Motorized boats could eventually be banned on parts of the Shuswap River.
The Regional District of North Okanagan is currently seeking feedback on proposed boating regulations for the Shuswap River. The goal is to improve recreational safety, reduce bank erosion, reduce disturbance to salmon spawning grounds and minimize conflicts between users.
“The decision to consider boating regulations for the Shuswap River has come about due to numerous occasions where community groups and residents have raised concerns with respect to the impacts of motorized vessels on the Shuswap River over the past 20 years,” said Anna Page, sustainability co-ordinator.
The regulations being proposed for the Shuswap River include:
Lower Shuswap River from Mara Lake upstream to Baxter Bridge (Trinity Valley Road) – vessel engine size limit of 10 horsepower.
Lower Shuswap River from the Baxter Bridge (Trinity Valley Road) upstream to the eastern (upstream) end of Skookumchuck Rapids Park – no motorized vessels.
Mid-Shuswap River from South Mabel Lake upstream to the Shuswap Falls – no motorized vessels.
Boating regulations are the responsibility of Transport Canada and any level of government can request the federal government to restrict the use of all vessels on all bodies of water in Canada. Regulations may help achieve safety, environmental or public interest objectives.
“Numerous consultation activities will be undertaken over the next four months to obtain feedback on the proposed regulations including open houses and a survey,” said Page.
An open house will be held at the Enderby Drill Hall, June 10 from 5 to 7:30 p.m. and there will be one at the Mabel Lake Community Hall (Lumby end), June 11 from 5 to 7:30 p.m.
Surveys can be completed online and will be mailed to all property owners adjoining the river in the affected areas. The surveys, maps of the zones and additional information can be accessed at www.rdno.ca/boating.
“We really want to gain an understanding of the level of community support for the proposed boating regulations. This is the first step in the process and we are open to hearing from all who would be affected” said Rick Fairbairn, RDNO chairperson.