Be cautious around the Cowichan River fish pulse on Sunday

Cowichan River flows are to increase from seven cubic meters per second to 16, between 3 p.m. and midnight, Sunday, September 25.

  • Sep. 19, 2011 8:00 p.m.

Keep clear of the Cowichan River, Sunday, September 25.

Beginning at 3 p.m., the Cowichan Lake weir will begin ramping up its flow from seven cubic meters per second to 16.

The ramping up will be complete by about midnight.

The ramping up of river flows is meant to encouraged fish migration.

“It’s a modest increase,” weir operator Brian Houle said, when taking into account the 200 cubic meters per second-plus that flows down the river in the winter.

The time of the ramping up of flows has been strategically selected, as it ensures that the Duncan area doesn’t receive the increased flow until the early morning hours, making it less likely that people in Duncan will be affected.

The Cowichan River saw one fish pulse take place last year.

“We never did ramp it back down, there was so much rain,” Houle said, of last year’s early shut down of the weir.

Usually, the weir is put off control by the end of October, as by then there’s adequate precipitation to provide more than adequate flows to the Cowichan River.

So far this year, only the one fish pulse has been scheduled.

A second will depend upon what the weather decides to do.

If it’s dry, there will be another, and if it’s wet, it won’t be necessary.

If there is another fish pulse, the Gazette will let readers know.