2023 Spring Freshet Update


Each spring the City of Abbotsford monitors the levels of the Fraser River during the annual snowmelt season, known as freshet, to assess the flooding risk along the Matsqui Dikes. As of May 1, 2023, the snow basin index in the Fraser River at Hope is below normal at 88 per cent. 

The Matsqui Dikes are designed to prevent water in the Fraser River from entering into Matsqui Prairie; however, residents living in areas along the Matsqui Dikes may experience pooling of water or seepage, due to the pressure difference created by the high water level.

Seasonal weather during the snowmelt season is a critical factor in determining the size of freshet, and whether or not flooding will occur. Intense or prolonged rainfall and extreme temperatures are important factors that can lead to larger freshets. The City of Abbotsford will continue to monitor conditions and provide updates to residents as needed.

Seepage pooling is quite common during freshet. To minimize the seepage pooling and/or a boil on your property, please avoid the following activities from May to September near the dikes:

  • the removal of trees or stumps;
  • deep cultivation of fields; and  
  • digging holes with machines.

Further information is available from the following sources:

  • View the areas where seepage pools were found during previous freshet seasons, or make an in person appointment at the Engineering Department at City Hall for a hardcopy.
  • Visit the Province of BC River Forecast Centre website for more information on the snow survey and freshet season and current levels at the Mission Bridge (Station 08MH024).
  • Report water pooling on your property or to get information on the freshet season, contact the City of Abbotsford Diking, Drainage and Irrigation Division at 604-853-5485.
For more information contact:

Aletta Vanderheyden
Communications and Public Relations Manager
City of Abbotsford
E: media@abbotsford.ca