Hugh Keenleyside Dam

Access

Located on the Columbia River just 12 kilometres (6.5 miles) from Castlegar. Follow Arrow Lakes drive out of Castlegar until it crosses the dam, or travel seven km (3.8 miles) from Syringa Creek Park on the Robson Access Road.

History and hydroelectric operation

Keenleyside Dam

Hugh Keenleyside Dam, 8 km (5 miles) upstream from Castlegar, was the second of three Columbia River Treaty dams to be built by BC Hydro. The Columbia River Treaty allowed construction of dams to regulate the flow of the Columbia River and end the annual threat of flood damage in B.C., Washington and Oregon. Additional benefits were increased power generation at existing power plants and the development of large power plants at several locations along the Columbia and its tributaries.

The earth fill and concrete structure was declared operational on October 10, 1968, nearly six months ahead of schedule. The dam is about 52 m (171 feet) high, with a crest length of 853.4 m (2,800 ft.). 366 m (1,200 ft.) of the crest length is concrete dam and the rest is earth fill dam.

Keenleyside Dam controls a drainage area of 3,650,000 ha (14,100 square miles). It holds back a storage reservoir (the Arrow Lakes) extending 232 km (145 miles) north to Revelstoke. Release of the 8.8 billion cubic m (7.1 million acre-ft.) of live storage is controlled by four sluice ways and eight low-level ports.

In 2002 the provincially owned Columbia Power Corporation completed construction of a 185 MW powerplant adjacent to the dam.

Keenleyside navigational lock

The Hugh Keenleyside Dam navigational lock is available for all properly equipped watercraft. There is no charge for use of the lock; however, weekday passage may be delayed because of the need to pass commercial traffic and logs downstream of the dam. Commercial traffic will have priority in all cases over pleasure craft.