Restoring The Spray River

On August 9, 2011 Trout Unlimited Canada (TUC) first reported on the concerns raised by local guides and anglers with the spilling of water over TransAlta's infrastructure at the Canyon Dam spillway into the Spray River drainage.

One of the two generators at the Spray plant had been down for maintenance since February. In late May the second generator unexpectedly failed, resulting in high water flows down the Spay River along with large amounts of siltation being pushed through into the Bow River.

Since the failure of the second generator in late May Spray unit No. 1 returned to service on Sept. 10. The second unit is in the reassembly stage and TransAlta plans to have it in service in November.

Since this initial report TransAlta has invested close to $500,000 towards restoring habitat along the Spray River. Helicopters placed between 450 and 500 trees within the river to create new holding pools for the cutthroat, bull and brook trout inhabiting the Spray River.

TUC played a role forming part of the electro fishing teams that saved over 2000 fish that would have remained stranded in remnant pools.

Golder Associates, a long time TUC partner, who has been involved with the events and issues on the Spary River will continue to monitor the progress of this restoration project into 2012.

For a complete recap of this restoration project to date please read the Rocky Mountain Outlook article on-line.

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