Aberfeldie Replacement Project

Scope of Services:

Limnotek conducted a multi-year before-after-control-impact assessment to examine the effect of a 2009 upgrade to the Aberfeldie hydropower facilities on biological communities that supply food for fish in the Bull River, British Columbia. Aberfeldie is a run-of-river power generation project on the Bull River near Cranbrook, British Columbia. Replacement of the penstock and powerhouse resulted in lower flow in a diversion reach of the Bull River at certain times of the year compared to years before the upgrade. The change in flow caused the abundance of sensitive invertebrate taxa that are fish food organisms to increase, potentially due to lower water velocities and shear. The abundance of other taxa declined due to loss of wetted habitat. That loss was offset by added production of benthic invertebrates in a constructed side channel that was developed to mitigate for loss of habitat in the diversion reach due to the Aberfeldie replacement.

Relevance of the Project:

Detailed water and biological monitoring was used to test side channel effectiveness in mitigating for loss of habitat due to the Aberfeldie replacement and to supply data required for water license requirements.