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OKANAGAN LAKE BC

AND

CENTRAL OKANAGAN B.C. BOATING

COMMENT FORM

LAST UPDATE September 28, 2017

This page is made up of information found about boat trailer parking shortage, boat launch shortage, house boat moorage shortage, boat noise on Central Okanagan BC lakes, etc.... and anything to do with floating and enjoying Okanagan Lake BC.  There is a comment form at the bottom of this webpage that you can fill out and have your boating comment posted to this website here where you can also read others comments.

How to find text on this page using:  Internet Explorer | Firefox | Opera |Safari | Google Chrome

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Okanagan Marine Advisory Council 2011 - Mayor James Baker of Lake Country

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Regulations in regards to Docks (General Permission, Special Permission)

The construction, placement and use of private moorage facilities on Crown land require authorization from the Ministry of Forest, Lands and Natural Resource Operations. Private moorage facilities include docks, boat ways/ramps or boat lifts that are used for private residential use.

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RDCO Agenda March 28, 2008

Item 2.1 Central Okanagan Recreational Marine Facilities Study.pdf

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RDCO Noise Fines 2011 .pdf icon Item 6.1 Amendments to Ticket Information Utilization Bylaw

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Don't move a mussel http://www.dontmoveamussel.ca/

Its against the law to release invasive aquatic species into British Columbia's waters and its even illegal to be in possession of and invasive aquatic species.

Wildlife Act
Controlled Alien Species Regulation

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HealthLinkBC bulletin about swimmers itch which is in Okanagan Lake and other Okanagan Lakes.

To help protect yourself, dry off or have a shower.


click bulletin for larger print

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Get on with summer?
Castanet.net - Contributed - Jul 11, 2017 | Story: 201558

It was interesting to read what Coun. Sieben had to say today about the lake activity. He points out that, "The no-wake thing is key," said Sieben, "but in the middle of the lake, we can get on with summer."

I have one question for Coun. Sieben and that is, "when you have boaters ripping down the middle of the lake, where do you think their wake goes?"

Do you think that the wake just disappears? No! Does is just end after a couple feet? No!

A wake, once created, will travel until it reaches an object, such as another vessel, that changes its course or causes it to stop. In the case of our beautiful lake, when the wake stops it has usually reached the shoreline causing damage and the wake has also passed through the ’30 metre from shore No Wake Zone’!

Yes, I know the lake has receded, but we are still over full pool and there are areas that you care nothing about that are being harmed. Is it such a terrible thing to have a little respect for all the people and property on the shoreline, and not just where your boat is docked, for a little while longer until the lake can reach its proper level?

Source: https://www.castanet.net/news/Letters/201558/Get-on-with-summer

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Boat patrols resume
Vernon Morning Star - Jun 24th, 2017

Boaters are being urged to follow the rules this summer.

Additional boat patrols will be on Sugar, Mabel, Mara, Swan and Kalamalka lakes, as well as the Shuswap River, as the Electoral Area Advisory Committee funds conservation officer activities.

“It is very important that we are proper stewards of our waterways,” said Herman Halvorson, EAAC chairperson.

In 2016, conservation officers issued 78 tickets during their boat patrols, while 278 warning tickets were handed out. Forty-one boats were removed from the water for safety reasons.

These numbers are up from 2015 stats, indicating the continued need for compliance and enforcement measures,” said Halvorson.

The five electoral areas contribute to the enhanced boat patrol program, and partner with Coldstream for patrols on Kalamalka Lake.

“I’m happy to see Swan Lake added to the program this year,” said Bob Fleming, Regional District of North Okanagan chairperson.

Source: http://www.vernonmorningstar.com/news/boat-patrols-resume/

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Barge flips, sinks, weeks after tug runs aground along B.C.'s central coast
November 07, 2016 - Infotel.ca

BELLA BELLA, B.C. - The Heiltsuk Nation in British Columbia says a barge has flipped and sunk not far from the site where a tug that ran aground last month still awaits removal.

A news release from the First Nation says the barge, which was carrying gravel and sand from Seattle, Wash., to Alaska, flipped Sunday evening in a channel along B.C.'s central coast.

The 37-metre tugboat that was towing the barge was still afloat Sunday night, and the four crew members on the barge are safe.

The sinking comes less than four weeks after the tugboat Nathan E. Stewart ran aground near Bella Bella, B.C., spilling diesel fuel into the water.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to make an announcement in Vancouver today about how tanker and fuel spills along the West Coast will be responded to in the future.

Heiltsuk member Jess Housty, who is part of the diesel spill response team, says with two incidents involving sinking vessels, Trudeau's promised regulatory changes couldn't come soon enough.

Source: http://infotel.ca/newsitem/barge-flips-sinks-weeks-after-tug-runs-aground-along-bcs-central-coast/it36454

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Does anyone know who owns the boat at Westshore Estates by the mailboxes?

There is a huge boat parked in the parking lot at the mailboxes at Westshore Estates.

The boat may be abandoned like the boat motor we snapped a photo of a few weeks back. 

The Johnston 55 hp boat motor was laying on the ground September 6, 2016, in two pieces across Westside Road from Valley of the Sun at that gravel side road that runs the same way as Westside Road overlooking the lake.

The boat motor is no longer there.

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A response
Vernon Morning Star - Oct 23, 2016

This letter is in response to Chief Byron Louis' comments on the moorage of unsightly boats and barges just off of Okanagan Indian Band land on Okanagan Lake.

Here is a quote from you in The Morning Star Oct. 2: "All of these barges and vessels aren't monitored or under any standard to ensure environment standards are maintained."

What sir, do you say about your own lands such as the property on the corner of Highway 97 and Westside Road? I believe that on this land, there is a graveyard of derelict machinery, boats and vehicles. They have been there for many years, yet your band has chosen to ignore this unsightly property, which is in full view of thousands of local people and tourists that travel this way every year.

You talk about environmental standards, yet these derelict vehicles and machinery are polluting this land with old engine oil, transmission oil, different oil, brake fluid, windshield washer solvent and anti-freeze, as well as broken glass, rotting tires and rust from the rotting vehicles.

Have you or your band made any attempt to clean up the eyesore? This land would cost a fortune to get it back to environmentally friendly condition.

With all due respect, I leave this situation with you and your band. Please feel free to respond with a proposal as to how you and your band will get your own lands back to being environmentally friendly.

Rick Orlando
Westside

Source: http://www.vernonmorningstar.com/opinion/letters/397939421.html

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Fintry Queen moorage draws band criticism
by Richard Rolke - Vernon Morning Star - Oct 2, 2016

The Fintry Queen, which used to be based in Kelowna, is currently moored at the head of Okanagan Lake.— Image Credit: Photo Submitted

The Okanagan Indian Band is increasingly frustrated with boats abandoned off its shore.

The arrival of the Fintry Queen at the head of Okanagan Lake has escalated concerns from the band about vessels moored in the lake.

“There is no less then four barges located in the (Westside Road) area,” said Chief Byron Louis.

“Then across the lake in front of our reserve lands, we have two large vessels. One has been moored off the eastern shore for well over five years and now the Fintry Queen. All of these barges and vessels aren’t monitored or under any standard to ensure environment standards are maintained.”

Louis says there have also been issues with people accessing the boats through reserve land.

“We have problems with their guests trespassing on reserve lands and it’s only going to escalate,” he said of conflicts between trespassers and band members.

“This is especially true during summer months and at the height of fire season with open fires.”

The band is currently seeking legal advice on boats left in the lake.

“But why are we having to go to this extreme to get resolution on this matter?” he said.

“Why are we always forced by this (provincial) government to react in the only way they understand and that’s through the courts. We should be spending our hard-earned resources on education and other areas that achieve real social and economic benefit and yet we’re forced to spend it in this manner.”

The Fintry Queen was based in Kelowna for many years and provided tours on the lake. It has been evicted from moorage in Kelowna and West Kelowna.

Andy Schwab, Fintry Queen owner, says he is seeking a permanent home for the vessel possibly in Summerland, and it is being stored temporarily over the winter near Vernon.

“It’s perhaps the next safest place on the lake we can get to,” he said, adding that a group of Vernon area residents are lending a hand.

“They are maintaining the anchors properly.”

Schwab says he wasn’t aware that the boat is moored off OKIB land and he says he will contact Louis to discuss the matter further.

“We’re not looking for a permanent home there. The ship is of no value to us sitting there,” he said.

“We don’t want to see it stay there. The game plan is to get it operating.”

Transport Canada says it doesn’t grant approval for moorage of boats.

However, moorage requires permission from the owner of the space (either marina or bed of waterway) occupied by the vessel,” said Daniel Savoie, with agency media relations.

“Vessels moored at anchor also need to comply with the collision regulations.”

Source: http://www.vernonmorningstar.com/news/395462691.html

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Letter: Kelowna's shoreline should be accessible to all
Kelowna Capital News - Jun 15, 2016

To the editor:

Little known fact: It's illegal for most lake-front homeowners in Kelowna to block you from walking along the foreshore in front of their houses. The foreshore is the strip of beach that lies between the lowest and highest lake levels—in some places it's about 10 feet wide.

If you've ever tried to walk along the lakeshore in Kelowna, you're probably familiar with the dozens of obstacles (fences, walls, docks and bogus No Trespassing signs) put in place by these owners. So, why does this continue when it's illegal?

The province has the responsibility for enforcing these laws. If you phone toll-free 1-877-952-7277 then 2, an operator will take your report of this type of violation. Unfortunately, it appears the province doesn't have anywhere near the number of natural resource officers that they need to actually do anything to help us here in Kelowna.

I phoned, then emailed the locations and photos of several of the most flagrant offences, nearly eight months ago. Zero results.

I suspect this lack of enforcement also has a lot to do with the considerable political influence wielded by the owners of these expensive shore-side houses.

If the province was actually interested in acting on this issue, they could easily finance the hiring of more enforcement officers through increased fines to the people who thumb their noses at the rest of us. Our premier, Christy Clark (250-768-8426), is also the MLA for Westside-Kelowna. She ignored me when I asked why the province hadn't acted on this issue, maybe she'll get interested if more of us call her office.

Al Janusas, Kelowna

Source: http://www.kelownacapnews.com/opinion/letters/383197471.html

Homeowners pay big tax dollars on the lakeshore, thats why the Province ain' interested. The Province would have all the lakeshore homeowners up in arms and they would want to pay less taxes. Pretty sure thats what its all about!!! Doesn't matter what the law is, the government can flaunt it all they want!!!

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.pdf icon May 12, 2016 Regional District of Central Okanagan Regular Board Meeting Agenda

.pdf icon This was a director item so there is nothing in the Agenda about houseboats

*Note* click links above for entire content

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.mp3 file icon - click here for help with audio May 12, 2016 audio of entire RDCO Board meeting - .mp3 (68.1 MB)

Click this Windows Media Audio icon for help with audio files May 12, 2016 audio of RDCO Board meeting only about Director Item - Carson about houseboats - .wma (328 KB)

.pdf icon May 12, 2016 Regional District of Central Okanagan Regular Board Meeting Minutes

This was a Director Item so there is nothing mentioned in the Minutes about Houseboats

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.mp3 file icon - click here for help with audio May 12, 2016 audio of entire RDCO Board meeting - .mp3 (68.1 MB)

Click this Windows Media Audio icon for help with audio files May 12, 2016 audio of RDCO Board meeting only about Director Item - Carson about houseboats - .wma (328 KB)

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Kelowna's lakeshore
Castanet.net - Contributed - Nov 23, 2015 | Story: 152436

Would you like to be able to walk along more of Kelowna's lakeshore?

