BC Hydro ramping rates at their dams killing salmon and steelhead! - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-14-2019, 10:49 PM Thread Starter
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BC Hydro ramping rates at their dams killing salmon and steelhead!

BC Hydro is drawing down water at too rapid a rate that is resulting in mortalities and fry stranding of both steelhead and salmon on the Cheakamus River, which is tributary of Squamish. It's time for BC Hydro to slow their ramping rates. This can't be an isolated problem, as its likely happening on other rivers with dams on it.

https://www.squamishchief.com/news/l...sts-1.23908426
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-15-2019, 10:06 AM Thread Starter
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Further follow up on the story by the Editor of the Squamish Chief. Another ramping event has resulted in steelhead mortality and stranding. When will BC Hydro slow down to a ramp rate of 2.5 cm hour??

https://www.squamishchief.com/opinio...dro-1.23915274
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-15-2019, 01:31 PM
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Cohochinook,

What authority regulates BC Hydro? If they self regulate, then you have no recourse besides their concern for fish, or else the court system.

In the US, non-federal dams are regulated by FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission). Dam owners are licensed by FERC, and fish agencies recommend downramping rate restrictions as license conditions. This seems to work pretty well. Federal dam operations have gotten better, although that might be due to so many Endangered Species Act restrictions.

Downramping mortalities cannot be eliminated, but they can be drastically reduced. We have lots of studies and reports on this in WA if it would be helpful to you.

Sg
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-15-2019, 01:49 PM Thread Starter
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They're regulated by the BC provincial water comptroller, but also overseen by DFO in the case of salmon. DFO needs to mandate its recommended ramping rate of 2.5 CM/hour, but has chosen to not do this. The solution is simple slow down the draw down at the dam and you won't have this problem!
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-17-2019, 12:40 PM Thread Starter
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Here are some photos of the dead steelhead fry as result of BC Hydro ramping and some that were rescued.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-17-2019, 06:48 PM
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Does DFO request restricted downramping rates for salmon (species they are responsible for managing) but not for steelhead, a species they don't manage for?
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-11-2019, 10:35 AM Thread Starter
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The Pique Newspaper has it as their Feature Story on the cover of the paper this week:

https://www.piquenewsmagazine.com/wh...t?oid=14355090

Great to see local media holding BC Hydro accountable for killing salmon and steelhead on the Cheakamus
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-28-2019, 11:46 AM Thread Starter
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BC Hydro dropped the water flow in Cheakamus River on Sept 19/20 in 21 hours by half. This resulted in pre-spawn mortality of over 300 adult spawning pinks in just one small area of the Cheakamus. Likely the kill of pinks and dewatering of reds is much higher. Further abuse of by BC Hydro of their water license and DFO needs to act on this! The entire Squamish River system was closed to retention of Pink due to low numbers and a conservation concern. Now the loss of all these adult spawners and redds is just devastating!
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