Thursday December 9, 2010


Kayakers Want Rivers Kept Open

IPP's will render many waterways useless to recreational users

Submitted by Ryan Bayes, FV Whitewater. Web photo courtesy of


his is a draft of a letter Iím proposing to send out to Navigable Waters and Transport Canada. The hope is that this letter will increase the oversights being given to construction and operation of IPPs in BC. The intent of this letter is not to stop the construction of IPPs but to insure that safe navigation can occur on water ways with active IPPs. I would also like to push for changes to be made in the assessment process for what is and is not considered navigable.

Please let me know if you would like to have your name or organization signed at the bottom. Iím also open to ideas for changes and additions to this letter.


Issues regarding safe navigation of BCís streams

To whom it may concern,

Iím writing on behalf of several parties that are concerned about the future of safe navigation of many water ways in BC. Currently there are dozens of IPP projects going through the application stage of their development. In many cases there is little or no regard for safe navigation occurring after the projects are operational.

There have been several cases where people from Navigable Waters have incorrectly labeled streams as un-navigable. Some of these streams have an abundance of documented navigation easily found in guide books and on the internet. (Big Silver Cr, Statlu Cr, and Tretheway Cr are examples of this)

This leads me to believe that there is little to no research actually being done by ĎNavigable Watersí before deciding if something is navigable or not. Basing navigability on studies completed by paid consultants of a proponent are unacceptable. I would encourage Navigable Waters officials to get in contact with the Canoe Kayak BC River Access Director for future consultation.

I would like to know what can be done to correct these inaccuracies already made and insure that the same mistakes are not repeated in the future.

As business owners that sell, rent and manufacture water craft, as well as other groups that use these water ways, we are concerned about the negative impacts IPPs may have if safe navigation isnít given more consideration.

Some issues users of these water ways will face after completion of an IPP are:

-Sudden and rapid change in water flows down stream of a diversion if there is a malfunction in the generating facility. This obviously presents a very large and real hazard to anyone using the stream below the intake.

-Sirens and warning measures for sudden water level changes cannot be heard through out the entire section of a diversion.

-Having water diverted from the stream will reduce its peak flow; this will hinder the streams natural ability to flush out wood and other debris. This will make navigation much more hazardous than before.

While there are many other issues facing navigation on streams with IPP projects like access, water flow and many others, I have kept this letter targeted at safety issues.

I have recorded dates and names of folks that this letter has been sent to and hope we can come up with some measures to insure that safe navigation continues to occur on BCís streams before someone is hurt as a result of IPPís.

Thank you for your consideration,

Concerned paddlers

Ryan Bayes - Director Vancouver Kayak Club, Fraser Valley White Water

Lynne Smith - Recreational Canoe Association of BC

Curtis McHale - Canoe Kayak BC River Impacts Director

Marlin Bayes - President Clipper Canoes

Mary Bayes - President Western Canoeing & Kayaking Inc.



I plan to send this letter to:

Navigable Waters, Provincial and Federal

Transport Canada, Provincial and Federal

Outdoor Recreation Council of BC
Canadian Parks and Recreation Association

Purple Hayes School of Kayaking

Confluence Watersports - Kevin Henderson

Vancouver Island Whitewater Society - Shayne Vollmers

If anyone has any idea of who else to send it to please let me know, Also, if there are people or groups that may wish to have their names signed, please let me know as well. Please send your e-mail here.


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