BC Hydro will be releasing three pulse flows of water from Elsie Lake Dam to assist steelhead migration down the Ash River. The first pulse will take place starting Aug. 10, 2021. (BC HYDRO PHOTO)

Public urged to be cautious on Ash River during August flow increases

Increased water flows from Elsie Dam will help steelhead migration starting Aug. 10

  • Aug. 2, 2021 12:00 a.m.

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 in August, BC Hydro will increase its release into the Ash River to 9 m3/s before dropping back down to the minimum 3.5 m3/s flow. These migration flows are set for Aug. 10-12, Aug. 17-19 and Aug. 24-26.

The flow rates mimic a small storm event and 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.

“In advance of the pulse flows, we will place 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. 10, 17 and 24 when we almost triple the river flow over the lapse of 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.”

Water released below the dam is not used for power generation. The pulse flows to help with fish migration occurs annually.

Alberni Valley News