The objective of the Summer Temperature Management Program (STMP) is to moderate elevated water temperatures during sockeye migration by manipulating the timing and volume of reservoir water, through Skins Lake releases, into the Nechako River. The 1987 Settlement Agreement defines specific water temperature targets and protocols using computer modelling and weather forecasts to effectively reduce temperature-related risks during the migration period.
Gate changes at the Skins Lake Spillway are used to manage flows throughout the year and water temperatures in the Nechako River from 20 July to 20 August. The goal is to minimize occurrences of water temperatures above 20°C in the Nechako River at Finmore (upstream of the Stuart River confluence).
The NFCP History Report describes the frequency of temperature exceedances above 20°C between July 20 - August 20 between 1953 - 2015. The analysis concluded that although exceedances do occur in some years, the STMP has effectively lowered the magnitude, duration, and frequency of temperature exceedances and has contributed to moderating temperatures at Finmore.
For more on Chinook and sockeye salmon conservation, read the Chinook and Sockeye Salmon Conservation in the Nechako River report.