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Kokish River Hydroelectric Project


Project overview

We provided scientific and technical expertise to support the development of the Kokish River hydroelectric facility from the environmental assessment stage through to operational monitoring.

  • Client: Kwagis Power Limited Partnership
  • Location: Port McNeill, Vancouver Island
  • Duration: 2008 – ongoing

The challenge

In 2008, Kwagis Power Limited Partnership retained Ecofish to complete the aquatic and riparian environmental impact assessment for the Kokish River Hydroelectric Project. The run-of-river project site is in a sensitive watershed downstream of Ida Lake and the East Fork of the Kokish River, approximately 15 km east of Port McNeil, BC.

The project infrastructure included: weir, intake, and diversion structure, a 9.2 km-long buried penstock, a powerhouse with four Pelton turbines, a tailrace, a switchyard, and a transmission line (138 kV) that connects the powerhouse to the existing BC Hydro power grid.

The work

Environmental effects assessment

Ecofish evaluated the potential effects, residual effects, and significance of the proposed project on the aquatic habitat (including water quality), fish community riparian habitat, and invertebrate community. We also completed the outstanding baseline data requirements, which had started in 2006, produced the Long-term Monitoring Baseline Report, and developed the Operational Environmental Monitoring Plan.

Key monitoring and technical services

We performed fish migration monitoring studies, hydrometric gauging, and commissioning ramping studies, and developed the aquatic and riparian compensation plans. The DFO Authorization for the project was drafted with assistance from Ecofish senior scientists.

The results

Our work resulted in numerous environmental studies and technical reports, unique site-specific habitat compensation plans (including nutrient enrichment studies), as well as scientific consultations and meetings with stakeholders, working groups, and regulatory agencies. The project’s Environmental Assessment Certificate was awarded in 2010, and construction of the project began in 2012 with commercial operations starting in 2015. Ecofish has consistently provided scientific and technical expertise to support our client at all stages of the project.

“The fisheries monitoring work that Ecofish has performed during construction and operation of our Kokish hydroelectric facility helps us preserve the Kokish River. The river is home to a variety of fish species, and Ecofish has assisted in mitigating and managing our impact on these vital resources.”  



Deborah Stanyer, Brookfield Renewable Partners