Victoria, BC– The Capital Regional District (CRD) has completed upgrades to the Colquitz River Dam outlet and structure, replacing the former weir structure at the south end of Elk/Beaver Lake in Elk/Beaver Lake Regional Park.
“This project keeps an important asset functioning and ensures the CRD provides a safe, secure facility for parks users,” said CRD Regional Parks Committee Chair Susan Brice. ”It also contributes to enhanced fish habitat in Colquitz River.”
Included in the upgrade is a fish-friendly spillway which provides a safe passage up and down stream through the dam structures for fish such as sea run cutthroat trout, coho and chum salmon, stickleback and sculpin. New control works better regulate water released to the river, which assists with fish migration to spawning beds. As well, a new low maintenance foot bridge below the dam and spillway allows for continued use of the popular Beaver Lake shoreline trail.
“The improved passage for fish to the top of the Colquitz River system as a result of this new dam is positive for the whole river and supports the fish enhancements efforts of many of our local government and community partners in the Gorge Waterway Initiative,” said Glenn Harris, Senior Manager, Environmental Protection Division. The Gorge Waterway Initiative comprises a group of organizations working with the CRD to improve environmental management and awareness in the waterway and its surrounding watersheds.
For nearly 25 years and through a water licence with the Province of British Columbia, CRD Regional Parks has released water in Elk/Beaver Lake Regional Park through a dam into Colquitz River to maintain fish habitat during the summer months. The dam is in compliance with BC dam safety requirements. The $485,000 project included $50,000 in partnership funding from the District of Saanich.
For more details and to see photos of the dam upgrade, visit http://www.crd.bc.ca/project/past-capital-projects-and-initiatives/elk-beaver-lake-dam-upgrade.
The CRD is a local government that delivers 200+ regional, sub-regional and local services for residents of the region which includes 13 municipalities and three electoral areas within 2370 square kilometres on southern Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. Governed by a 24 member Board of Directors, the CRD is working to serve the public, and build a vibrant, livable and sustainable region.
For media inquiries, please contact:
Laurie Sthamann, Communications Coordinator
CRD Parks & Environmental Services