BC Hydro is issuing a public safety notice of high water flow conditions and advising people to stay away from the Puntledge River on Sunday, May 2.
Temporary danger signage will be placed along the river.
The daily average water inflows into Comox Lake Reservoir have risen from about 14 cubic metres per second (m3/s) prior to the warmer weather, to a forecasted 110 m3/s later this week.
BC Hydro may need to release some excess water downstream for a few days through May as they may be unable to store all the water coming into the reservoir. They will also likely release extra water towards the end of May, as they typically do each year, to assist with the Chinook smolt out-migration to the ocean.
BC Hydro will be targeting the kayak flows within the Puntledge River so a water use interest can take advantage of the temporary abundant water conditions. On Saturday night and thru Sunday, the water release from the dam will increase to about 100 m3/s, more than three times the normal river flow rate. This flow will be for expert kayakers only.
Recognizing the Provincial Health Officer COVID-19 recommendations, any kayakers taking advantage of these conditions should all be within the Island Health Authority region.
BC Hydro will have a full reservoir in June and then manage our operations through the summer based on the weather conditions. The current level is 133.35 metres and is forecast to be around 134.3 metres on Sunday. The reservoir is full at 135.33 metres.