The Capital Regional District has upgraded the Colquitz River dam at the south end of Elk/Beaver Lake Regional Park. The dam was upgraded to replace the existing weir structure, which has been removed.
The new dam provides a fish-friendly ladder, a new spillway and finer control of water outflow. A new pedestrian bridge has been installed across Colquitz River below the dam and spillway to allow continued use of the Beaver Lake shoreline trail, which forms part of the 10 km running and pedestrian route.
The dam is in compliance with BC dam safety requirements.
The upgrade includes a fish-friendly spillway, which provides a safe passage through the dam structures for fish up and down stream, such as sea run cutthroat trout, coho and chum salmon, stickleback and sculpin. The new control works of the dam better regulates water released to the river, which assists with fish migration to spawning beds. As well, a new low maintenance foot bridge below the dam and spillway allows for continued use of the popular Beaver Lake shoreline trail.
For nearly 25 years, under a water licence with the Province of British Columbia, the CRD has released water in Elk/Beaver Lake Regional Park through a dam and spillway into Colquitz River. It maintains fish habitat during the summer months and controls the amount of water flow during the winter months..
The project was identified in the Regional Parks 2014 capital budget. The $485,000 project included $50,000 in partnership funding from the District of Saanich. The construction contract was awarded to Knappett Projects Inc. in June 2014. The project broke ground in early August and was completed in November 2014.