BC Hydro is warning the public about an increase in river flows in the Comox Valley on the Puntledge River in order to help summer Chinook salmon begin migrating.
To assist the Chinook to enter the river system, BC Hydro is set to begin the salmon migration and spawning flows to assist them to move up an approximately six-kilometre stretch of the river from the generating station to the Puntledge River diversion dam, ultimately through a fish ladder at the Comox Dam and into the Comox Lake Reservoir (and beyond).
There will be five, two-day releases, starting June 15 and 16, and then taking place each Tuesday and Wednesday until July 14.
From June 15 through to July 14, on each Tuesday and Wednesday, a public safety caution advisory will be in place for the Barber’s Hole, Nymph Falls and Stotan Falls stretch of the river as flows will be more than double.
River flows at these locations will go from about six cubic metres per second (m3/s) into the 12 m3/s to 17 m3/s range. Temporary caution safety signage will also be in place. As well, less river recreation and therefore less in-river disturbance along this stretch of the river during the migration flows will enable better fish movement upstream.