Cowichan Valley Citizen, October 15, 2010
Beginning on Oct. 15, water flows were again increased in the Cowichan River to help manage current high lake levels.
A joint agreement to increase water flows was reached by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Ministry of Environment Water Stewardship Division, Cowichan Tribes, Cowichan River Hatchery and Catalyst Paper Crofton Division. Water storage levels in Lake Cowichan are above target with associated concern for even higher lake levels later this fall.
Recent wet weather has resulted in Lake Cowichan levels continuing to rise even with higher river flows. In response to high lake levels, stepped increases over the next days will result in the weir coming off control on or about Oct. 19. Previously, the river flow was controlled at 25 cubic meters per second (cms). On Oct. 15 the flow was increased by five centimetres to 30 cms and each day forward another increase in river flow of 5 cms until the weir gates are fully open.
The Ministry of Environment encourages the public, especially boaters and swimmers, to use extra caution on the Cowichan River. Increased flows combined with natural storm events can create stronger currents and undertows.
The Cowichan Lake weir regulates water flow out of the lake and is operated by Catalyst Paper Crofton Division under the direction of Ministry of Environment Water Stewardship Division, and in accordance with the established regulations and licenses.
The monitoring and regulation of Cowichan Lake water levels and flow release is part of the Ministry of Environment’s ongoing commitment to maintain stream flows for all stakeholders.
© Cowichan Valley Citizen 2010