Early Start-Up Planned for Cowichan Lake Weir in 2009

Crofton, BC - Catalyst Paper plans to resume operation in early spring of the Cowichan Lake weir that regulates water flow out of Cowichan Lake. The early return of the weir operation, tentatively planned for early March, is in response to low snow pack and low Cowichan Lake levels.

Upon resuming operation, the weir gradually reduces water flow from the lake into the Cowichan River to a target flow set by the Ministry of Environment. In the event that excess inflow into the lake is experienced (heavy spring rainfall), the spill gates will be opened accordingly to maintain the lake level at full storage level.
The Cowichan Lake boat lock, which allows boats to travel between the lake and the river, will also begin operation at this time. Both the weir and boat lock were decommissioned for the winter season in October 2008.

Catalyst Paper Crofton Division operates the weir under the direction of the Ministry of Environment, and in accordance with their established regulations and the terms of our licenses. The weir and boat lock are operated 24 hours per day during the control season, and lake and river levels are regularly monitored to maintain target lake levels, and river release rates.

The monitoring and regulation of Cowichan Lake water levels and flow release is part of the Ministry of Environment’s ongoing commitment to maintain stream flows for all stakeholders.

For further information contact:
John Baldwin
Technical Officer
Ministry of Environment
(250) 751-3179

Michelle Vessey
Manager, Environment & Technical Development
Catalyst Paper Crofton Division
(250) 246-6236

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