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location icon Campbell River

John Hart Generating Station Replacement


Project overview

The John Hart Generating Station is one of Vancouver Island’s most important generating facilities. Built in 1947, it required replacement and modernization work to be more efficient and reliable. Ecofish provided key fisheries and environmental services for the Environmental Assessment (EA).

  • Client: BC Hydro
  • Location: Campbell River, Vancouver Island
  • Duration: 2010 – 2014

The challenge

95 per cent of the lower Campbell River flows through the John Hart Generating Station. If the facility shuts down for any reason valuable fish and fish habitat could be at risk. As part of the upgrade work, a new water bypass is required to ensure that water flow can be maintained in the event of a shutdown.

The work

We collected the existing conditions (baseline data) for fish and fish habitat and assessed the potential effects resulting from the generating station upgrade. We also developed key recommendations for mitigation and compensation, and performed the residual effects assessment.

Key services to support the upgrade included:

  • design and implementation of fish habitat studies
  • flow bypass studies
  • rearing and fish habitat use
  • fish entrainment studies
  • migration and holding habitat use
  • aquatic footprint
  • hydrometric and habitat modelling
  • water quality monitoring.

Specific studies included a fish stranding habitat assessment for the lower Campbell River, and a ramping effects assessment for fish habitat that modelled potential effects under various steady state and transient flow conditions.  Ecofish recently undertook a review of the entrainment rate assessment methods to address fish entrainment at the John Hart facility and any incremental impacts associated with the facility upgrade.