Friday, September 29, 2017

Water Release - Nanaimo River Chinook

Increased flow Oct. 4 - 8

During the week of October 2, Nanaimo Forest Products and the City of Nanaimo will be releasing water from the Fourth Lake and Jump Creek reservoirs to provide a temporary pulse flow to the Nanaimo River.  A partnership between the Nanaimo Fish Hatchery and the two water licensees, in concert with Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations has existed for a number of years.  The parties come together annually to coordinate an early fall flush of fresh, cool water to encourage Chinook salmon waiting in the Nanaimo River estuary to move upstream to begin spawning.

The pulse release will be noticeable starting Wednesday, October 4, and will taper off by the weekend of October 7-8.

Through careful management of the reservoirs, there is sufficient reserves available to be able to facilitate the pulse release, despite this year's drought.

Mature Chinook salmon typically wait in the tidal portion of the Nanaimo River, until the first fall rains provide enough flow to move upstream. The pulse release provides that flow, and over the past several years has aided in recovery of this species.

"With the recent rain, flows have increased slightly, but not significantly enough to trigger the Chinook in the lower Nanaimo River to migrate upstream.  A pulse release again this year will definitely be beneficial."
Brian Banks, Manager, Nanaimo River Hatchery

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