Massive tree spanning the Campbell River shifts

Development allows BC Hydro to open up public access to the river from its property

BC Hydro has restored public river access into the Campbell River from its property.

The access gate into the Campbell River, located on the north side of the John Hart Generating Station, was unlocked this afternoon to re-open river access that had been prohibited since May 18.

There are two significant reasons for restoring public access. The primary one is the large spruce tree that spanned the course of the river significantly shifted its position because of the high river flows that were up to 160 m3/s. It had fallen directly across the river in March, but the tree has shifted out of the main river flow and now runs parallel to the river bank.

The secondary issue is BC Hydro has come down from those high flows and is currently releasing 120 m3/s from John Hart facilities. There is a water discharge of about 80 m3/s from the generating station and about 40 m3/s from the dam down Elk Falls Canyon. The drier weather is helping the reservoir level situation but there is still a significant amount of run-off from snowmelt. The Upper Campbell Reservoir/Buttle Lake is at 220 metres or a level near full. Water inflows into the system are slightly higher but close to matching the downstream releases. The inflows are declining as the snowpack depletes.

BC Hydro advises the public that enters the river with water craft/floatation devices to have navigational control. River flows are higher than normal for this time of year and that will continue until early August. There is tree debris and hazards along the edges of the river, including the spruce tree, that can change on a daily basis. If you decide to enter the river please use caution.