Working Hard to Safeguard Paddling Assets for All Canadians

All about Whitewater

All about Whitewater
A Blog about River Preservation and the need to protect our free flowing whitewater resources

Thursday, May 9, 2013

One more time: Its all about money

The Kipawa river is one of two outlets for Lake Kipawa.

The Gordon Creek outlet is manmade, servicing a power complex that went defunct around 1969.

There is no argument, a power dam did exist, its not like we can argue that.

The question has been and remains, what will be the reserve flow in the Kipawa River and what arrangements will be made for water releases.

It should not just be about generating electricity - but that is where the money comes in.

Les Amis may be interested in the Water Management plan from the Madawaska River.

It all revolves around the Bark Lake Dam:

The operation of the Bark Lake dam is based on an
annual cycle. The lake is lowered prior to the spring melt
and refilled during the spring. Operation of the dam takes
into consideration energy demands, downstream flooding
on the Madawaska and Ottawa Rivers, recreational
opportunities as well as spawning activities by walleye and
other species of fish.

Bark Lake  has minimum flow
requirements that must be met. In low flow years, OPG will
release water from storage to fulfill these requirements.

MKC has received mid-week flow releases from
Bark Lake from May to September to support its whitewater
operations since 1969. In most years, providing the
flow releases through the week for MKC has no impact on
maintaining Bark Lake in the summer operating range.  “The perception is that MKC receives
additional flow releases from Bark Lake to operate its
white-water program at expense of Bark Lake users.”

MKC and the associated tourist industry cannot operate
without periodic daytime midweek releases. A compromise
has been proposed for Bark Lake flow releases from May
to September that balances upstream and downstream users
during dry conditions.
The following conditions will be continued into the
WMP 2009:
1) MKC receives the 26 hours of midweek water
dispatch (25.6 m3/s) until Bark Lake reaches
313.62 m.
2) MKC midweek water reduced from 26 hours
per week to 18 hours per week when the level is
between 313.62 - 313.50 m.
3) When Bark Lake reaches 313.50 m, Bark Lake
discharge will be reduced. The amount and timing of
flow releases will depend on inflow conditions, time
of year and impact.
The Bark Lake minimum flow is 2.8 m3/s. This is a
fisheries requirement and must be met. If the inflow into
Bark Lake is less than 2.8 m3/s during a drought, the lake
level will decline even without white-water releases.
Issue Description: “There is a need to find balance
between flows required for operation of Madawaska
Kanu Centre (MKC), flows for walleye spawning, and
maintaining elevations for shoreline property owners and
boaters in Bark Lake.”

2. White-water releases for
Madawaska Kanu Centre when
flows are available will be
2.Communication between OPG
and MKC to be maintained for
potential releases.

Issue Description: “A concern was expressed about
erosion occurring at Bell’s Rapids where the river has been
diverted. The river channel has been changed by natural
erosion processes. Fallen timber has created a safety
hazard for kayakers at the diversion.”
Issue Source: Public
Response: Erosion at Bells Rapids where the river was
diverted is being addressed. A work permit was issued by
MNR to MKC with DFO approval.
Concerns about erosion-related complaints and issues
related to OPG hydroelectric facilities or dams should
be directed to First Line Manager Operating Ottawa\
Madawaska at (613) 432-8878, ext. 3315.
Action 1.
MKC will undertake the remedial work under the work
permit and DFO approval.
Erosion protection work was carried out in 2003. MKC
assisted with the work by removing the fallen timber hazard
and MNR contracted a local construction company to do
the shoreline stabilization and mitigation work.
MNR continues to monitor erosion and minimum spawn
flows for spawning at Bell’s Rapids.

OPG’s Madawaska River website will include linkages
to MKC and Canoe Ontario’s website.OPG did provide links to the MKC and the Canoe
Ontario’s website. However, they removed the links a few
years later, as OPG now provides information through a
website or a toll-free number. Web updates occur weekly or
bi-weekly. An OPG employee can be contacted at a
toll-free number to obtain level and flow information or
other information.

