A steelhead trout jumps out of the water to pass an obstacle in the river.

Photo Credit: The Columbian

BC Hydro Pulses Great for Steelhead, Spicy for People

It's not a lot of water, but it could cause trouble if you're in the river

Watch out for high flows!

BC Hydro will release three pulses of water into the Ash River this month. The extra water flowing through the river will help Steelhead migrate past Dickson Falls and into Dickson Lake, located northwest of Port Alberni.

Each pulse will span three days, and the middle day will have the highest flows:

  • August 16th-18th,
  • August 23th-25th, and
  • August 30th – September 1st.

Dickson Falls are natural barriers to migrating fish. But extra summer flows help fish get past the barrier so they can spawn in the lake. BC Fish and Wildlife also blasted parts of the falls in 1977-78 (we love blowing up rocks, don’t we?).

The pulses from Elsie Lake Dam mimic summer storms.

Karla Louwers is a spokesperson for BC Hydro. She cautions folks that the most dangerous times will be late afternoon on August 16th, 23rd, and 30th.

“It’s not a lot of water in the grand scheme of things,” she said, “but it could get people in trouble if they are in the river. Please be cautious.”

So it might not be a paddler’s paradise, but it could still catch people off-guard.

BC Hydro will also put up signs around the river to alert folks about the extra water.