Many people don't know that Okanagan Lake collectively belongs to the citizens of BC.

The Province has long had laws that prohibit fences or other obstructions along most of the shoreline that's below the high-water line. It's up to the Province to enforce the laws that they made. To improve our access to our lake, they've introduced a web-site and toll-free number so that you can confidentially report specific blockages along the foreshore. You can also attach photos at their web-site.

This is the phone number: 1-844-676-8477
This is the web-site: https://www.for.gov.bc.ca/hen/nrv/report.htm

Al Janusas

Source:  http://www.castanet.net/news/Letters/152436/Kelowna-s-lakeshore

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Eliminating beach barriers
Castanet.net - by Wayne Moore | Story: 149471 - Oct 10, 2015

Lakefront property owners in the Okanagan are being put on notice.

Barriers prevent the general public from walking unobstructed along the many beaches in the Okanagan.

A recent email to Castanet from a newcomer to Kelowna questioned whether these barriers were legal and, if not, why they were allowed to be built.

"One thing that concerns us is that many homeowners and businesses along the lakefront erect fences or other barriers extending to or into the lake. This prevents walking along the waterfront in many parts of the city," stated the email in part.

The provincial Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations oversees much of the area from the lakes edge to what is known as the high water mark.

Typically, the high water mark ends where the beach ends.

According to an email from the ministry said barriers such as fences, walls or large docks are not legal.

Most private moorage tenures require licence or permit holders to maintain public access along the provincially-owned foreshore.

There may, however, be instances where commercial owners are granted rights of exclusion.

"Fences/docks that do not maintain public access to Crown foreshore are unauthorized as per Section 60 of the Land Act, and subject to trespass action and removal under Section 59 of the Land Act," the ministry said in an email.

"There are no legal provisions for fencing off access across Crown foreshore so fences, walls, other structures etc, cannot be built below the present natural boundary"

The ministry goes on to say docks require an authorization and can become “automatically” permitted if they meet very specific size, shape and location requirements.

"All docks are required to be built in such a way so as to not impede access across Crown foreshore. The Province is currently working to update its policy on docks."

Several illegal impediments can be found along lakes throughout the Okanagan.

The ministry says it is addressing these on a complaint-by-complaint basis through its Compliance and Enforcement branch.

"There are numerous trespass actions ongoing throughout the Okanagan region involving unauthorized structures on Crown foreshore," said the ministry.

"These files take time to resolve. However, Compliance and Enforcement has had a great deal of success in seeing structures on various water-bodies in the Okanagan modified to conform to approved standards."

Specific complaints can be directed to the Compliance and Enforcement’s NRO Tips line at 1-844-676-8477.

Source: http://www.castanet.net/news/Kelowna/149471/Eliminating-beach-barriers

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.pdf icon September 10, 2015 Regional District of Central Okanagan Governance and Services Committee Meeting Agenda

.pdf icon Item 5.1 Moorage Of Houseboats Information

*Note* This is only a snippet, please click link above for entire content

SUBJECT: Information Report: Moorage of Houseboats (File: 3360-01)

Purpose:
To inform the Governance and Services Committee as to whether a regional district is able to adopt a bylaw limiting the moorage of houseboats on the electoral area shoreline in the same manner as a municipal government.

Executive Summary:
At the June 22, 2015, Regional Board meeting, the Central Okanagan West Electoral Area Director raised a concern with respect to moorage of houseboats on Okanagan Lake. Upon discussion of the matter, the following resolution was carried: THAT staff be directed to investigate and report to the Board whether a regional district can adopt a bylaw limiting the moorage of houseboats on the electoral area shoreline in the same manner as a municipal government.

Regional District staff has confirmed that in accordance with the Local Government Act and the Land Act, a regional district may apply for Crown land tenure. With or without the tenure, the Regional District can zone Crown land, including land that is covered by water, so long as the local government does not overstep its jurisdiction (ie. prohibiting short term moorage).

RECOMMENDATION:
THAT the Governance and Services Committee receive for information the September 2,2015, moorage of houseboats within the Electoral Areas report from the Manager of Planning.

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.mp3 file icon - click here for help with audio September 10, 2015 audio of entire RDCO Governance and Services Committee meeting - .mp3 (48.5 MB)

Click this Windows Media Audio icon for help with audio files September 10, 2015 audio of RDCO Governance and Services Committee meeting only about Item 5.1 Moorage Of Houseboats Information - .wma (7.92 MB)

.pdf icon September 10, 2015 Regional District of Central Okanagan Governance and Services Committee Meeting Minutes

5. BUSINESS ARISING

5.1 Information Report: Moorage of Houseboats Within the Electoral Areas

Staff report dated Sept. 2, 2015 provided information regarding whether a regional district is able to adopt a bylaw limiting the moorage of houseboats on the electoral area shoreline in the same manner as a municipal government. Concern had been raised with respect to moorage of houseboats on Okanagan Lake.

It was confirmed that in accordance with the Local Government Act and the Land Act, a regional district may apply for Crown land tenure, and can zone Crown land, including land that is covered by water, so long as the local government does not overstep its jurisdiction (limited authority unless vessel anchored greater than 14 days).

It was noted houseboat moorage has not been a common concern in the electoral areas (only one complaint was received in 2015); North Okanagan and Okanagan Similkameen have no water zoning or Crown tenure to limit boats, only Columbia
Shuswap prohibits the residential use of boats; and obtaining land tenure or zoning this amount of land covered by water may result in public expectations that the RDCO will enforce those regulations thereby impacting staff resources. The
combined shoreline in the electoral areas is 52 kl.
Staff noted that the Province is now investigating the moorage of the houseboat that is moored off Bear Creek and that has been advertised for sale.

The boat off Bear Creek has been there for some time and is advertised for sale.
The Province has been made aware of the boat and it is understood that it does not have tenure/folio to be moored permanently as stated in the for sale advertisement. There is one other on the lake that looks like it will not survive the
winter.

With concurrence of the Board, staff will follow up with the Province on both houseboats. As this is a provincial issue, the public should be complaining directly to the Province.

Concern was raised that moorage may be difficult to enforce-they could just move to a different spot and this may be technically in a new moorage. When local government steps in to take over a provincial responsibility, costs then become the local taxpayers responsibility. The number of boats moored is too small to consider zoning at this time. It is hoped the Province will step in to have the boats removed.

CARSON/STACK
THAT the Governance and Services Committee receive for information the moorage of houseboats within the electoral areas report from the Manager of Planning.

CARRIED

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.mp3 file icon - click here for help with audio September 10, 2015 audio of entire RDCO Governance and Services Committee meeting - .mp3 (48.5 MB)

Click this Windows Media Audio icon for help with audio files September 10, 2015 audio of RDCO Governance and Services Committee meeting only about Item 5.1 Moorage Of Houseboats Information - .wma (7.92 MB)

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.pdf icon August 24, 2015 Highlights of the Regional District of Central Okanagan Regular Board Meeting

This was a Director Item so there is nothing mentioned in the Highlights.

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.mp3 file icon - click here for help with audio August 24, 2015 audio of entire RDCO Board meeting - .mp3 (101 MB)

Click this Windows Media Audio icon for help with audio files August 24, 2015 audio of RDCO Board meeting only about the unsightly premise house in the North Westside has had its signage removed and that government funding has been announced for upgrades to the Killiney water systems - .wma ( KB) DIRECTOR ITEMS SEEM TO BE MISSING FROM THE AUDIO

.pdf icon August 24, 2015 Regional District of Central Okanagan Regular Board Meeting Agenda

.pdf icon This was a Director Item, and there is nothing in the Agenda's about Director Items

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.mp3 file icon - click here for help with audio August 24, 2015 audio of entire RDCO Board meeting - .mp3 (101 MB)

Click this Windows Media Audio icon for help with audio files August 24, 2015 audio of RDCO Board meeting only about the unsightly premise house in the North Westside has had its signage removed and that government funding has been announced for upgrades to the Killiney water systems - .wma ( KB) DIRECTOR ITEMS SEEM TO BE MISSING FROM THE AUDIO

.pdf icon August 24, 2015 Regional District of Central Okanagan Regular Board Meeting Minutes

10. DIRECTOR ITEMS

Director Carson noted that an unsightly premise house in the North Westside has had its signage removed. In addition, he noted that government funding has been announced for upgrades to the Killiney water systems.
There were no items requiring Board action.

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.mp3 file icon - click here for help with audio August 24, 2015 audio of entire RDCO Board meeting - .mp3 (101 MB)

Click this Windows Media Audio icon for help with audio files August 24, 2015 audio of RDCO Board meeting only about the unsightly premise house in the North Westside has had its signage removed and that government funding has been announced for upgrades to the Killiney water systems - .wma ( KB) DIRECTOR ITEMS SEEM TO BE MISSING FROM THE AUDIO

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.pdf icon July 27, 2015 Highlights of the Regional District of Central Okanagan Regular Board Meeting

These were Director Items, so there are no Highlights about this.

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.mp3 file icon - click here for help with audio July 27, 2015 audio of entire RDCO Board meeting - .mp3 (147 MB)

Click this Windows Media Audio icon for help with audio files July 27, 2015 audio of RDCO Board meeting only about Director Item - Director Carson mentioning that he is still waiting for a site plan for the Sugar Loaf transfer station promised a couple meetings ago, a house with no permit on Hodges, and he has been waiting for a report on the houseboat problem, the power pole in the middle of Killiney Beach problem, and about the burned house on Pinecrest - .wma (1.28 MB)

Click this Windows Media Audio icon for help with audio files July 27, 2015 audio of RDCO Board meeting only about Director Item - Director Stack about a procedure for voting on motions - .wma (1.01 MB)

Click this Windows Media Audio icon for help with audio files July 27, 2015 audio of RDCO Board meeting only about Director Item - Director Baker and Vandalism at Okanagan Safe Harbour in Lake Country - .wma (592 KB)

.pdf icon July 27, 2015 Regional District of Central Okanagan Regular Board Meeting Agenda

.pdf icon These were Director Items, so there is no Agenda about this.

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.mp3 file icon - click here for help with audio July 27, 2015 audio of entire RDCO Board meeting - .mp3 (147 MB)

Click this Windows Media Audio icon for help with audio files July 27, 2015 audio of RDCO Board meeting only about Director Item - Director Carson mentioning that he is still waiting for a site plan for the Sugar Loaf transfer station promised a couple meetings ago, a house with no permit on Hodges, and he has been waiting for a report on the houseboat problem, the power pole in the middle of Killiney Beach problem, and about the burned house on Pinecrest - .wma (1.28 MB)

Click this Windows Media Audio icon for help with audio files July 27, 2015 audio of RDCO Board meeting only about Director Item - Director Stack about a procedure for voting on motions - .wma (1.01 MB)

Click this Windows Media Audio icon for help with audio files July 27, 2015 audio of RDCO Board meeting only about Director Item - Director Baker and Vandalism at Okanagan Safe Harbour in Lake Country - .wma (592 KB)

.pdf icon July 27, 2015 Regional District of Central Okanagan Regular Board Meeting Minutes

9. DIRECTOR ITEMS

a) Director Carson asked when staff will be responding to the issue of houseboats moored along the shores of Central Okanagan West. Staff is working on a report to bring to the Board. He also raised other electoral area questions regarding specific properties and was asked to speak to the CAO. The question was raised what the protocol is for electoral area directors to bring issues forward at a Board meeting. The CAO will meet with Director Carson to review the issues he has raised.

b) Director Baker noted that there has been vandalism at the safe harbour in Lake Country. Staff is repairing the damage - it is sad that irresponsible citizens damage public property at a cost to all taxpayers.

