BC Hydro is allowing the water levels on the South Alouette River to be higher this spring, to allow a study of sockeye smolt out-migration. (Special to The News)

BC Hydro is allowing the water levels on the South Alouette River to be higher this spring, to allow a study of sockeye smolt out-migration. (Special to The News)

Maple Ridge river higher for sockeye smolt study

Sockeye salmon smolt migration in South Alouette studied

BC Hydro is in the middle of studying the numbers of sockeye smolts leaving Alouette Lake down the South Alouette River.

The higher water flows on the river are obvious to anyone walking along its banks, and they will remain high until June 14.

The water generally flows at three cubic meters per second, and will be increased to about 10 for the study, rising to maximums of 15.

According to Hydro, the annual monitoring since 2005 shows an average of approximately 15,000 smolts going down the river each year, and this study will determine whether increased water flows will result in more.

ARMS president Ken Stewart chairs the Alouette River Salmon Restoration Program Committee, which includes members of ARMS, Hydro employees and other stakeholders.

He said ARMS anticipates the study to show that higher water levels would result in healthier populations of not just sockeye, but all five species of salmon in the water system. The water looks healthier during its increased flows for this study, he said.

“We’re expecting a lot of smolts to come out this way,” said Stewart. “It’s the ideal situation right now. We’re looking forward to seeing the results.”

READ ALSO: Neglected Alouette Lake sockeye could return in the thousands

READ ALSO: ARMS takes aim at city subdivision, Hydro’s water licence in coming year

After many generations, land-locked sockeye become kokanee. However, ARMS contends the sockeye in the Alouette system haven’t lost their instinct to swim to the ocean, and return to spawn, and would populate the system if a fish ladder allowed them to get past the Alouette Dam.

ARMS executive director Greta Borick-Cunningham said the highest daily catch thus far of 215 smolts occurred on May 1, and so far, catches are higher than those observed last year. She noted the study is part of a greater body of work this year, the Alouette Watershed Sockeye Fish Passage Feasibility project. ARMS manages the overall project including the smolt outmigration survey, adult sockeye salmon in-migration enumeration, and Alouette diversion tunnel entrainment study.

Hydro is warning residents to be cautious around the river, because water levels can rise suddenly without warning.


Have a story tip? Email: ncorbett@mapleridgenews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BCHydroEnvironmentmaple ridgePitt MeadowsSalmon

Just Posted

Tyler O’Neill has a shot at making the NL all-star team. (Taka Yanagimoto/St. Louis Cardinals)
Executive director of the Friends In Need Food Bank Mary Robson with Darrell Jones, president of Save-On-Foods. (The News files)
Save-On-Foods 4th annual campaign for Maple Ridge food bank starts Thursday, June 17

50 per cent of net proceeds from Western Family brand to be donated

A white bicycle marks the intersection where Dillan Fernando was killed in Pitt Meadows on May 15. (Special to The News)
Family of cyclist killed in Pitt Meadows raising money for Sri Lankan tech centre in his honour

Computer hub would give underprivileged children access to equipment they can not afford

An artists conception of the new terminal building at the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport.
Air traffic at Pitt Meadows Airport returning

There will be demand for more air traffic controllers: Miller

Emiko Nakai will attend Warner Pacific University in Portland, Oregon next year. (Special to The News)
Three SRT Titans earn scholarships

Maple Ridge’s Emiko Nagai, Lucas Hutchinson, and Cade Armour will take talents to college level

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
VIDEO: Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

St. Joseph's Mission site is located about six kilometres from Williams Lake First Nation. (Photo submitted)
Williams Lake First Nation to search residential school site for unmarked graves

St. Joseph’s Mission Indian Residential School operated from 1886 to 1981

Tuesday’s Lotto Max draw went unclaimed. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Tuesday’s Lotto Max draw went unclaimed. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lotto Max jackpot goes unclaimed again

42 of the 64 Maxmillion prizes of $1 million were won, the majority were sold in Ontario

FILE - This July 6, 2017 file photo shows prescription drugs in a glass flask at the state crime lab in Taylorsville, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)
Contaminants in generic drugs may cause long-term harm to DNA: B.C. researcher

Scientist says findings suggest high volume overseas facilities require strict regulation

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., on April 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Labour shortages, closed borders major obstacles to B.C. restaurant, tourism restarts

Industry expert says it won’t start to recover until international travellers can visit

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Most Read