2023 Fraser River Freshet Information

For Provincial water level forecasts, visit the BC River Forecast Centre.

May 25, 2023 Update: On May 21, 2023, the Fraser River reached a water level of 5.53m at the Mission Gauge. The water levels have slowly receded over the last several days, and are forecasted to remain near the current lelvel at 5.2m and slowly drop in the following 10 days. The provincial reading indicated a flow of nearly 11,000 cu.m/s, and are forecasting a drop over the next 10 days to approximately 8,000 cu.m./s at Mission. Staff continue to monitor Provincial updates, inspect dykes and infrastructure, and survey water levels. The current weather forecast is favourable to induce a slow decline in snowpack and extreme rains are not expected at this time. 

May 15, 2023 Update: The Province has issued a High Streamflow Advisory for the Fraser River, which indicates that river levels are rising or are expected to rise rapidly in the coming days. Based on the forecast, some localized overbank flow may occur in low lying areas outside the dike, such as Carey Point. Accelerated snowmelt due to extremely hot temperatures for early May has caused river levels to rise and continue trending upward. Through May long weekend, flows in the Fraser River are forecasted to reach 10,000 cu.m/s at Hope, and a water level of 6.0m at Mission. As a comparison, the peak water level at Mission was 6.0m in 2018 and 5.9m in 2022. This corresponds to a high water level of 12.8m at Carey Point. Areas outside of the protected dyke, Fairfield Island, and other low lying areas may encounter rising groundwater levels.

The public is advised to:

  • Stay clear of fast-flowing rivers and potentially unstable riverbanks
  • Avoid recreational activities such as fishing, swimming, boating or hiking near high streamflow rivers or streams

May 9, 2023 Update: Provincial snowpack is lower than typical for May at 91% of average snowpack, due to unseasonably warm weather in early May. As of May 9th, the 10 day River Forecast indicates that the Fraser River level will rise through May 18th  to approximately 5.5m at the Mission Guage. With rising temperatures coming over the next week, the 10 day forecasted flows at Mission and Hope are 10,600 m3/s and 9,500 m3/s respectively, corresponding to a water level of 12.67 at Carey Point. Areas outside of the protected dyke, Fairfield Island, and other low lying areas may encounter rising groundwater and creek/slough levels. More resources are available below or by calling the CIty freshet information line at 604.793.2757.

May 2, 2023 Update:  The average of all snow measurements for the entire Fraser River basin (e.g., upstream of the Lower Mainland and inclusive of Upper Fraser West, Upper Fraser East, Nechako, Middle Fraser, Lower Fraser, North Thompson and South Thompson) is 88% of normal. The snow basin index for the Fraser River at Hope is at 100% of normal.  By early April, nearly 95% of the annual B.C. snow pack has typically accumulated.

As of May 2, 2023 the provincial River Forecast Centre has indicated the peak flow at Hope will likely be in the range of 7,000 to 11,000 m3/s (8,600 m3/s forecasted). As a comparison, the peak flow in 2012 was 11,700 m3/s, which equated to a peak water level at Mission Gauge of 6.4m (approximately a 1:20 year event). In 2012, some areas in the unprotected floodplain outside the dike system experienced flooding, but the water levels were well within the range that Chilliwack's dike system is designed to withstand.

The river levels in 2012 also caused the local groundwater table to rise, which resulted in some water getting into basements in parts of Fairfield Island. Residents in that area should review steps they can take to minimize possible damage in the event the water table rises to a similar level this year, such as having a sump pump and moving items off the basement floor.
Higher flows than 2012 are not predicted, however could occur this year depending on weather patterns in the coming weeks. The peak typically occurs between May and July, and the City will be closely monitoring conditions and forecasts.

Each year, regardless of snowpack conditions, the City undertakes spring flood preparedness measures including checking all flood protection infrastructure and reviewing and updating our Fraser River Flood Response Plan.
Please also refer to these pages for more information:

For more information, please call our freshet information line at 604.793.2757.

To report an urgent Operations concern over the weekend, please call the after-hours emergency number at 604.792.2233.

City staff continue to perform regular dike patrols and will address any issues that may arise. We will continue to monitor the weather and river forecasts and provide updates on this page, as well as the City’s social media (Facebook, Twitter) as the situation changes.

For more information, please call our freshet information line at 604.793.2757.