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.mp3 file icon - click here for help with audio July 27, 2015 audio of entire RDCO Board meeting - .mp3 (147 MB)

Click this Windows Media Audio icon for help with audio files July 27, 2015 audio of RDCO Board meeting only about Director Item - Director Carson mentioning that he is still waiting for a site plan for the Sugar Loaf transfer station promised a couple meetings ago, a house with no permit on Hodges, and he has been waiting for a report on the houseboat problem, the power pole in the middle of Killiney Beach problem, and about the burned house on Pinecrest - .wma (1.28 MB)

Click this Windows Media Audio icon for help with audio files July 27, 2015 audio of RDCO Board meeting only about Director Item - Director Stack about a procedure for voting on motions - .wma (1.01 MB)

Click this Windows Media Audio icon for help with audio files July 27, 2015 audio of RDCO Board meeting only about Director Item - Director Baker and Vandalism at Okanagan Safe Harbour in Lake Country - .wma (592 KB)

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Charges likely in lake crash
Castanet.net - by Darren Handschuh | Story: 144018 - Jul 13, 2015

Charges are likely in the wake of a collision between two personal watercraft on Kalamalka Lake, Thursday.

Police say two of the four people involved are lucky to be alive after the late-night crash.

Vernon RCMP spokesperson Gord Molendyk said police are trying to determine if alcohol was a factor in the mishap that sent a 29-year-old man and 24-year-old woman to Vernon Jubilee Hospital with significant injuries.

"The man had a broken pelvis and a broken femur, while the woman also received leg and spinal injuries,” Molendyk said.

While he could not say exactly what charges will be laid against whom, Molendyk said there is “definitely” going to be charges under the Canada Shipping Act.

“They fall under the small vessel regulations,” he said.


Source:  castanet.net/news/Vernon/144018/Charges-likely-in-lake-crash

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Floating parties not allowed
Castanet.net - by Darren Handschuh | Story: 143832 - Jul 11, 2015

Boaters are allowed to indulge in an alcoholic beverage on Okanagan Lake (as long as they aren't driving) – but they can't band together to create a floating party.

A local woman says she was boating with friends near the Bennett Bridge on Sunday when they decided to lash together with two other boats.

The Kelowna RCMP marine unit then pulled alongside to check for proper equipment and licences to operate a boat, which the boater expected.

What she didn't expect was when the constable informed the group it was illegal to tie up together while indulging in adult beverages.

“They said if you tie up with other boats, it's public property and you can't drink on public property,” said the woman.

Const. Steve Holmes said, “That is exactly right. It's been on the books for a while now – where boats are lashed together, you have created a public space.”

Holmes said drinking is allowed in an individual boat, but when they are lashed together it falls under the same rules as drinking in any public place, which is illegal.

“Whether is it space on land or created on water, it falls under the same provincial regulations,” said Holmes, adding the aim of the law is cut down on floating parties.

Holmes said anyone caught operating a boat under the influence of alcohol faces the same charges and punishments as an impaired driver on the road.

Along with patrols on area lakes, Holmes said police will occasionally observe a boat from shore and then stop the boat as it docks to check if the operator has been drinking.

Source: castanet.net/news/Kelowna/143832/Floating-parties-not-allowed

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.pdf icon June 22, 2015 Regional District of Central Okanagan Regular Board Meeting Minutes

8. DIRECTOR ITEMS

a) Houseboat Moored Off Bear Creek Park

Director Carson noted that there has been a houseboat moored off Bear Creek Provincial Park for some time and wonders if the Regional District can adopt similar legislation as a municipality to limit houseboats from mooring for an
extended period of time off the shoreline in the Electoral Area. Staff will follow up with RDOS and NORD to determine what they are doing as well.

CARSON/STACK
THAT staff be directed to investigate and report to the Board whether a regional district can adopt a bylaw limiting the moorage of houseboats on the electoral area shoreline in the same manner as a municipal government.

CARRIED Unanimously

b) Offensive Graffiti on a Home

Director Carson asked if there is anything the Regional District can do to stop graffiti on a home? Information has been provided to the director that the Regional District cannot do anything but a human rights tribunal may be an option for a private person.

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Plan to deal with derelict boats along B.C. coast shot down in Ottawa
By Jon Azpiri - Global News - May 15, 2015

WATCH: A plan to deal with derelict boats in B.C. waterways has been shot down in Ottawa, but the battle to deal with the eye sores and environmental risks is not over. Linda Aylesworth has more.

Boats can be expensive to buy, expensive to maintain and expensive to get rid of. That may be why the number of derelict boats along B.C.’s coastline is on the rise.

Abandoned boats are more than eyesores.

“They still have fuel in them and they have toxins on them,” said Christianne Wilhelmson, Executive Director of the Georgia Strait Alliance.

“We’re concerned that these things might sink, we’re concerned about the unsightliness of them,” said Bowen Island councillor Alison Morse. “Look at what’s inside–gas can storages, all that kind of stuff. Where is it all going to go? It’s going to end up on the bottom.”

So why doesn’t the federal government, which is responsible for Canada’s coastal waters, take them away?

“The problem is if it’s just floating there it’s not causing any problems currently, the Coast Guard rarely will do anything about it,” said Wilhelmson. “It’s only when it sinks and there’s a fuel spill that response happens and by then it’s too late.”

Another problem is figuring out which department of the federal government to report derelicts. It depends on the circumstances.

“You could be dealing with Transport, you could be dealing with Fisheries, you could be dealing with Environment or you could be dealing with the provincial government,” said Jean Crowder, MP for Nanaimo-Cowichan. “It’s a nightmare.”

Earlier this week Crowder introduced a private member’s bill to amend the Canada Shipping Act in an effort to “streamline it, simplify it, make it easier, so people have one go-to place. You call the Coast Guard, that’s it.”

The bill was defeated on Wednesday. While all NDP, Liberal and Green Party MPs supported the bill, only one conservative member did: John Weston of West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country.

In an email Weston said that while he “voted in favour of bill C-638…I take issue with certain extremely problematic aspects of the Bill, such as the way in which it would impose an unlimited liability on the Coast Guard …And that’s exactly why I’m drafting my own bill now which will impose criminal and financial liability on those who abandon vessels.”

Even if Weston has more success than Crowder, question remains about how the Coast Guard would handle the extra work.

With budget cuts, dwindling staff and station closures, it would seem that hope for a solution may be dead in the water.

Source: globalnews.ca/news/2002176/plan-to-deal-with-derelict-boats-along-b-c-coast-shot-down-in-ottawa/

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.pdf icon February 12, 2015 Regional District of Central Okanagan Governance and Services Committee Meeting Agenda

.pdf icon Item 6.1A Central Okanagan Search And Rescue

.pdf icon Item 6.1C 2015 Regional Rescue Program Overview

*Note* This is only a snippet, please click link above for entire content

Item 6.1A Central Okanagan Search And Rescue

January 30, 2014 to January 30, 2015:
• 47 Tasks
• 2080 searcher-hours
• 10,000 hours of Training, Admin, PR, Fundraising etc.

=======

Item 6.1C 2015 Regional Rescue Program Overview

Fire Dispatch

Call Volume
◦ 5,357 9-1-1 Calls
◦ 28,497 Incident Files
◦ 25,141 Conversations

Performance
◦ 99% of 9-1-1 calls answered < 15 seconds
◦ 100% of 9-1-1 calls answered < 40 seconds
◦ Average 9-1-1 call is answered < 4.5 seconds
◦ 95% of calls dispatched within 60 seconds
◦ Average call is dispatched within 22 seconds

-------------------------------

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.pdf icon February 12, 2015 Regional District of Central Okanagan Governance and Services Committee Meeting Minutes

6. Community Services

6.1 Regional Rescue - 2015 Budget Presentations

o Central Okanagan Search & Rescue (COSAR) - Paul Toupin provided an overview of COSAR's work within the region.
o RCMP Boat Patrol - Sergeant Duncan Dixon
Sgt. Dixon provided an overview of the RCMP Boat Patrol in the region.
• Discussion ensued regarding addressing the noise level of cigar boats on the lakes. It was clarified that noise bylaws have helped to enforce and have reduced the amount of noise complaints regarding this issue.

Director Ophus and Director Baker left at 10:09 and returned at 10:13

o Jason Brolund, Emergency Operations Centre Coordinator, provided an overview of regional rescue program
• 3 key areas - Regional Rescue, Fire Dispatch, emergency Management
o Best hazmat teams ols the LM;
o Ice rescue - sometimes rescue animals to prevent public from putting themselves at risk;
o All area under Bennett bridge (support system) is a confined space and requires training;
o Wineries have significant confined space component
o Tubing under mission creek;
o ESS
o THAARP Grant; funded by employers who pay into tis service in case they need the service;
o Road rescue-Province now pays at a higher rate and can offset the cost of local fire departments;
o Social media has been a huge success to reduce phone calls from the public inquiring about the status of the fire;
o Disaster funding; just talked to Prov Gov't about funding regarding Smith Creek fire that happened in July;
o Gap-very expensive to provide hotel lodgings for evacuees; move more towards group lodging; Trinity Baptist Church biggest group lodging but people don't want to be subjected to that; Prov is providing training but doubtful they would make it the primary type;
o Fire depts. Are receiving 2 hour callouts; no reimbursement w/in fire protection district

OPHUS/STACK
THAT the Governance and Services Committee receive for information the overview of the regional rescue programs: Central Okanagan Search & Rescue, RCMP Boat Patrol and regional rescue service.

CARRIED Unanimously

-------------------------------

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.pdf icon December 8, 2014 Regional District of Central Okanagan Regular Board Meeting Agenda

.pdf icon Item 7.2 Third Quarter Purchasing Commitments

*Note* Below is only a snippet, please click links above for entire content.

SUBJECT: Information Report- Purchase Commitments >$100,000 during 3Q 2014

Purpose:
As per section 4.6 of the Purchasing Policy approved on February 9th, 2012, a written information report of all purchase commitments exceeding $100,000 shall be provided to the Board every quarter.

RECOMMENDATION:
THAT the Regional Board, as per section 4.6 of the RDCO Purchasing Policy, receive for information the report on the purchase commitments which exceeded $100,000 made during the third quarter, ending September 30, 2014.

BACKGROUND:
Those purchase commitments exceeding $100,000 made during 3Q 2014 were as follows:

Walkway Construction Project - Phase 4, Okanagan Centre Harbour Regional Park (R14-166)

click image for a larger copy

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.pdf icon December 8, 2014 Regional District of Central Okanagan Regular Board Meeting Minutes

Staff report dated December 3,2014 outlined the purchase commitments exceeding $100,000 in the third quarter for 2014.

OPHUS/BAKER
THAT the Regional Board, as per section 4.6 of the RDCO Purchasing Policy, receive for information the report on the purchase commitments which exceeded $100,000 made during the third quarter ending September 30, 2014.

CARRIED Unanimously

-------------------------------

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.pdf icon October 27, 2014 Highlights of the Regional District of Central Okanagan Regular Board Meeting

Marine Rescue Boat Moorage

The Regional Board has approved a request from the District of Peachland to provide a one-time capital cost allocation for permanent moorage of the Regional Rescue Boat that’s based in the municipality. The $25,000 contribution will assist with expansion of the Peachland Yacht Club that will include an easily accessible spot on the water for the new larger rescue vessel.

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.pdf icon October 27, 2014 Regional District of Central Okanagan Regular Board Meeting Agenda

.pdf icon Item 7.2 Marine Rescue Boat Moorage Peachland

*Note* This is only a snippet, please click link above for entire content.