This water management plan should be developed for the Kipawa in light of the plans for the refurbished station in Temiskaming.

No comments:

Canadian Rivers

Canadian Rivers
I speak for river users too!

The Queen is not amused!

The Queen is not amused!

The Damned Dam - 2005 -

The Damned Dam - 2005 -
22nd Annual Kipaw Rally has modest turnout. - 23rd does better

The Ashlu river: it could happen to you

The Ashlu river: it could happen to you

Whitewater Ontario

Whitewater Ontario
Working Hard to Protect Canada's Paddling Resources

Whitewater Ontario - Mission Statement

It is Whitewater Ontario’s mission to support the whitewater paddling community through the promotion, development and growth of the sport in its various disciplines. We accomplish this through the development of events, resources, clubs, and programs for personal and athletic development, regardless of skill level or focus, to ensure a high standard of safety and competency; We advocate safe and environmentally responsible access and use of Ontario’s rivers. Whitewater Ontario is the sport governing body in the province, and represents provincial interests within the national body Whitewater Canada and the Canadian Canoe Association

Kipawa, Tabaret, and Opemican

Kipawa, Tabaret, and Opemican
If Hydro Quebec is not actively pursuing Tabaret what is that bite out of Opemican for?

Kipawa Dam: After

Kipawa Dam: After
Laniel Dam at 2006 Rally

Where is the Kipawa

Where is the Kipawa
Kipawa flows into lake Temiskamingue, running from Kipawa Lake, under hwy 101 in Quebec

Kipawa Dam

Kipawa Dam
laniel dam at 2004 River Rally

Tabaret is a Bad Idea

About the Kipawa

The best thing paddlers can do to help the cause of the Kipawa:

1. attend the rally and bring others including non paddlers to attend and buy beer and have fun

2. write your MP /MNA and raise the issue and post your objections -1 letter = 200 who didn't write

3. Write Thierry Vandal the CEO of Hydro Quebec strongly opposing the 132 MW standard decrying the use of "diversion" as the most environmentally inappropriate method of power production

4. Write Jean Charest, Premier of Quebec protesting that either the algonquin or the tabaret project will eliminate all other values on the Kipawa River by turning it into a dry gulch.

5. See if you can get other allied groups interested by showing your own interest, ie the Sierra Defense Fund, Earthwild, MEC, and so on.

6. Demand further consultation

7. Currently we are at the point where we need to sway public opinion and raise awareness.

However, if all else fails, don't get mad, simply disrupt, foment, and protest . The Monkey Wrench Gang.

Have you read Edward Abbey?

Important Addresses
CEO,Hydro Québec, 75 boul René Levesque, Montreal, P.Q., H2Z

Tabaret is a Bad Idea (Part Two)

Les Amis de la Riviere Kipawa is poised to use an application to the Federal Court to issue a Writ of Mandamus to ensure the Minster does what he is supposed to do, protect the public's right to navigate the water control structure at Laniel, Quebec using the Navigable Waters Protection Act. (see

In the now gutted Navigable Waters Protection Act lay the means by which the Minister of Transport could keep the public right of passage down our great Canadian Heritage, our rivers and streams which are threatened especially by resource corporations and power brokers such as Hydro Quebec.

These powerful entities continue to petition that 'this' river or 'that' stream is not navigable and therefore not protectable.
I don't say that dams and bridges should not be built, only that if they are, historical navigation rights should be considered and preserved by making reasonable accommodations for recreational boaters.

It is the Minister of Transport, in exercising the right to allow or disallow work on or over a navigable waterway is what keeps boats and recreational boaters plying our waterways.

To many recent cases launched in the Federal Court concerning the Navigable Waters Protection Act, most recently the case of the Humber Environment Group of Cornerbrook Newfoundland versus the Cornerbrook Pulp and Paper Company indicates that the important oversight is not being faithfully performed. Have we really come to the point now where we must say "such and such a stream is one foot deep, possessing so many cubic feet per second flow and so on?" The answer to this is... YES!

