Monday, March 12, 2012

Run-of-river power projects kill fish

Outflow at the Mamquam River generating station owned by the Atlantic Power Corporation in Squamish, B.C.  Photograph by: Nick Procaylo, PNG

NOTE: We recently posted a story about the Kokish River. That river is mentioned in this article.

Run-of-river power projects kill fish

Freedom-of-information documents detail death of salmon, steelhead due to water fluctuations

By Larry Pynn,
Vancouver Sun
March 11, 2012

The Mamquam River pours cold and fresh off the Coast Mountains, forming pools and canyons and chutes of white water on its way to the Squamish River and Howe Sound.

It was a natural place for federal fisheries biologists to assemble on an August 2010 weekend for swift-water safety training. Like the river itself, however, their exercise took an expected turn.

Rather than watch the Mamquam flow predictably to the sea, the biologists were dismayed to witness the water levels fluctuate wildly — and with dire consequences.

Young steelhead were dying, stranded without water.

The culprit? The Capital Power run-of-river hydro plant, located just upstream.

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