Purpose:
To provide the Board with an update on the Marine Rescue Program and seek support to secure permanent moorage for the Regional Rescue vessel located in Peachland.

Executive Summary:
In 2014 the Regional Board approved the purchase of two new Marine Rescue Boats to replace the existing vessels in Lake Country and Peachland, With the approach taken through the RFP process we managed to procure these vessels approximately $17,000 under budget. The Marine vessel specified for Peachland is somewhat larger than the previous boat for stability and safety reasons, thereby requiring a larger moorage space.

The Peachland Yacht Club is planning an expansion of their facility in 2015 at an estimated cost of $250,000, The District of Peachland is requesting a one-time $25,000 capital cost contribution from the Regional District of Central Okanagan Marine Rescue Program towards this expansion that will accommodate the new Regional Rescue Boat. It should be noted that we currently do not pay for moorage at the Peachland Yacht Club and this one-time capital contribution would secure the continuation of that practice.

Should the Board approve this request staff recommend using the remaining $17,000 in this year's Capital Plan plus an additional $8,000 from the capital reserve account in 2015.

RECOMMENDATION:
THAT the Board support in principle the request from the District of Peachland for a one-time $25,000 capital cost contribution from the Marine Rescue Program to create permanent moorage for the Regional Rescue Boat In Peachland, subject to 2015 budget approval.

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.pdf icon October 27, 2014 Regional District of Central Okanagan Regular Board Meeting Minutes

Regional Rescue Services

7.2 Marine Rescue Boat Moorage - District of Peachland (All Directors Unweighted Vote)

Staff report dated October 15, 2014 outlined the request for a one-time capital expenditure to create a permanent moorage for the regional rescue boat in Peachland. The Peachland Yacht Club is planning an expansion of their facility in 2015. This one-time capital expenditure would secure the continuation of the rescue boat moorage at the Club at no charge. Due to the size of the new rescue boat a larger moorage slip is required. Staff will develop an agreement with the yacht club.

BAKER/FIELDING
THAT the Regional Board support in principle the request from the District of Peachland for a one-time $25,000 capital contribution from the Marine Rescue Program to create permanent moorage for the regional rescue boat in Peachland
subject to 2015 budget approval.

CARRIED Unanimously

-------------------------------

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Walkway construction to begin
Castanet.net - by Bill Everitt | Story: 124641 - Oct 11, 2014


Photo: Contributed - regionaldistrict.com

A new walkway is being built along the north breakwater at the Okanagan Centre Safe Harbour Regional Park.

The 53-meter aluminum walkway and associated steel piling infrastructure will be installed in six sections along the 58-meter breakwater on Okanagan Lake. The park and its main boat launch are located on Okanagan Centre Road West in Lake Country.

Construction is slated to begin next week and will be complete by mid-December.

During construction, the boat launch will be available for use, although there could be short, temporary closures while equipment is being positioned.

Earlier this year, the new concrete panel/steel piling breakwater was constructed at the waterfront park, replacing the deteriorating wood structure in place since the mid-90’s.

During the walkway installation, park users, boaters and other visitors are asked to be aware of construction activities for their safety and that of workers.

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.pdf icon October 9, 2014 Highlights of the Regional District of Central Okanagan Regular Board Meeting

Okanagan Centre Harbour Walkway

The Regional Board has approved amending the 2014-2018 Financial Plan to add an additional $58,710 from the Regional Parks Capital Reserve Fund to pay for the higher than expected costs associated with installing a walkway at the Okanagan Centre Safe Harbour Regional Park North Breakwater. Construction of the 56-meter walkway will involve installing six aluminum gangways. Burton Marine Pile Driving Inc. submitted a bid to build the walkway this fall at a cost of $158,000.

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.pdf icon October 9, 2014 Regional District of Central Okanagan Regular Board Meeting Agenda

.pdf icon Item 7.1 Okanagan Centre Safe Harbour Regional Park Walkway Construction Request For Budget Amendment

.pdf icon Item 8.1 2014 2018 Financial Plan Amending Bylaw No 1351

*Note* This is only a snippet, please click link above for entire content

SUBJECT: Okanagan Centre Harbour Regional Park Walkway Construction (Phase 4) Request for Budget Amendment

Purpose:
To seek approval from the Regional Board to allocate $58,710 from the Regional Parks Capital Reserve Fund, to pay for higher than expected costs associated with the Okanagan Centre Harbour Regional Park North Breakwater project.

Executive Summary:
Phase 4 of the Okanagan Centre Harbour Regional Park North Breakwater project was tendered on September 10, 2014 to construct a 62.6 meter breakwater walkway, consisting of six aluminum gangways plus an optional seventh gangway extending to the end of the breakwater. One bid submission was received from Burton Marine Pile Driving Inc. for a total
value of $158,000.00, excluding GST, to construct gangways # 1 to 6. Gangway #7 was identified as an optional extra for $30,200 and is not being considered due to cost overruns.

The bid price received for gangways # 1 to 6 exceeds our budgeted estimate and an additional $58,710 is required to complete Phase 4 of this project. As market conditions are not expected to improve in the next 12 months, it is recommended that we proceed with this project and use Regional Parks Capital Reserve Funds to pay for the higher than expected costs.

RECOMMENDATION:
THAT the Regional Board approves the allocation of $58,710 from the Regional Parks Capital Reserve Fund to pay for higher than expected costs associated with Phase 4 of the Okanagan Centre Harbour Regional Park North Breakwater Project;
AND THAT the 2014 - 2018 Financial Plan be amended accordingly.

=============

SUBJECT: Budget Amendment Requested for 142 - Regional Parks

Purpose:
Parks Services has made a request to amend the 2014 - 2018 Financial Plan Bylaw for the 2014 Regional Parks Capital Budget The request was to increase the costs for Okanagan Centre North Pier Reconstruction project by $58,710 (from $477,387 in total to $536,097) with the additional amount being funded from capital facility reserves.

Executive Summary:
In accordance with the report being presented by Parks Services at the October 9th Board meeting, the Financial Plan amendment has been presented for approval by the Board.

RECOMMENDATION:
THAT the Regional District of Central Okanagan 2014 - 2018 Financial Plan Amending Bylaw 13XX, 2014 be given 1st, 2nd, 3rd reading and adopted.

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.mp3 file icon - click here for help with audio October 9, 2014 audio of entire RDCO Board meeting - .mp3 (8.38 MB)

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.pdf icon October 9, 2014 Regional District of Central Okanagan Regular Board Meeting Minutes

7. PARKS SERVICES

7.1 Okanagan Centre Harbour Regional Park Walkway Construction (Phase 4) - Request for Budget Amendment (All Directors - Weighted Vote)

Staff report dated October 2, 2014 outlined the higher than expected cost associated with Phase 4 of the Okanagan Centre Harbour Regional Park North Breakwater project. $58,710 is required to construct gangway #1 to 6. Gangway #7 was identified as an optional extra for $30,200 but is not being considered due to cost overruns.

It was noted there is $153,000 in capital reserves so there is capacity to complete the work. The permit to build has been issued to the RDCO and the contract must be completed by January 2015. Only one supplier bid on the project, the same contractor as has completed the previous work. Staff noted that $60,000 budgeted in 2014 for consulting which has not been spent will be allocated into capital reserves in 2015.

BAKER/EDGSON
THAT the Regional Board approves the allocation of $58,710 from the Regional Parks Capital Reserve Fund to pay for higher than expected costs associated with Phase 4 of the Okanagan Centre Harbour Regional Park North Breakwater Project;
AND THAT the 2014-2018 Financial Plan be amended accordingly.

CARRIED Unanimously

===============

8. ADMINISTRATIVE & FINANCIAL SERVICES

8.1 Regional District of Central Okanagan 2014-2018 Financial Plan Amending Bylaw No. 1351, 2014, 1st, 2nd and 3rd readings and Adoption (All Directors - Weighted Vote)

BAKER/OPHUS
THAT Regional District of Central Okanagan 2014-2018 Financial Plan Amending Bylaw No. 1351,2014 be given first, second and third readings and adopted this 9th day of October 2014.

CARRIED Unanimously

-------------------------------

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MADD about ripped off signs
Castanet.net - by Trevor Rockliffe | Story: 122638 - Sep 11, 2014
 


Photo: Contributed - MADD Stolen warning signs

MADD Central Okanagan Chapter says they are disappointed to learn that four Report Impaired Boating signs have been taken off their posts at three boat launch locations.

“We are very disappointed that someone would rip down signs that encourage public safety”, says Carol Fazekas, Chapter President. “We work very hard to educate the public about the dangers of impaired driving and impaired boating and for someone to make a joke out of this by tearing down these signs is upsetting.”

The Report Impaired Boating signs were recently installed at six boat launches in the City of Kelowna.

“As a charitable organization our resources are limited for projects like this so we are disappointed to see signage destroyed that we feel is an important message to get out in the public," says Fazekas.

MADD Canada's Campaign 911 program is on lakes and waterways, reminding everyone that operating a boat while impaired is just as dangerous, and just as illegal, as driving while impaired.

In a press release the groups states that alcohol is a factor in about 40% of the estimated 150 recreational boating fatalities in Canada each year.

“Alcohol consumption affects judgment, reduces motor skills and balance and slows reaction times, and the effects of sun and waves can heighten those effects,” adds Fazekas. “That is why it is so important that operators and passengers boat sober.”

Fazekas says the chapter will work with the City to have these signs reinstalled.

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.pdf icon September 11, 2014 Regional District of Central Okanagan Governance and Services Committee Meeting Agenda

.pdf icon Item 6.1 Quarterly Program Measures Report

*Note* This is only a snippet, please click link above for entire content

Parks Services

Okanagan Centre Safe Harbour: North Pier Breakwater contract awarded to Burton Marine Pile Driving Inc. is complete for the breakwater demolition and reconstruction. Section 9 Water Act approval was received from the Province for the public walkway extending along approximately 50% of the new breakwater structure. Federal Government Community Infrastructure Program grant monies of $150,000 were awarded for the North Breakwater reconstruction.

The Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC, the Habitat Conservation Trust Fund and the Province of BC has offered a $20,000 donation for the installation of a floating dock at Shannon Lake Regional Park. An Open House was held on June 24, 2014, for the proposed 48 foot main dock with guardrails and 32 foot long connecting walkway.

Staff resources review completed with the implementation of departmental reorganization put into effect in June 2014. The Parks Service Review process was initiated and a report is to be presented to the Board in the fall.

=================

Board

001S - Board Sub-Program Corporate Communications

Early 2014 was an extraordinary season where air quality and venting permitted open burning. The RD issued 48 news releases to advise of open burning of fire hazard debris collected in fuel modification projects this winter in four regional parks. This high level of public awareness for fuel reduction projects resulted in few calls to fire dispatch and no calls from residents complaining of detrimental effects from burning. Media attention in the second quarter focused on news releases encouraging flood preparations for waterfront property owners, closures of underpasses along the Mission Creek Greenway and two water quality advisories affecting two RDCO water systems due to higher than acceptable turbidity as a result of the spring runoff. Media attention was also received for the Open Houses and an online survey related to development of a Management Plan for Johns Family Nature Conservancy Regional Park and a proposed Floating Dock for Shannon Lake Regional Park.

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.mp3 file icon - click here for help with audio September 11, 2014 audio of entire RDCO Governance and Services Committee meeting - .mp3 (11.1 MB)

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.pdf icon September 11, 2014 Regional District of Central Okanagan Governance and Services Committee Meeting Minutes

6. Quarterly Program Measures Report, Year-To-Date June 30, 2014

Staff report dated September 4,2014 outlined the program measures to June 30, 2014. A summary of the highlights was presented. It was noted that staff continue to review the quarterly information presented to ensure the Committee is well
informed on the regional services and issues arising.

