Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources is advising the public to use caution when using the Nanaimo River this week due to increased water flows.
Beginning Oct. 1, the City of Nanaimo and Harmac Pacific will be releasing more water from two reservoirs to improve fish access through the rapids into the Nanaimo Lakes spawning areas.
People using the river – especially boaters and swimmers – are advised to use extra caution. Increased flows combined with storms can create strong currents and undertows. Water levels at and near the Highway 19 bridge are expected to rise by about one-third of a metre and will last a few days.
Water release dates vary each year depending on the number of fish entering the river and river flows resulting from rain.
Present river flows are slightly below average for this time of year.