Millions of salmon have been lost in B.C. due to hydroelectric dams or dams for municipal water supplies. There have been big losses on the Alouette, Bridge, Capilano, Coquitlam, Cheakamus, Nechako, Puntledge, Seton, Stave and the middle Shuswap rivers. Dams can fully block access to salmon spawning areas. They also dramatically change the natural waterflow regime in ways that can cause long term damage to salmon habitat.
Hundreds of “run-of-the-river” projects are now in front of provincial regulators for approval. Although these are touted as environmentally benign by their proponents, there are huge implications for salmon streams ranging from harmful changes to the waterflow regime downstream to impacts during construction.