Lake Cowichan Weir release extended to late July by Province

RICHMOND, BC, June 3, 2013 /CNW/ - Catalyst Paper today announced that it has received the decision from the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations (FLNRO) over the day to day management of the weir that controls the water levels in Lake Cowichan and the Cowichan River.  FLNRO agreed to delay the implementation of the lake draw down by 22 days from July 9 to July 31 but rejected the Cowichan Watershed Board's request for temporary storage of up to 20cm of water until July 9.  The decision reduces the likelihood of having to reduce summer river flows in the event of a drought.

Crofton General Manager Rob Belanger said he was pleased that the province had listened to the voiced concerns.  "This is a step in the right direction to protect the river and its fish."  A 2012 Kerr Wood Leidal engineering study of the weir reviewed performance back to 1955 showing that lake summer inflows have dropped by 35% since the late 1950's due to climate change.  The study also concluded that a delayed draw down and additional lake storage would reduce the risk of low river flows from 61% to 35% in any given year.  Catalyst plans to continue to work closely with the Province, Cowichan Watershed Board, the CVRD, First Nations including Cowichan Tribes, and Fisheries and Oceans Canada to ensure the optimum operation of the weir so that the river and its fishery is protected. 

Catalyst Paper manufactures diverse specialty mechanical printing papers, newsprint and pulp. Its customers include retailers, publishers and commercial printers in North America, Latin America, the Pacific Rim and Europe. With four mills, located in British Columbia and Arizona, Catalyst has a combined annual production capacity of 1.8 million tonnes. The company is headquartered in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada and is ranked by Corporate Knights magazine as one of the 50 Best Corporate Citizens in Canada.

SOURCE: Catalyst Paper Corporation

For further information:

Media:
Rob Belanger
General Manager
250-246-6391

Lyn Brown
Vice President, Marketing & Corporate Responsibility
604-247-4713

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Catalyst Paper Corporation

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