Some beta updates for Callaghan Creek:
1. In late 2012 the old put in road was closed so now you have to access the river from the Olympic Park side.
2. In early 2013 a staff gauge was installed at the take out by Greg Dashper.
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And now something of much greater importance. It was recently brought to the attention of the local paddling community that Innergex (the power company that owns the lions share of run-of-river hydro projects in SW BC, including Ashlu, Rutherford, Big Silver, upper Lillooet etc) have begun preliminary surveying for the construction of an IPP on Callaghan Creek.
While it is early days, and we are a long ways out from something being built, this is particularly worrying because this river is perhaps the most valuable and highly used creek in BC - it's a true local staple (it was and is used far more than the Ashlu) and it is one of key rivers that people specifically come to paddle when they visit BC on holiday.
Whether their interest has been rekindled because of recent changes to the Navigable Waters Act and they think kayakers will not have the same rights when it comes to mitigation of loss of recreation potential, whether they are just seeing what they actually own with the water license they have, or if it's the next-most-lucrative project in the string of projects that they are building is unknown. Let's hope it has nothing to do with the first point.
IPPs when developed in the right place and for the right reasons are not the end of the world. However, an IPP that would dewater such a valuable resource is not an acceptable outcome. In the past the local community has ultimately settled with the decisions that Navigable Waters have made concerning recreational releases on our streams, even when disagreeing that the decision made adequately mitigates the loss. In this case, the local community and others will vigorously and actively fight to make sure that the Callaghan does not go the way of the Rutherford or Skookum Creek, both of which are now not usable whitewater resources. Callaghan Creek will remain a free flowing river.
The fight starts with trying to actively/accurately document usage of the creek. It would be a fantastic help if you log your use of this river on the Save the Callaghan Facebook page, found at the link below. This is also a way to keep up to date on any new info that surfaces about the project. Making the general public aware of the value of this resource is also a priority item. Keep your eyes on the local news for more info!
This is what we stand to lose should this river be dewatered. One of the most valuable stretches of whitewater in BC.
Despite the random factor this rapid offers, the Old Dirty Bastard would be sorely missed if it was a dry channel.