BC Hydro again increasing flows down Puntledge River

As it did Sunday, BC Hydro will again increase the discharge Thursday from the Comox Dam by about threefold to manage reservoir levels.

  • Jan. 16, 2011 5:00 a.m.

As it did Sunday, BC Hydro will again increase the discharge Thursday from the Comox Dam by about threefold to manage reservoir levels.

For public safety, Hydro advises people to be cautious around the Puntledge River. The Comox Dam is high on the Puntledge, just below Comox Lake.

With the relatively wet and warmer weather causing modest snowmelt, BC Hydro is forecasting an increase in water inflows into Comox Lake Reservoir.

There is no concern for flood risk management, but Hydro crews will work Thursday on one of the two spillway gates at Comox Dam.

“To complete the work, the spillway gate will be lifted quite high and result in a significant increase in river flows, Stephen Watson of BC Hydro’s Vancouver Island Community Relations says in a news release. “The second spillway gate will be adjusted as needed to provide consistent water discharges.”

On Tuesday and Wednesday, BC Hydro will provide a slightly higher flow down the Barber’s Hole and Stotan Falls section of the Puntledge River to benefit fish. Each year BC Hydro increases the flow in this area of the river 17 times to benefit fish migration, spawning and rearing. Four of these 48-hour “pulse flows” take place in January.

BC Hydro generally releases about 35 cubic metre per second from Comox Dam for full power generation and fish flow requirements. On Thursday, the water discharge will increase to about 110 m3/s during daylight hours. The Comox Lake Reservoir is currently at 133.85 metres, or about 1.45 m from free-spilling over the dam.

— BC Hydro

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