Elsie Lake Reservoir and Dam, as seen from an aerial view. (PHOTO COURTESY BC HYDRO)

BC Hydro urges caution over planned flow increases on Ash River

River flow increases will assist fish migration, but could pose safety risk to humans

BC Hydro will be releasing three pulse flows from Elsie Dam down the Ash River to assist with steelhead passage at Dickson and Lanterman Falls.

Over a three-day period, done three different times, BC Hydro will increase Ash River flow to mimic a small storm event and have flows shape to rise up to 9 m3/s before dropping back down to the minimum 3.5 m3/s flow. These migration flows are set for Aug. 11-13, Aug. 18-20, and Aug. 25-27.

The flow rates provide additional water flow for steelhead to move past and upstream of natural river obstacles such as Dickson Falls and Lanterman Falls and into Dickson Lake.

Water released below the dam is not used for power generation.

“We have placed public safety signage immediately below Elsie Dam to Dickson Lake, and the outlet of the lake advising people of the dates and the change in river flows,” explained BC Hydro spokesperson Karla Louwers.

“The highest public safety risk will be the late afternoon on Aug. 11, 18 and 25 when we almost triple the river flow in a few hours. It’s not a lot of water in the grand scheme of things, but it could get people in trouble if they are in the river. Please be cautious.”

Alberni-Clayoquot Regional DistrictFish

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