Repairs completed on Goodyear’s Dam; over 23,000 salmon safely transported

Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro (Hydro) has completed repairs on Goodyear’s Dam on the Exploits River in central Newfoundland.

Hydro also successfully transported over 23,000 fish around the breached dam during the 2015 salmon run to ensure their safe passage.

Adult salmon normally migrate past Goodyear’s Dam through fishways in the dam. However, significant damage on the dam caused by heavy ice and spring run-off had made the fishways inoperable this year.

The transfer of fish upstream to bypass the breached dam started July 11. During the transfer operation, the fish were caught in the fishway area in Grand Falls and transported by truck about 5 km upstream to bypass Goodyear’s Dam. About 30-40 fish were trucked at a time under continuous monitoring.

The main salmon run is now almost over. However, Hydro is currently in the process of tagging a number of fish to confirm the fishway is operating properly.

Hydro takes its stewardship responsibility for the fish and their habitat on the river seriously. The company is an active partner in the ongoing development of the salmon run on the Exploits River. Environmental staff completed field studies and consulted closely with Department of Fisheries and Ocean (DFO) to safeguard the journey of migrating salmon on the Exploits this year.

In order for crews to complete the repairs on the dam safely and effectively, water levels on the river were lower than normal during the construction period. Levels will gradually be increased to average levels over the next several days.

Goodyear’s Dam is an ice control structure that protects the generation units at the Grand Falls hydroelectric dam, roughly two kilometres downstream.