Friday, September 21, 2007

NANAIMO RIVER CAUTION ADVISORY

INCREASED FLOWS ON NANAIMO RIVER

NANAIMO – The Ministry of Environment is advising the public to use extra caution when using the Nanaimo River for recreation, due to increased water flows starting Sept. 24, 2007 to allow fish access through the rapids into the Nanaimo Lakes spawning areas.

Anyone using the river later in the fall season – especially boaters and swimmers – should be aware of the increased water flows and use extra caution when using the river because increased flows can combine with storms to create strong currents and undertows.

Pope and Talbot may be releasing water from its Fourth Lake reservoir, increasing flows from 2.83 to 7.1 cubic metres per second (100 to 250 cubic feet per second). The City of Nanaimo may be releasing water from its Jump Lake reservoir, increasing flows from 1.42 to approximately 2.83 cubic metres per second (50 to 100 cubic feet per second).

Water release dates depend on the number of fish entering the river and river flows resulting from rain. Present river flows are above average for this time of year. Nanaimo Hatchery staff are constantly monitoring fish movements in the river by conducting fish-count swims. If required, an additional release of water may occur early in October.

These fall pulse releases of water have been taking place for more than 20 years and are the result of a joint agreement between several agencies including: the Snuneymuxw First Nation, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Pope and Talbot Harmac Division, the City of Nanaimo, the British Columbia Ministry of Environment and the Nanaimo River Hatchery.


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