In response to Klaus Kuhn’s guest column of Feb. 3, I suggest that the smokescreen about the Cowichan Lake weir is generated by himself, not the CVRD.
The CVRD is getting involved precisely because the parties currently responsible for weir operation (the provincial government and Catalyst Paper) have been unable or unwilling to address community concerns about river flow and aquifer replenishment in the Cowichan Valley.
I have attended presentations on weir operation and have studied the excellent information available on the Cowichan Watershed Board website. It seems clear that a small increase in weir height would allow better regulation of river flow without lake levels exceeding current winter maximums. This would be done by holding back spring runoff a bit longer. Cost to CVRD ratepayers would be modest.
Despite what seems reasonable, nothing seems to happen. I assume that lakeshore property owners do not want to see any change in lake level management, and that these property owners have a lot of influence.
Perhaps Mr. Kuhn was, through the smoke, supporting their cause in his column. I would hope that property owners’ concerns about raising the weir could be alleviated by compensation where private property is affected. The greater good of all residents of this valley and the health of the fish in the river should come first, in my opinion.
R. Paul Gowland
Municipality of North Cowichan