Fish salvage crews on scene at Puntledge River as flow reduced: BC Hydro

Fish salvage crews on scene at Puntledge River as flow reduced: BC Hydro

Due to the dry weather, BC Hydro is reducing the river flow on the Puntledge River, and the company had fish crews on scene to move fish back into the stream.

In a video posted to Twitter, Stephen Watson, spokesperson for BC Hydro, says the crews were there throughout the morning on Oct. 5 as the water levels reduced.

“We have fish salvage crews in place in a couple of key areas to move juveniles back in the river system or occasionally some adults if they’re not near the main stem to get back to the main stem,” Watson said. “They’ll be in place throughout the morning as we slowly ramp down flows.”

The flow reduction was due to Vancouver Island experiencing one of the hottest and driest extended periods in October on record, according to a release from Watson.

BC Hydro says the Puntledge River’s minimum fish habitat flow is 15.7 cubic metres per second. In August and September, total precipitation was at 21 per cent and 16 per cent of normal respectively.

Water inflows at the river this week were only about four cubic metres.

READ MORE: ‘We’d normally be standing in water right now’: River levels low as drought persists

On Wednesday, the company reduced the Puntledge River flow to eight cubic metres, which is the similar rate to lsat year.

“By moving to this flow rate we can sustain river flows until the end of October,” the release says. “It will lessen the rate of decline within the reservoir water storage.”

On Oct. 4, Environment Canada told CHEK News there is no significant rain in the forecast for the Island.

“In the near-term, we don’t see too much in particularly for Vancouver Island or the southwest of B.C. This week is remaining warm, dry, temperatures above normal,” said Meteorologist Alyssa Charbonneau said on Oct. 4.

She said there is a chance of light rain next week, but it’s too far out to be sure and that the models support a drier and warmer trend continuing.

Laura BroughamLaura Brougham

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