CONDON/EDGSON
THAT the Quarterly Program Measures Report, year-to-date June 30, 2014 be received for information.

CARRIED Unanimously

-------------------------------

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Two boats collide on Okanagan Lake
by Staff Writer - Vernon Morning Star - Aug 25, 2014


A 16-foot Hourston Glascraft outboard boat sustained damage when it collided with another vessel Sunday on Okanagan Lake. — Image Credit: RCMP Photo
 

UPDATE AUG 25 12:20 P.M.

Vernon RCMP have determined both drivers are responsible for a mid-day crash on Okanagan Lake.

RCMP spokesman Gord Molendyk says the crash happened Sunday, just before noon, when a Seadoo boat collided with a fishing boat sending one to hospital.

“One of our officers who investigated the crash determined an18 foot bow-rider Seadoo boat was travelling west at approximately 15-20 knots when it collided with an older Hourston Glascraft outboard boat, approximately 16 feet long that was travelling east at 2-4 knots while fishing,” says Molendyk.

“The two boats were travelling directly at one another until the operator of Hourston attempted to get out of the way at the last minute. He turned to the right, which caused the Seadoo to broadside the port (left) side of the boat and launch up on top of it. The Hourston boat suffered a broken hull. The Seadoo boat only suffered scrapes to the bow,” says Molendyk.

The crash occurred at 11:28 a.m. and the driver and sole occupant of the fishing boat was taken to hospital with either a sprained or broken ankle. The driver and six passengers of the Seadoo were all unhurt.

Molendyk says alcohol does not appear to be a factor in the crash.

“Our officer has reviewed the Canada Shipping Act Collision Regulations, Rule 14 states that since both vessels were under power and meeting on a reciprocal course, each vessel has the responsibility to alter their course to the starboard so that each shall pass on the port side of each other.”

This file is still being investigated with a possibility of charges under the Canada Shipping act.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
ORIGINAL STORY WE SAW

Injuries were sustained after two boats crashed on Okanagan Lake.

On Sunday at about 11:28 a.m., an 18-foot bow-rider Seadoo boat was travelling west in the Fintry area when it collided with a 16-foot Hourston Glascraft outboard boat.

"The two boats were travelling directly at one another until the operator of Hourston attempted to get out of the way at the last minute," said Gord Molendyk, RCMP spokesperson.

"He turned to the right, which caused the Seadoo (boat) to broadside the left side of the boat and launch up on top of it. The Hourston boat suffered a broken hull. The Seadoo boat only suffered scrapes to the bow."

The owner of the Hourston, and the sole occupant of that boat, sustained a sprained or broken ankle.  He was transported by paramedics to Vernon Jubilee Hospital.

The owner of the Seadoo and his six passengers were uninjured.

"Alcohol does not appear to be a factor in the crash," said Molendyk, adding that the Hourston boat was towed to shore and loaded on a trailer while the Seadoo boat was still operational.

"Our officer has reviewed the Canada Shipping Act Collision Regulations. Rule 14 states that since both vessels were under power and meeting on a reciprocal course, each vessel has the responsibility to alter their course to the starboard so that each shall pass on the port side of each other."

This file is still being investigated, with a possibility of charges under the Canada Shipping Act.

================================

CASTANET SAYS THIS IS THE ORIGINAL: A man was sent to hospital with a broken ankle after a boat crash on Okanagan Lake Sunday afternoon.

The incident occurred around 12 p.m. when a small power boat carrying around six people smashed into the side of a 14' fibreglass fishing boat.

"He was trolling along fishing and someone t-boned him," said North Westside fire chief Doug Gardiner.

The fishing boat was heavily damaged, but the driver was close enough to shore that he made it to a dock in the Fintry Delta area.

BC Ambulance attended the scene and took him to the Vernon Jubilee Hospital

Blue Divider Line

102nd birthday boat cruise
Castanet.net - by Jennifer Zielinski | Story: 121855 - Aug 28, 2014

When asked what she wanted to do for her 102nd birthday, Pearl Lynn didn’t have to think twice.

The Hawthorn Park resident couldn’t wait to get out onto the waters of Okanagan Lake with her friends and family.

“I thought it would be a very good idea, it would be different,” says an excited Pearl.

Thanks to Therapeutic Lake Cruise Society, Pearl’s birthday wish was made a reality. The senior arrived at Shelter Bay, on Wednesday, and was wheeled aboard a 24' Princecraft pontoon boat, by captain Pierre Caouette.

“A lot of seniors want to go on the lake, you know Kelowna’s summer doesn’t have to only be for tourists,” jokes Caouette.

Started by two local women back in 2009 the Therapeutic Lake Cruise (TLC) society takes seniors, disabled and special needs groups from the community out several times a week on a one hour boat ride.

“It’s all (ran) by volunteers, no one is making a penny,” explains Caouette. “The price we charge, we charge the minimum so they can afford to come out on the lake, it just pays for the gas and the maintenance.”

For Pearl an afternoon on the lake with family and friends was more than she could have asked for, well other than the mocha birthday cake she kindly ordered.

“We are really excited to have an opportunity to have our seniors out onto the water,” says Kristin Reed, Recreation Coordinator at Orchard Manor.

Reed says a lot of seniors who ask to come out on the cruise are usually former members of the Navy, or like to reminisce about being on a boat as a child with their family.

The TLC society is currently in need of more volunteer captains and they will assist you in obtaining your captain license if need be.

“We need more people to come on the lake, if we had more captains we would be on the lake four or five days a week,” Caouette explains.

To get involved and help put a smile on someone’s face like the one that came across Pearl’s on her 102 birthday contact tlcsociety.ca

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.pdf icon August 25, 2014 Regional District of Central Okanagan Regular Board Meeting Minutes

6.2 Okanagan Basin Water Board Report - August 7, 2014

BAKER/FIELDING
THAT the Okanagan Basin Water Board Report of August 7, 2014 be received for information.

CARRIED Unanimously

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.mp3 file icon - click here for help with audio August 25, 2014 audio of entire RDCO Board meeting - .mp3 (14.1 MB)

Click this Windows Media Audio icon for help with audio files August 25, 2014 audio of RDCO Board meeting only about Item 6.2 Okanagan Basin Water Board Report Increase in Milfoil this year- .wma (748 KB)

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Boaters beware of mussels
Castanet.net - by Ragnar Haagen | Story: 116680 - Jun 7, 2014

Zebra mussels
With summer upon us in the Okanagan, the local water board is again calling on residents to be aware and to not move a mussel.

They are also asking residents to participate online by contacting their local MP or MLA and take action against the invasive zebra and quagga mussels.

These creatures can quickly disrupt the fragile eco-systems of local waterways by polluting drinking water, competing with native species for food, and affecting both tourism and property values. They latch on to the vessels of unassuming boaters and unless properly flushed, can be carried from one lake or water source to another.

“The concern for us is now the boats are arriving and we’re trying to do our best to keep those things out of here,” says Corinne Jackson, director of communications at Okanagan Basin Water Board.

She says the board has been pressuring both the provincial and federal governments for the past two years to get inspection stations at the border, but so far little has been done to curb the possible influx.

“It’s a real concern – we’re talking $43 million per year to just manage (the problem) if they get here. Whereas we’re saying if the province just spends $2.4 million per year, we would be able to inspect and potentially prevent this,” she says.

That yearly allowance would be used for the upkeep of 15 stations at a cost of $60,000-$160,000 each per year.

“It would be a lot better than what we have now, which is nothing, other than a campaign from our end. We don’t have the manpower, we don’t have the authority to stop and inspect.”

Next week, the provincial government has proclaimed to be Invasive Species Week from June 9-15. In a release to the media, they hope to raise awareness of the economic and environmental damage that invasive plants and animals can cause if allowed to spread in British Columbia.

But aside from $1.6 million of grant money announced for 29 regional districts, municipalities and organizations last month, little has been done in terms of a long term plan, or a proactive solution.

Since 2012, the province has provided $2.1 million to help prevent aquatic invasive species from entering BC and to support public awareness campaigns and preventative measures, such as the "Clean, Drain, Dry" program for recreational boaters. That same year they amended the controlled alien species regulation to further restrict non-native species.

But that only means invasive zebra or quagga mussels (alive or dead) are not allowed to remain on boats or related equipment, and those that fail to adhere can be slapped with a fine up to $100,000.

The Manitoba government is also currently embroiled in a battle to save their many lakes against the clam-like creatures. The Great Lakes and parts of the US have already been infested by the invasive mussels too.

Manitoba will spend $500,000 to dump liquid potash into the waters until it reaches a lethal concentration for the mussels, clogging their gills. This has never been done before in open water.

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.pdf icon March 24, 2014 Highlights of the Regional District of Central Okanagan Regular Board Meeting

Nothing was mentioned in the Highlights about Item 5.1 Okanagan Basin Water Board March Meeting Highlights

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.mp3 file icon - click here for help with audio March 24, 2014 audio of entire RDCO Board meeting - .mp3 (2.81 MB)

Click this Windows Media Audio icon for help with audio files March 24, 2014 audio of RDCO Board meeting only about Item 5.1 Okanagan Basin Water Board March Meeting Highlights - .wma (1.18 MB)

.pdf icon March 24, 2014 Regional District of Central Okanagan Regular Board Meeting Agenda

.pdf icon Item 5.1 Okanagan Basin Water Board March Meeting Highlights

*Note* This is only a snippet, click link above for entire content

OBWB calls on Province for Made in BC plan to stop mussels: The Okanagan Basin Water Board is recommending to the Province that it develop a "Made in B.C." business plan to help prevent the spread of invasive zebra and quagga mussels into British Columbia waters. The suggestion is a potential sticker program for watercraft owners tied to inspection or licencing similar to successful programs in the U.S. The Water Board continues to urge the federal government to pass pending legislation allowing Canada Border Services agents to inspect boats coming in from the U.S. For more about the mussels visit http://www.DontMoveAMussel.ca/.

Funds approved for Okanagan irrigation training: The Board approved funding to subsidize training for Okanagan irrigation installers this fall through the Irrigation Industry Association of BC to help address the shortage of certified installers in our
valley. Subsidies will be available to those conducting agricultural, commercial and residential installs.

Board commends B.C. on proposal to get tough on off-road vehicles: OBWB will be forwarding a letter to the Province commending proposed legislation to have offroad vehicles (e.g. dirt bikes and quads) licenced when used on public land and fines increased from $500 to a maximum $5,000. The board believes the legislation will be significant in helping protect water quality.

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.mp3 file icon - click here for help with audio March 24, 2014 audio of entire RDCO Board meeting - .mp3 (2.81 MB)

Click this Windows Media Audio icon for help with audio files March 24, 2014 audio of RDCO Board meeting only about Item 5.1 Okanagan Basin Water Board March Meeting Highlights - .wma (1.18 MB)

.pdf icon March 24, 2014 Regional District of Central Okanagan Regular Board Meeting Minutes

5. CORPORATE SERVICES

5.1 Okanagan Basin Water Board March 6,2014 Meeting Highlights (All Directors - Unweighted Vote)

FIELDING/OPHUS
THAT the Okanagan Basin Water Board March 6,2014 meeting highlights be received for information.

