Nonacho Lake lodge wins partial victory over Taltson dam
Water board ordered to rethink $62K compensation offered on $6M claim
The Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board has been ordered to re-think the amount of compensation being awarded to a Hay River family that says the Taltson hydro dam has caused irreparable damage to their fishing lodge.
The late Merlyn Carter and his wife, Jean, established the Nonacho Lake Fishing Camp about 350 kilometres northeast of Hay River in 1962.
Four years later, the Taltson hydro dam was built — a dam which now supplies power to Fort Smith, Hay River, Fort Resolution and other South Slave communities.
When the power corporation applied for a new water licence for the dam in June 2011, the Carters submitted hundreds of pages to the water board supporting their claim for just over $6 million in compensation for damages.
Merlyn and Jean's son, Myles, says the degradation of Nonacho took place over decades.
The family’s submission to the water board says that grayling, walleye, inconnu and other species of fish that once thrived can no longer be found in the lake; mercury levels are higher; and unnatural fluctuations in the level of the lake have left the shallows littered with dead trees.
Revenue from the camp dropped from a high of $799,000 in 1987 to less than $90,000 in 2010.
In the summer of 2012, the Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board awarded the family $62,500 — one hundredth of what they claimed.
Earlier this month, the Northwest Territories Supreme Court ordered the board to re-think that number.
The court ruled the board didn't treat the Carter's claim fairly and failed give any explanation of how it decided $62,500 was fair compensation.