BC Hydro: Water Release in the Puntledge River This Week Due to Watershed Snowmelt

April 11, 2016

From BC Hydro:

"The snowmelt and resulting water coming into the Comox Lake reservoir continues to modestly increase the reservoir level. Showery weather in the next week of so could also increase the inflows into the reservoir. Extra water will need to be released downstream to keep the Comox Lake reservoir level from getting too high.

The reservoir level is now at 135.1 metres or about 20 centimetres from free-spilling over the dam. While a full reservoir storage is good for the spring season as we begin to consider water management for the drier summer period, too high of a reservoir can have shoreline impacts caused by wave action.

BC Hydro will increase the Puntledge River flow to about twice the normal flow to about 70 m3/s. That will begin this evening and last until Wednesday night when flows will be reduced from the dam to about 45 m3/s so that BC Hydro can provide our final steelhead fish migration flow through the Stotan Falls section of the river, which is a flow rate of about 16 m3/s. Too much water flow in this area can impede fish passage upstream.

Then Friday evening, considering the water inflow rates forecasted, we may likely increase the river flow again back up to 70 m3/s or potentially higher depending on actual water inflows.

We ask the public to stay away from the Puntledge River, given the high flow conditions, on Tuesday and Wednesday, and then potentially on the weekend to next week. River safety signage will be in place as needed for the timing of these higher flow conditions."