The honourable Mr. Justice John A. O'Keefe, ruled that it had not been shown that the river was navigable. How convenient was that to the Minister? But either the Minister of Transport acts to protect our rivers and streams as a public right or he does not and that means rivers and streams currently enjoyed by kayakers and canoists.

Enough of the cheating, and double-talk. Canadians! our rivers and streams are our own, lets urge the Minister of Transport and the our government to protect them.

Peter Karwacki

Tabaret is a Bad Idea (Part Three)

10 Reasons WhyTabaret is a Bad Idea1) Tabaret is too big. The station is designed to useevery drop of water available in the Kipawawatershed, but will run at only 44 percent capacity.We believe the Tabaret station is designed to usewater diverted from the Dumoine River into theKipawa watershed in the future. 2) The Tabaret project will eliminate the aquaticecosystem of the Kipawa River.The Tabaret project plan involves the diversion of a16-km section of the Kipawa River from its naturalstreambed into a new man-made outflow from LakeKipawa. 3) Tabaret will leave a large industrial footprint on thelandscape that will impact existing tourismoperations and eliminate future tourism potential. 4) The Tabaret project is an aggressive single-purposedevelopment, designed to maximize powergeneration at the expense of all other uses. 5) River-diversion, such as the Tabaret project, takinglarge amounts of water out of a river’s naturalstreambed and moving it to another place, is verydestructive to the natural environment. 6) The Kipawa River has been designated a protectedgreenspace in the region with severe limitations ondevelopment. This designation recognizes theecological, historical and natural heritage value ofthe river and the importance of protecting it.Tabaret will eliminate that value. 7) If necessary, there are other, smarter and morereasonable options for producing hydro power onthe Kipawa watershed. It is possible to build a lowimpactgenerating station on the Kipawa river, andmanage it as a “run-of-the-river” station, makinguse of natural flows while maintaining other values,with minimal impact on the environment. 8) The Kipawa watershed is a rich natural resource forthe Temiscaming Region, resonably close to largeurban areas, with huge untapped potential fortourism and recreation development in the future.Tabaret will severely reduce this potential. 9) Tabaret provides zero long-term economic benefitfor the region through employment. The plan is forthe station to be completely automated andremotely operated. 10) The Kipawa River is 12,000 years old. The riverwas here thousands of years before any peoplecame to the region. The Tabaret project will change all that.

Problems on a local River?

  • There is more to do as well but you have to do your research and above all, don't give up.
  • IN the meantime prepared a document itemizing the history of navigation of this spot and its recreational value. Use the Kipawa river history of navigation as a guide: see
  • Under the Ministry of Environment guidelines you have a set period of time to petition the change under the environmental bill of rights, you may have limited time to take this action. But it involves going to court for a judicial review of the decision.
  • 4. contact the ministry of natural resources officials and do the same thing.
  • 3. contact the ministry of the environment and determine if they approved the project
  • 2. determine if the dam was a legal dam, approved under the navigable waters protection act.
  • 1. research the decision and timing of it to determine if an environmental assessment was done.

Minden Ontario

Minden Ontario
Gull River Water control at Horseshoe lake

A History of Navigation on the Kipawa River

Prior to the environmental assessment there was no signage at the Laniel Dam

T-Shirts Area: These are available now!

T-Shirts Area: These are available now!
Send $25 and a stamped self addressed envelop for the Tshirt, and for the bumper sticker, a stamped and self addressed envelope with $5.00 for the bumper sticker to Les Amis de la rivière Kipawa, 80 Ontario St., Ottawa, Ontario, K1K 1K9 or click the link To purchase a Les Amis "T" contact Doug with the following information: Number of shirts:Sizes: Ship to Address: Method of Payment: cash, cheque and paypal, Shipto address:

Bumper Stickers Now Available

Bumper Stickers Now Available
Get your bumper sticker and show your support for the Kipawa Legal Fund ! - send $5.00 in a Stamped, self addressed envelope to: Peter Karwacki Box 39111, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K1H 7X0