Power boaters could face possible restrictions on Kalamalka Lake — if the recommendations of a study are adopted.
The study by Ecoscape says power boats stir-up contaminants like bacteria, pathogens, and metals — and also spill chemicals from refueling and waste disposal — in Kal and Wood lakes, which could impact municipal water intakes.
Greater Vernon Advisory director Jim Garlick would like to see the regional district work with other jurisdictions on improvements.
“Rather than learning through the school of hard knocks as previously on the Shuswap River, you would want to set up a task force where you have different users, and come to the realization that there are concerns out there,” Garlick, Coldstream’s mayor, tells Kiss FM.
Garlick says a boating ban is not in the plans.
“No one is saying we’re going to stop boating on Kal Lake, but there’s concerns that need to be addressed. How do we do them best, that has as little impact as possible on people, but realizing we need to take care of some things.”
One of the study’s recommendations is for a designated commuter corridors for boats.
Garlick says that could be one way to reduce the issues.
“It’s a good idea. It doesn’t necessarily have to be that exact corridor but something along those lines. Let’s look at it, and see what we could get the public to buy into.”
Study co-author Jason Schleppe says boats today are heavier, and have more horsepower than in the past, which increases the impact.
“The bigger the thrust from the propeller, and the more its directed downward, the greater the risk,” he told the committee.
The GVAC committee has agreed in principal to work with other jurisdictions like Lake Country and user groups, with more discussion at their meeting in July.