CARRIED Unanimously

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.mp3 file icon - click here for help with audio March 24, 2014 audio of entire RDCO Board meeting - .mp3 (2.81 MB)

Click this Windows Media Audio icon for help with audio files March 24, 2014 audio of RDCO Board meeting only about Item 5.1 Okanagan Basin Water Board March Meeting Highlights - .wma (1.18 MB)

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Breakwater Construction at Regional Park in Lake Country

Demolition and construction of a large portion of the north breakwater is expected to begin next week in Okanagan Centre Safe Harbour Regional Park. View Project Map

To prepare, the contractor (Burton Marine Pile Driving Inc.) will begin moving a barge and other equipment into place early next week.

It’s anticipated the breakwater construction will be substantially complete by April 20th and some minor clean-up of the park will take place during the following week. The park and its main boat launch are located on Okanagan Centre Road West in Lake Country.

Communications Officer Bruce Smith says, “We don’t anticipate any lengthy closure of the park and its main boat launch during the construction. However, a portion of the parking area south of the main launch will be cordoned off during construction for storage of equipment and materials and staging.”

He adds, “At this time of year there isn’t a huge demand for the facility’s boat launch. However, there are boaters that still do use the launch and may find some temporary, intermittent closures during construction while equipment is being repositioned or adjusted and while construction materials are being delivered or off-loaded. We expect any closures will be minimal and we ask for the patience and cooperation of park users, boaters and other visitors to ensure their safety and that of construction workers. Boaters should also be aware there may be floating materials stored temporarily inside the harbour area during construction.”

The new steel pile supported concrete waffle panel breakwater will replace about 40-meters (131 feet or 70 per cent) of the aging 56-meter un-treated wood pile structure that has been in place since it was replaced in the mid-90’s by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans before transferring the assets to the Regional District. The Federal Government Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund is providing $150,000 toward this project. In addition, last fall the Regional Board approved reallocating slightly more than $123,000 for the north breakwater demolition and reconstruction as another previously approved project was not able to be completed during 2013 due to circumstances beyond the Regional District’s control. The Regional Board will be asked to consider approving funds to complete the remaining 16-meters of the breakwater in this year’s Financial Plan.

During the early summer of 2012, Burton Marine successfully replaced the south breakwater with steel pilings and concrete waffle panels.

(February 14, 2014)

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Breakwater construction set to begin
Castanet.net - by Wayne Moore - Story: 108949 - Feb 17, 2014

Demolition and construction of a large portion of the north breakwater is expected to begin next week in Okanagan Centre Safe Harbour Regional Park.

To prepare, the contractor (Burton Marine Pile Driving Inc.) will begin moving a barge and other equipment into place early next week.

It is anticipated that the breakwater construction will be substantially complete by April 20th and some minor clean-up of the park will take place during the following week. The park and its main boat launch are located on Okanagan Centre Road West in Lake Country.

“We don’t anticipate any lengthy closure of the park and its main boat launch during the construction," says RDCO Communications Officer, Bruce Smith.

"However, a portion of the parking area south of the main launch will be cordoned off during construction for storage of equipment and materials and staging.”

He adds, “At this time of year there isn’t a huge demand for the facility’s boat launch. However, there are boaters who still do use the launch and may find some temporary, intermittent closures during construction while equipment is being repositioned or adjusted and while construction materials are being delivered or off-loaded. We expect any closures will be minimal and we ask for the patience and cooperation of park users, boaters and other visitors to ensure their safety and that of construction workers. Boaters should also be aware there may be floating materials stored temporarily inside the harbour area during construction.”

The new steel pile supported concrete waffle panel breakwater will replace about 40-metres (131 feet or 70 per cent) of the aging 56-metre untreated wood pile structure that has been in place since it was replaced in the mid-90s by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans before transferring the assets to the Regional District.

The Federal Government Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund is providing $150,000 toward this project.

In addition, last fall the Regional Board approved reallocating slightly more than $123,000 for the north breakwater demolition and reconstruction as another previously approved project was not able to be completed during 2013 due to circumstances beyond the Regional District’s control.

The Regional Board will be asked to consider approving funds to complete the remaining 16-metres of the breakwater in this year’s Financial Plan.

During the early summer of 2012, Burton Marine successfully replaced the south breakwater with steel pilings and concrete waffle panels.

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.pdf icon November 14, 2013 Highlights of the Regional District of Central Okanagan Regular Board Meeting

Replacement of Marine Rescue Boats
The Regional Board has authorized a Request for Proposal process in order to replace two Marine Rescue Boats in 2014. A purchasing committee suggests that there would be cost savings realized by seeking replacements for the vessels based in Peachland and Lake Country at the same time. The cost of the two replacement marine rescue boats is not to exceed $300,750 excluding taxes and will be funded through a combination of the approved 2013 and 2014 capital replacement budgets.

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.mp3 file icon - click here for help with audio November 14, 2013 audio of entire RDCO Board meeting - .mp3 (8.29 MB)

Click this Windows Media Audio icon for help with audio files November 14, 2013 audio of RDCO Board meeting only about Item 6.1 Marine Rescue Vessel Replacement - .wma (2.61 MB)

Click this Windows Media Audio icon for help with audio files November 14, 2013 audio of RDCO Board meeting only about Item 8.1 2013 2017 Financial Plan Amending Bylaw No 1338 - .wma (199 KB)

.pdf icon November 14, 2013 Regional District of Central Okanagan Regular Board Meeting Agenda

.pdf icon Item 6.1 Marine Rescue Vessel Replacement

.pdf icon Item 8.1 2013 2017 Financial Plan Amending Bylaw No 1338

*Note* This is only a snippet, please click links for entire content

142 - Regional Parks Capital Budget - 2013: Reallocation of $123,600 from Mission Creek Regional Park Cottonwood Bridge to Okanagan Centre Harbour Regional Park North Breakwater as per Sept 23, 2013 Board Report. The Cottonwoods Bridge would be completed from the 2014 budget allocation.

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Item 6.1 Marine Rescue Vessel Replacement

Purpose:
To obtain approval to proceed with a Request for Proposal process for the acquisition of two (2) Marine Rescue vessels for the Regional Rescue Program.

RECOMMENDATION:
THAT the Regional Board authorize staff to complete a Request for Proposal process for the replacement of two Marine Rescue vessels not to exceed $300,750.00 excluding taxes.

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Item 8.1 2013 2017 Financial Plan Amending Bylaw No 1338

Executive Summary:
As per previous information provided to the Board I Governance and Services Committee, amendments have been made to the 2013 - 2017 Financial Plan. All changes have been highlighted in the amended bylaw. In accordance with the Oct. 10th Report to the Board and approval re: Use of Gas Tax Community Works Fund:

024 - Wilson's Landing Fire Department - 2014: $30,000 IN Equipment and $20,000 in Facility
Improvements.

Other Changes:
023 - North Westside Road Fire Capital Budget - 2013: To adjust the Boat House costs and recognize donations:

o Capital Revenue: Increase Donations from $0 to $23,000. Reduced amount funded from reserves by $29,707 (may need to be adjusted by $20,000, if fire trucks proceeds not received at year end - when sold, funds would transfer into reserves via 2014 budget.)

o Capital Expenses: Decreased Turnout gear from $25,062 to $7,500, increase Boat House from $50,125 to $82,000, and decreased Stn 102 Firehall Renovations from $26,102 to $5,000.
     • Transfer surplus truck from Regional Rescue $8.5k.

o 2014 Capital: Fund $28,500 of Facility Improvements from Community Works Fund Gas Tax Reserve as per Oct. 10, 2013 Board Report.
030 - Regional Rescue - 2013 Sale/Transfer Surplus Bush Truck.

7. Page 43 "023 - North Westside Volunteer Fire/Rescue Department" is deleted in its entirety and replaced with the attached page 43 "023 - North Westside Volunteer Fire/Rescue Department - Amended" to reflect changes in the 2013 and 2014 Capital Fund Budget.

9. Page 47 "030 - Regional Rescue" is deleted in its entirety and replaced with the attached page 47 "030 - Regional Rescue -Amended" to reflect changes in the 2013 Capital Fund Budget.

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.mp3 file icon - click here for help with audio November 14, 2013 audio of entire RDCO Board meeting - .mp3 (8.29 MB)

Click this Windows Media Audio icon for help with audio files November 14, 2013 audio of RDCO Board meeting only about Item 6.1 Marine Rescue Vessel Replacement - .wma (2.61 MB)

Click this Windows Media Audio icon for help with audio files November 14, 2013 audio of RDCO Board meeting only about Item 8.1 2013 2017 Financial Plan Amending Bylaw No 1338 - .wma (199 KB)

.pdf icon November 14, 2013 Regional District of Central Okanagan Regular Board Meeting Minutes

6. BUSINESS ARISING

6.1 Marine Rescue Vessel Replacement (All Directors - Unweighted Vote)

Staff report dated November 5, 2013 outlined that in May 2013 the Board supported in principle the replacement of the marine rescue vessel located in Peachland which had been budgeted since 2012. At that time, it was agreed that a purchasing committee be formed to develop appropriate specifications for the vessel. Following discussion with the purchasing committee it is being recommended that the process for replacement of the two marine rescue vessels (the other being in Lake Country) be completed simultaneously in order to save funds. The marine rescue boats have been identified as critical infrastructure that requires replacement and have been identified in the 2013 and 2014 capital plans. The RFP process will be completed in 2014.
Staff noted the technical committee is confident the specification for the proposed boats will meet the needs of the community. The Peachland fire chief is fine with specs.

ZIMMERMANN/FIELDING
THAT the Regional Board authorizes staff to complete a Request for Proposal process for the replacement of two marine rescue vessels (Peachland and Lake Country) not to exceed $300,750.00, excluding taxes.

CARRIED

==============

8. FINANCE & ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES

8.1 RDCO 2013-2017 Financial Plan Amending Bylaw No. 1338, 2013, 1st, 2nd and 3rd reading and Adoption (All Directors - Weighted Vote)

Staff report dated November 7, 2013 outlined the amendments to the 2013-2017 Financial Plan. Note correction to report: 305 - Sunset Ranch Water System: $15,000 System Improvements in 2013, and $6,000 in 2014.

OPHUS/EDGSON
THAT Regional District of Central Okanagan 2013-2017 Financial Plan Amending Bylaw No. 1338, 2013 be given first, second and third readings and adopted this 14th day of November 2013.

CARRIED

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.mp3 file icon - click here for help with audio November 14, 2013 audio of entire RDCO Board meeting - .mp3 (8.29 MB)

Click this Windows Media Audio icon for help with audio files November 14, 2013 audio of RDCO Board meeting only about Item 6.1 Marine Rescue Vessel Replacement - .wma (2.61 MB)

Click this Windows Media Audio icon for help with audio files November 14, 2013 audio of RDCO Board meeting only about Item 8.1 2013 2017 Financial Plan Amending Bylaw No 1338 - .wma (199 KB)

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.pdf icon September 23, 2013 Highlights of the Regional District of Central Okanagan Regular Board Meeting

Adjusted Park Project Funding Allocation

The Regional Board has approved adding previously approved funding from one Regional Park project to another. As a result of circumstances beyond its control, the Regional Parks Department is unable to complete $123,600 worth of budgeted work to remove, reconstruct and replace the Cottonwood Bridge over Mission Creek this year. Instead, the Board supports contributing that money, along with $150,000 from the Federal Government Community Infrastructure Program to replacing sections of the North Breakwater at Okanagan Centre Safe Harbour Regional Park. The Board also supports allocating $123,600 in its 2014 budget to complete the bridge upgrade project next year.

