Water levels in local watersheds are still lower than normal, despite April’s wet weather.
BC Hydro updated the water supply forecast for the Campbell River region today, and although last month’s rain was 166 per cent of normal, overall water inflows are only three-quarters of typical years. The overall spring and summer forecast is still below average, although the increase in water storage will be better for fish habitat, recreation and power generation.
Stephen Watson with BC Hydro says the new forecast will be good news for salmon.
“We may increase the Campbell River flow rate below the John Hart hydroelectric facilities from about 65 cubic metres per second to the 70 to 80 range to assist with the salmon smolt out-migration to the ocean,” he says. We may then lower river flow to around 35 to 40 in early July, a typical summer flow rate, and hold it there through the summer.”
The recent warm weather has accelerated the snow melt. Watson says it’s resulted in a drastic shift from March, which saw the lowest water inflows recorded in 60 years (30 per cent of normal), to this month, which has already seen one of the highest inflows on record at twice the typical amount.