The Nechako Reservoir, sometimes called the Ootsa Lake Reservoir, is a hydroelectric reservoir in British Columbia, Canada that was formed by the Kenney Dam making a diversion of the Nechako River through a 16-km intake tunnel in the Kitimat Ranges of the Coast Mountains to the 890 MW Kemano Generating Station at sea level at Kemano to service the then-new Alcan aluminum smelter at Kitimat. When it was constructed on the Nechako River in 1952, it resulted in the relocation of over 75 families. It was one of the biggest reservoirs built in Canada until the completion of the Columbia Treaty Dams and the W.A.C. Bennett Dam that created Lake Williston. The water level may swing 10 feet between 2790 and 2800 feet. The damming "linked the rivers and lakes of Ootsa, Intata, Whitesail, Chelaslie, Tetachuck, Tahtsa and Natalkuz into the reservoir with a surface area of over 90,000 hectares." "The water of these lakes and rivers was diverted westward to the Pacific Ocean, instead of eastward to the Fraser River."The creation of the reservoir flooded the series of lakes which typified the upper Nechako basin and in the process rendered the Quanchus Range, which lies between the north and south arms of the reservoir, a virtual island. The names of lakes amalgamated into the reservoir are perpetuated as names for the various stretches of water. The north arm includes Ootsa Lake, Whitesail Lake, and Whitesail Reach, the south arm Eutsuk Lake, Natalkuz Lake, Chedakuz Arm, Knewstubb Lake, Tetachuck Lake and others. Because Ootsa Lake is the largest of the original lakes its name is sometimes used for the whole reservoir, though the official name remains Nechako Reservoir. Tweedsmuir North Provincial Park and Protected Area and Entiako Provincial Park both border the reservoir.
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