Request for Emergency Amendments

Mayo has received less-than-average snow and rain over the last couple of years. As a result, it's been unusually dry in and around the region. Water levels on Mayo Lake are among the lowest we’ve seen and the lake isn’t refilling the way it usually does during summer months. This means less water is available to flow through Mayo Lake to support fish habitat downstream in the Mayo and Stewart rivers.

As the owner and operator of the control structure on Mayo Lake, we take our responsibility to protect fish habitat near our facilities seriously. We've already minimized the amount of power being generated at the Mayo power plant to help save as much water as possible in the lake, but it's not enough.

That's why we submitted applications to the Yukon Water Board and Government of Canada Department of Fisheries and Oceans in August 2019 asking for emergency amendments to our Mayo Lake Water License HY99-012 (as previously amended in application HY10-056) and Fisheries Act Authorization 09-HPAC-PA5-00127, respectively.

We’ve asked each agency to allow us to temporarily change the way we control the Mayo Lake control structure in order to balance the flows downstream of the lake with maintaining minimum water levels on Mayo Lake.

If approved, the emergency amendments would allow us to do the following:

  • first, reduce flows downstream of Mayo Lake to the minimal levels required to support fish habitat in an effort to maintain water levels on Mayo Lake above the Low Supply Level of 663.25 metres above sea level; and
  • second, if needed, reduce water levels on Mayo Lake lower than the Low Supply Level to allow us to sustain flows downstream of the lake.

Should the changes be approved, residents will see water levels on Mayo Lake and flows downstream lower than they are now.

We’re confident these measures will help us maintain fish populations in the short term. We’ll continue to monitor water levels and fish conditions over the long term, and share and discuss our findings with the Village of Mayo, the First Nation of Na-Cho Nyak Dun, and the Yukon government. We will make the modifications needed to minimize impacts of extended drought conditions should that occur.