Heavy rains on the Peace and Athabasca River headwaters bring debris and rising water levels to Wood Buffalo National Park

Issued: July 09, 2020

FORT CHIPEWYAN, AB, July 7, 2020 – Heavy rains in the upper reaches of the Peace and Athabasca Rivers will result in high water levels over the next several days as the waters pass through Wood Buffalo National Park.

As of July 7, the water level at Peace Point has risen by almost four metres. The higher water levels have resulted in trees, stumps and woody debris flowing downstream, creating potential hazards for river travelers.

Due to the hazards posed by this debris, Parks Canada strongly advises caution when boating in the Peace Athabasca Delta and the lower Peace, Athabasca and Slave River corridors (including the Rocher, Quatre Fourche and Coupe river channels).

As the water levels recede over the next several days, mud will likely be deposited along the boat launches at Peace Point, Moose Island and Fort Fitzgerald making the use of these areas challenging. Please use caution until water recedes and conditions improve.

Any boaters using park waters should be self-sufficient and prepared for delays due to changing river conditions. Boaters should consider leaving a trip plan with friends or family and ensuring that the trip plan holder knows who to contact in the event of any problems.

For emergencies the WBNP Duty Officer can be reached 24 hours a day at: 867-872-0404.

Flooding events such as this are a natural part of the ecological processes of the Peace Athabasca Delta. Flooding helps to recharge the delta’s ecosystems and deposits nutrient rich sediments that benefit plants and aquatic life.

Parks Canada continues to work closely with Indigenous, provincial and federal government agencies to monitor conditions and to respond to emergencies and public safety incidents as required.

Staying informed:

For more information, please call:

Kevin Gedling
Communications Officer
SWNWT Field Unit
Parks Canada
(780) 883-0486

Cam Zimmer
Wood Buffalo National Park
Parks Canada
(867) 872-0775