts vaccine vigilance on Island

No cases here yet, but Island health authorities push measles vaccinations - and not just for kids

BC Hydro increasing flow down Elk Falls to assist steelhead migration and spawning

Water flows within Elk Falls Canyon are increasing today to assist steelhead… Continue reading

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

Students give two thumbs up to no more B.C. student loan interest

Eliminating the loan interest charges could save the average graduate $2,300 over 10 years

Ontario man accused of killing 11-year-old daughter dies in hospital, police say

Roopesh Rajkumar had been hospitalized with what police described as a self-inflicted gunshot wound

Manitoba ‘pauses’ link with ex-B.C. premier Gordon Campbell after allegations

Campbell had been hired to review two major hydro projects

City of Port Alberni cancels tourist train operations for 2019

Steam train to McLean Mill is out of commission for repairs; city wants to re-examine rail costs

Heritage minute features Japanese-Canadian baseball team, internment

The Vancouver Asahi baseball team won various championships across the Pacific Northwest

UPDATE: Woman, off-duty cop in critical condition after stabbing outside B.C. elementary school

The officer was interceding in an alleged assault when he and the woman were stabbed

$10-a-day child care not in 2019 budget, but advocate not irked

Sharon Gregson with the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C. says NDP on track to deliver promise

B.C. Seniors Advocate questions labour shortage in care homes

Are there really no workers, or are care aide wages too low?

B.C. business groups worry about looming economic decline in wake of NDP budget

The party’s second government budget focused on plenty of spending, business advocates say

Most Read