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.mp3 file icon - click here for help with audio September 23, 2013 audio of entire RDCO Board meeting - .mp3 (30.2 MB)

Click this Windows Media Audio icon for help with audio files September 23, 2013 audio of RDCO Board meeting only about Item 9.3 Regional Park Capital Budget Reallocation Okanagan Center Safe Harbor - .wma (1.39 MB)

.pdf icon September 23, 2013 Regional District of Central Okanagan Regular Board Meeting Agenda

.pdf icon Item 9.3 Regional Park Capital Budget Reallocation

*Note* This is only a snippet, please click links above for entire content

RECOMMENDATION:
THAT the Regional Board approve the reallocation of $123,600 from the 2013 Parks Services Regional Park Capital Funding from the Mission Creek Regional Park Cottonwood Bridge (Mindy Tran) Upgrade project to the Okanagan Centre Harbour Regional Park North Breakwater project;
AND FURTHER THAT the RDCO Board support a 2014 budget allocation of $123,600 to complete the proposed restoration of the Cottonwood Bridge in compliance with the RDCO's current contract with Boxwood Forest Products;
Purpose: To request approval for reallocation of capital funds as identified in the Regional District of Central Okanagan 2013 -2017 Financial Plan Bylaw No. 1324.

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.mp3 file icon - click here for help with audio September 23, 2013 audio of entire RDCO Board meeting - .mp3 (30.2 MB)

Click this Windows Media Audio icon for help with audio files September 23, 2013 audio of RDCO Board meeting only about Item 9.3 Regional Park Capital Budget Reallocation Okanagan Center Safe Harbor - .wma (1.39 MB)

.pdf icon September 23, 2013 Regional District of Central Okanagan Regular Board Meeting Minutes

9.3 Regional Park Capital Budget Reallocation - Okanagan Centre Harbour Regional Park North Breakwater Construction (All Directors - Unweighted Vote)

Staff report dated September 23rd requests approval for the reallocation of capital funds identified in the 2013-2017 Financial Plan Bylaw No. 1324 from the Mission Creek Regional Park Cottonwood Bridge upgrade project to the Okanagan Centre Harbour Regional Park North Breakwater project.

It was noted that the Regional District will continue to work on grant applications for this project, including SIDIT and SIBAC.

BAKER/HANSON
THAT the Regional Board approve the reallocation of $123,600 from the 2013 Parks Services Regional Park Capital Funding from the Mission Creek Regional Park Cottonwoods Bridge (Mindy Tran) Upgrade project to the Okanagan Centre Harbour
Regional Park North Breakwater project;
AND FURTHER THAT the Regional Board support a 2014 budget allocation of $123,600 to complete the proposed restoration of the Cottonwood Bridge in compliance with the RDCO's current contract with Boxwood Forest Products;

CARRIED

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.mp3 file icon - click here for help with audio September 23, 2013 audio of entire RDCO Board meeting - .mp3 (30.2 MB)

Click this Windows Media Audio icon for help with audio files September 23, 2013 audio of RDCO Board meeting only about Item 9.3 Regional Park Capital Budget Reallocation Okanagan Center Safe Harbor - .wma (1.39 MB)

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.pdf icon September 12, 2013 Regional District of Central Okanagan Governance and Services Committee Meeting Agenda

.pdf icon Item 6.1 Quarterly Program Measures Report

*Note* This is only a snippet, please click link above for entire content

Okanagan Centre Safe Harbour: North Pier Reconstruction project design underway then the project will be tendered. RDCO is currently awaiting announcement of Community Infrastructure Improvement Grant Funding of $150,000.

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.mp3 file icon - click here for help with audio September 12, 2013 audio of entire RDCO Governance and Services Committee meeting - .mp3 (28.2 MB)

Click this Windows Media Audio icon for help with audio files September 12, 2013 audio of RDCO Governance and Services Committee meeting only about Item 6.1 Quarterly Program Measures Report - .wma (22.3 MB)

Click this Windows Media Audio icon for help with audio files September 12, 2013 audio of RDCO Board meeting only about 8.1a Quarterly Program Measures Report – Year-to-date – June 30, 2013 - .wma (226 KB)

.pdf icon September 12, 2013 Regional District of Central Okanagan Governance and Services Committee Meeting Minutes

6. Finance & Administrative Services

6.1 Quarterly Program Measures Report - Year-to-date June 30, 2013

The quarterly measures report, year-to-date June 30, 2013, Executive Summary was presented for information. Staff highlighted areas of note including:
• At the end of June budgets are on track. Budget revision will come forward in regards to capital costs.
• Restructuring of staff has occurred - existing and new staff.
• Trepanier Fire - paid on call reimbursement has been received from Ministry of Forests. Surplus has been reflected in revenues. The past practice is to top up paid on call wages to $30 for incident and budget remainder into reserves. Reimbursement is reflective of what other fire departments are paid for response. The question was raised whether it sets a precedent to reimburse paid-on-call at this rate? The question was raised whether the Board need to approve a policy change or is this administrative in nature? Staff noted this is within the existing budget. Need to be consistent across other communities, staff to confirm that it is consistent in the region.

OPHUS/ZIMMERMANN
THAT staff provide a report to the Board on the policy for reimbursement of paid on call emergency response for fires such as the Trepanier Fire, confirming the practice for reimbursement is consistent in the region.

CARRIED

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June Springs and Lakeshore Road - RDCO no longer issuing burn permits.
It was unclear as to why burning permits would no longer be issued to property owners in June Springs and Lakeshore Road as they are within the RDCO boundaries. There is an agreement for the City of Kelowna Fire Department to respond to fires in these two areas.

HANSON/EDGSON
THAT staff confirm whether burning permits are being issued to property owners in June Springs and Lakeshore Fire District areas.

CARRIED

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Parks - Cottonwoods bridge delayed to 2014, funds will be redirected to the Okanagan Centre Harbor upgrade.
There was a general discussion on why the level of detail in the quarterly measures report is being provided to a Board committee. This level of detail is important but should be provided to the COA for review of each department. The information directed to the Board should be high level only, related to strategic direction and overall goals of the RDCO, what progress has been made on key objectives, what emerging issues are, early heads up on key issue and whether it would impact next years' planning, and any budget variances. As well, it would be worthwhile to focus the board's update on the three service levels: electoral, sub-regional and regional services. The detailed report is of operational in nature and should be directed to the departments and the CAO. Staff will restructure the quarterly measures report (executive summary) for the Governance & Services Committee in future updates.

BAKER/EDGSON
THAT the quarterly measures report, Executive Summary, year-to-date June 30, 2012 be received for information.

CARRIED

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.mp3 file icon - click here for help with audio September 12, 2013 audio of entire RDCO Governance and Services Committee meeting - .mp3 (28.2 MB)

Click this Windows Media Audio icon for help with audio files September 12, 2013 audio of RDCO Governance and Services Committee meeting only about Item 6.1 Quarterly Program Measures Report - .wma (22.3 MB)

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Federal Government Invests in Improvements to Okanagan Centre Safe Harbour Regional Park

Today, the Honourable Michelle Rempel, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification, along with the Honourable Ron Cannan, Member of Parliament for Kelowna—Lake Country, announced support for improvements to the Okanagan Centre Safe Harbour Regional Park's harbour breakwater under the Harper Government's Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund (CIIF).

"I am proud to have the opportunity to reaffirm our Government's support for projects that deliver on our commitment to create jobs and growth," said Minister Rempel. "The Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund is not only working to support the local economies of communities across Canada, but it is also creating a legacy of safe and modern infrastructure that will benefit the residents of these communities for years to come."

The Harper Government's investment of $150,000 will improve the safety and reliability of the harbour breakwater at Okanagan Centre Safe Harbour Regional Park. With the funding, the Regional District of Central Okanagan will reconstruct sections of the breakwater using new steel piles and concrete panels for increased longevity of the structure.

"This funding has strengthened our community by upgrading essential infrastructure," said the Honourable Ron Cannan. "I am pleased to see this Regional District amenity benefit from the Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund."

"The wooden breakwater at the Regional Park located in Lake Country has been in place since the 1970's and needs a major overhaul," said Regional District of Central Okanagan Chair Robert Hobson. "We welcome this critical infrastructure funding from the Federal Government to help partially replace the most seriously deteriorating portions of the north breakwater, which is an important asset for many boaters on Okanagan Lake."

In Economic Action Plan 2012, the Harper Government announced further support to help communities across the country modernize their infrastructure. Our Government committed $150 million over two years for the Fund. The Fund supports projects that look to improve existing community infrastructure accessible for use by the public, such as community centres, recreational buildings, local arenas, cultural and other community facilities.

(news release from Western Economic Diversification Canada)

(September 5, 2013)

Source:  RDCO's Whats New

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Lake Country harbour received federal funding
AM 1150 - 9/5/2013

The Federal Government is contributing 150 thousand dollars towards improvements to the Okanagan Centre Safe Harbour Regional Park in Lake Country.

Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification Michelle Rempel was on hand for the announcement along with Kelowna/Lake Country MP Ron Cannan.

Lake Country Mayor James Baker says the funding will improve the safety of boaters:

"The north breakwater needs some more work because that is where it is breaking down. The 150 thousand dollars will be used to complete most of the pilings that will contribute towards calming the waters in the harbour."

The wooden breakwater, which will be replaced by new steel piles and concrete panels, has been in place since the 70's.

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.pdf icon April 22, 2013 Highlights of the Regional District of Central Okanagan Board Meeting

Nothing was mentioned in the Highlights about Item 6.1 Okanagan Basin Water Board Highlights or about Item 6.2 Ministry Of Environment Invasive Aquatic Species

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.mp3 file icon - click here for help with audio April 22, 2013 audio of entire RDCO Board meeting - .mp3 (25.9 MB)

Click this Windows Media Audio icon for help with audio files April 22, 2013 audio of RDCO Board meeting only about Item 6.1 Okanagan Basin Water Board Highlights - .wma ( KB)

Click this Windows Media Audio icon for help with audio files April 22, 2013 audio of RDCO Board meeting only about Item 6.2 Ministry Of Environment Invasive Aquatic Species - .wma ( KB)

There doesn't seem to be any audio on RDCO's website about Item 6.1 Okanagan Basin Water Board Highlights or about Item 6.2 Ministry Of Environment Invasive Aquatic Species so we asked RDCO July 14, 2013 to post it to their website.

.pdf icon April 22, 2013 Regional District of Central Okanagan Board Meeting Agenda

.pdf icon Item 6.1 Okanagan Basin Water Board Highlights

.pdf icon Item 6.2 Ministry Of Environment Invasive Aquatic Species

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.mp3 file icon - click here for help with audio April 22, 2013 audio of entire RDCO Board meeting - .mp3 (25.9 MB)

Click this Windows Media Audio icon for help with audio files April 22, 2013 audio of RDCO Board meeting only about Item 6.1 Okanagan Basin Water Board Highlights - .wma ( KB)

Click this Windows Media Audio icon for help with audio files April 22, 2013 audio of RDCO Board meeting only about Item 6.2 Ministry Of Environment Invasive Aquatic Species - .wma ( KB)

There doesn't seem to be any audio on RDCO's website about Item 6.1 Okanagan Basin Water Board Highlights or about Item 6.2 Ministry Of Environment Invasive Aquatic Species so we asked RDCO July 14, 2013 to post it to their website.

.pdf icon April 22, 2013 Regional District of Central Okanagan Board Meeting Minutes

6. CORRESPONDENCE

6.1 Okanagan Basin Water Board Highlights - April 4, 2013 (for information)

FIELDING/EDGSON
THAT the Okanagan Basin Water Board meeting highlights of April 4, 2013 be received for information.

CARRIED

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6.2 Ministry of Environment re: Invasive Zebra and Quagga Mussels (for information)

The April 2, 2013 letter from the Ministry of Environment, in response to the RDCO's letter requesting the Province become more involved in the risks to BC by the invasive mussels, outlined a number of actions the Province is taking to both raise awareness and develop collaborations to prevent invasion of the mussels in BC.

