Low levels on Nechako River causes concern

A train bridge which spans across the confluence of a dry river. The sky is blue with a couple of clouds low on the horizon.
The Nechako river is at a remarkably low level. Dr Stephen Déry connects that to below average precipitation levels in the Nechako watershed. Photo Credit - Ian Gregg
Ian Gregg - CFUR - Prince GeorgeBC | 01-12-2023
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The Nechako River’s levels are low, and Dr. Stephen Déry of UNBC’s Department of Geography, Earth, and Environmental Sciences confirms that it's a cause for concern. Low levels in the Nechako watershed make the waterbody more sensitive to temperature fluctuations, putting stress on the ecosystem, potentially increasing the likelihood of flooding due to ice-dams.

Déry doesn't mince words when pointing to the cause of this situation, “Definitely it is the lack of precipitation. We’ve seen below average precipitation in Prince George since June 2022.”

The Rio Tinto owned Kinney Dam upriver influences the watershed as well. It’s conceivable that its Skins Lake spillway releases could help regulate river flow, achieving rates closer to average levels. Smaller structures though, such as beaver dams and artificial beaver dam analogues could help. “That could actually increase the area of wetlands, essentially replenish zone moisture groundwater and ultimately feed into rivers.”