In early April, Catalyst Crofton, a Paper Excellence company, will resume regular seasonal operation of the Cowichan Lake weir (dam) that regulates water flow out of Cowichan Lake in Canada.
Once operating, the weir operation will gradually reduce water flow from the lake to the river in order to have enough extra water in the lake to achieve the target river flow during the dry summer months.
Catalyst Crofton operates the weir under the direction of the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (FLNRORD). FLNRORD sets the target river flow with guidance provided by fish and fish habitat stewards including Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Cowichan Tribes.
Once the weir is mechanically and electrically confirmed to be ready for another control season, the boat lock gates will be lowered, and boater traffic must navigate from lake and river with assistance from the boat lock operator. While the weir boat lock is operated 24 hours per day during control season, boat passage through the locks is intended to be a daylight activity. Adjustments to river flow are also made mostly during the day shift.
The monitoring and regulation of Cowichan Lake water levels and flow releases is part of the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development’s ongoing commitment to maintain stream flows for all stakeholders.
Paper Excellence is a diversified manufacturer of pulp and specialty, printing, writing, and packaging papers. The company operates eight mills and a large-scale cargo distribution centre in Canada producing and shipping over 3 million tonnes annually.