Temporary water use restrictions on the Coldwater River and its tributaries have been rescinded effective noon, Sept. 18, 2015.
The order, issued under authority of the Fish Protection Act, was originally scheduled to be in force until Sept. 30, 2015 and was in place to limit water use to protect coho, chinook and steelhead populations in the Coldwater River during low flows caused by drought. It was also in place to improve conditions for spawning salmon and limit predation during the critical period that these fish were navigating their way up river.
Following a review of the river on Sept. 13 by staff from both the ministry and the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), 225 chinook were counted and it was confirmed that the peak of spawning had occurred. Overall flow conditions and temperatures on the river have stabilized and are deemed sufficient to provide habitat for fish in the stream and protect incubating eggs. As a result the order establishing a minimum flow threshold of 960 litres per second is no longer required.
The Province appreciates the water licensee’s contribution to conserving salmon stocks by complying with the order, as well as voluntarily reducing their water use. The Province also thanks the Nicola Tribal Association for providing advice and monitoring information to ministry staff throughout the drought period.
- Section 9 of the Fish Protection Act allows for ministerial orders to temporarily regulate water users, regardless of the terms of their water licence under the Water Act, provided the following conditions are met:
- Water levels are low due to drought.
- The survival of fish populations is or may be threatened due to low water levels.
- Due consideration has been given to the needs of agricultural users.