Flow Reductions On Upper Columbia Spark BC Probe Of Fish Kill [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Flow Reductions On Upper Columbia Spark BC Probe Of Fish Kill

01-21-2002, 10:32 AM
from the Fishwire Advisory...


The accidental killing of an estimated 18,000 fish on the Upper Columbia has sparked an investigation by Canadian government agencies. No charges have been filed, but federal and provincial investigators have used search warrants to remove files from BC Hydro offices. The fish kill occurred last summer after Hydro reduced Upper Columbia flows at BPA's request.


01-21-2002, 10:25 PM
This happened on my home waters. I was talking to a conservation officer last week and he said that the figure is exaggerated but I know from personal experiance that the fishing is not the same! Its a big river and I know it will bounce back quickly, but from what I heard the Americans wanted lower flows of water and under agreements in place BC hydro is obliged to comply. All I can say about it is that I hope it dosnt happen again, and that the reponsible parties are dealt with accordingly.

Scott K
01-29-2002, 01:28 PM
Fishman, 26, according to the article, according to the 1961 treaty, BC hydro could have rejected the request by BPA to lower it's flows from 25,000 to 15,000 CFS.

I am just a bit concerned about how this went about. I mean did they just flip a switch and the Columbia went from 25,000 to 15,000, or did they dampen the river slowly and gradually bring it down which would give the fish time to figure out what is happening?

01-29-2002, 08:37 PM
The river dropped rapidlly, somthing that happens often on a tailwater fishery (it can go up just as fast). There are really only a few spots that the fish can be stranded and BC hydro biologists do try to scoop up the fish in these places but someone really screwed the pooch on this one. I used to have a friend who was the head biologist for BC hydro here and I could have found out more but he passed away this past summer. However there was substantial work being done one of the dams and the flows were low all summer and I am sure that dropping the water like they did was not an inconveniance. One or two new turbines were installed.