FIELDING/BAKER
THAT the April 2, 2013 letter from the Ministry of Environment, in response to the RDCO's letter requesting more involvement by the Province regarding the risks to BC posed by the invasive Zebra and Quagga mussels be received for information.

CARRIED

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.mp3 file icon - click here for help with audio April 22, 2013 audio of entire RDCO Board meeting - .mp3 (25.9 MB)

Click this Windows Media Audio icon for help with audio files April 22, 2013 audio of RDCO Board meeting only about Item 6.1 Okanagan Basin Water Board Highlights - .wma ( KB)

Click this Windows Media Audio icon for help with audio files April 22, 2013 audio of RDCO Board meeting only about Item 6.2 Ministry Of Environment Invasive Aquatic Species - .wma ( KB)

There doesn't seem to be any audio on RDCO's website about Item 6.1 Okanagan Basin Water Board Highlights or about Item 6.2 Ministry Of Environment Invasive Aquatic Species so we asked RDCO July 14, 2013 to post it to their website.

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.pdf icon March 28, 2013 Highlights of the Regional District of Central Okanagan Special Board Meeting

Invasive Aquatic Mussels Resolution

The Regional Board has approved a resolution to be submitted for consideration by the Southern Interior Local Government Association conference. The resolution calls on the federal and provincial governments to immediately establish mandatory inspection stations and an education program to inform people about the threat posed by invasive Zebra and Quagga mussels. These species of aquatic mussels are easily transported and once in place, can have a major economic impact on infrastructure and tourism.

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.mp3 file icon - click here for help with audio March 28, 2013 audio of entire RDCO Board meeting - .mp3 (3.74 MB)

Click this Windows Media Audio icon for help with audio files March 28, 2013 audio of RDCO Board meeting only about Item 7 1 Late Resolution To SILGA 2013 Convention - .wma (249 KB)

.pdf icon March 28, 2013 Regional District of Central Okanagan Special Board Meeting Agenda

.pdf icon Item 7.1 Late Resolution To SILGA 2013 Convention

WHEREAS the Regional District of Central Okanagan has been informed of the threat of invasive Zebra and Quagga mussels spreading into Western Canada and that the infestation of these species will cost millions of dollars in damage and increase costs for infrastructure, and that at the present time there is no known natural predator of the mussels;
AND WHEREAS according to the Canadian Council of Fisheries and Aquaculture Ministers Aquatic Invasive Species Task Group the most effective approach is to manage pathways by which these aquatic invasive species enter Canadian waters;
AND WHEREAS mandatory boat inspection programs now exist in some U.S. states and similar mandatory inspection stations in Canada along provincial and international borders could prevent or delay the aquatic invaders;
AND WHEREAS the Province of BC has strong legislation and stiff penalties prohibiting the transport of aquatic invasive species;
THEREFORE it is requested that the provincial and federal governments act immediately to develop mandatory inspection stations and an education program to inform the public of the threat of invasive Zebra and Quagga mussels.

I, Paul Macklem, Chief Administrative Officer of the Regional District of Central Okanagan, do hereby certify that the above is a true and correct copy of a resolution which was adopted by the Regional Board at its Special Board meeting held the 28th day of March 28, 2013.
day of January 2013

Dated at Kelowna, B.C. this 28th day of March 2013

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.mp3 file icon - click here for help with audio March 28, 2013 audio of entire RDCO Board meeting - .mp3 (3.74 MB)

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.pdf icon March 28, 2013 Regional District of Central Okanagan Special Board Meeting Minutes

7. UNFINISHED BUSINESS

7.1 Late Resolution to SILGA 2013 Convention re: Threat of Invasive Zebra and Quagga Mussels (All Directors - Unweighted Vote)

The Board at its March 14th meeting requested a late resolution be forwarded to the 2013 SILGA convention on the threat of invasive Zebra and Quagga Mussels.

FINDLATER/FIELDING
WHEREAS the Regional District of Central Okanagan has been informed of the threat of invasive Zebra and Quagga mussels spreading into Western Canada and that the infestation of these species will cost millions of dollars in damage and increase costs for infrastructure, and that at the present time there is no known natural predator of the mussels;
AND WHEREAS according to the Canadian Council of Fisheries and Aquaculture Ministers Aquatic Invasive Species Task Group the most effective approach is to manage pathways by which these aquatic invasive species enter Canadian waters;
AND WHEREAS mandatory boat inspection programs now exist in some U.S. states and similar mandatory inspection stations in Canada along provincial and international borders could prevent or delay the aquatic invaders;
AND WHEREAS the Province of BC has strong legislation and stiff penalties prohibiting the transport of aquatic invasive species;
THEREFORE it is requested that the provincial and federal governments act immediately to develop mandatory inspection stations and an education program to inform the public of the threat of invasive Zebra and Quagga mussels.

CARRIED

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.pdf icon March 14, 2013 Highlights of the Regional District of Central Okanagan Special Board Meeting

Prevention of Invasive Aquatic Mussels

The Regional Board has agreed to write letters to the federal and provincial governments supporting an initiative of the Okanagan Basin Water Board to proactively protect against the introduction of invasive aquatic mussels. These species are easily transported and once in place, can have a major economic impact on infrastructure and tourism.

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.mp3 file icon - click here for help with audio March 14, 2013 audio of entire RDCO Board meeting - .mp3 (3.83 MB)

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.pdf icon March 14, 2013 Regional District of Central Okanagan Special Board Meeting Agenda

.pdf icon There was no report or anything in the Agenda about the Zebra Mussel

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.pdf icon March 14, 2013 Regional District of Central Okanagan Special Board Meeting Minutes

b) Limiting the Spread of Zebra and Quagga Mussels in the Okanagan

The Okanagan Basin Water Board (OBWB) continues to urge federal and provincial governments to implement a strategy to prevent the spread of the mussels to the Okanagan. This matter concerns all local governments in the Okanagan as the infestation will have a drastic economic and environmental impact if these invaders are introduced to our waterway.
Several initiatives are underway to help prevent mussels from infesting Okanagan Lakes. The OBWB is holding a public meeting April 4th in Osoyoos. A PowerPoint presentation is available on OBWB's website.

EDGSON/GIVEN
THAT the Regional Board forward a letter urging provincial and federal governments to take immediate action to prevent the spread of invasive Zebra and Quagga mussels to British Columbia and all un-infested parts of Canada;

AND FURTHER THAT the Regional District .bring forward a resolution of support to the floor at the 2013 SILGA Convention.

CARRIED

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CORD calls for boat inspections
By Judie Steeves - Kelowna Capital News - April 01, 2013

Both the federal and provincial governments should work together to establish mandatory inspection stations and a public education program about the invasive zebra and quagga mussels, according to the Central Okanagan Regional District.

Board members approved a resolution last week to go forward to the Southern Interior Local Government Association conference to lobby senior governments to take action against the threat.

CORD vice-chair Gail Given said their hope is that the regional association would approve the resolution and forward it to the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention, as it should be a provincial and national issue, not regional.

The resolution resulted from a presentation by the Okanagan Basin Water Board regarding the economic and ecological threat posed by the invasive mussels which could be transported from the eastern states and provinces and the southern U.S., where they have already caused billions of dollars in damage.

It’s estimated if the two non-native species of mussel get into Okanagan waters, it could cost more than $42 million a year to try and manage the damage they would do here to boats, aquatic infrastructure such as water intakes and sewage outfalls, beaches and tourism.

“Bylaws in one area won’t protect the entire province, so this needs to be dealt with at a province-wide level,” commented Given.

Because the international border is a control point, it would be logical to set up inspection stations there for incoming boats. That would prevent contaminated boats from bringing the larvae of the mussel into this province to contaminate local waters.

“An action plan is needed so they can’t get in,” Given explained.

Once they’ve entered local waters, it’s almost impossible to eradicate them, and they propagate at a furious rate. One can grow to one million in a single growing season and trillions in three years, according to a report on the mussels completed this spring by local aquatic biologist Heather Larratt.

She reported that they can forever alter a water body’s food web and cause bird and fish kills.

The OBWB is asking local councils and regional districts to approve resolutions calling for senior government action on this issue.

A public meeting has been planned for this Thurs., Apr. 4, from 4 to 7 p.m. to talk about the issue of invasive zebra and quagga mussels and how to keep them out of the valley.

Provincial legislation was passed in December with fines of $100,000 or a year in jail for transporting any stage of the mussel—alive or dead.

jsteeves "at" kelownacapnews.com

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Dock do's and don'ts discussed
Castanet.net - by Grant Scott - Story: 81729 - Oct 12, 2012

Property owners who have built docks on lakefront property in the Okanagan may soon find themselves having to come into compliance with the provincial government's regulations regarding docks on Okanagan lakes.

A senior land officer and senior enforcement officer from BC’s Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations (FLNRO) addressed the Okanagan Basin Water Board meeting on October 4.

The officials addressed the issue of unlicensed and unregulated docks in Okanagan lakes.

There is concern over the building of structures and the altering of the foreshore without understanding or following permitting requirements.

The Province is seeking input on the best way to ensure compliance with laws.

"They are now looking to direct efforts towards enforcement," says Corinne Jackson, Communications Director of the Okanagan Basin Water Board.

"A lot of work has been done along our foreshores with people putting in docks and that sort of thing without the required licensing, so they are now looking to get on top of that, recognizing that we need to act."

Jackson adds that any change to foreshore has far reaching effects.

"The Province's concern is, when people put in a dock they are messing with fish habitat and other environmental issues, so that's why they want to..work with local government to try and address these issues."

MFLNRO will be making presentations and consulting with local governments in the coming months.

The Water Board also used the meeting to urge the federal government to take action on Zebra Mussels.

"Thank God for Idaho!" says OBWB Chair Stu Wells as directors discussed an Idaho program of inspecting boats and trailers for invasive Zebra and Quagga mussels.

Once introduced, these mussels create huge costs, clogging water intakes and other lake infrastructure.

They also harm the ecosystem and affect the tourist economy.

The OBWB is urging federal and provincial governments to institute an inspection program for boats entering BC to stop or delay introduction of these species.

The Tap by Tap Program in the South and Central Okanagan was also brought forward during the meeting.

Tap by Tap is a partnership between City Green Solutions, FortisBC, Environment Canada, the OBWB’s Okanagan WaterWise program, Oliver, Osoyoos, Penticton and Summerland, distributing free water and energy-savings kits.

Residents who pledged to “Make Water Work” were entered to win WaterWise landscaping.

Thanks to donations from local businesses, a total of $4,000 in yard improvements was awarded. The Tap by Tap program is now moving to the Central Okanagan and OBWB officials say they are looking forward to extending their partnership with the program in the coming year.

The Board also officially endorsed a position statement on the importance of irrigation efficiency, developed by the Okanagan Water Stewardship Council in consultation with the local agricultural community.

Irrigation for agriculture, parks, golf courses and residential landscaping accounts for 85 per cent of Okanagan water use.

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.pdf icon November 8, 2012 Regional District of Central Okanagan Governance and Services Committee Meeting Minutes

6. Finance & Administrative Services

6.1 Quarterly Program Measures Report (Year-to-Date - September 30, 2012)
Staff report dated November 1, 2012 outlined the program measures report year to- date September 30, 2012. Staff highlighted the executive summary comments.

- Corporate Services
o Recruitment process for new CAO has begun

- Waste Reduction
o Launch of paper reduction program
o Commercial waste quantities reduced by 2.8%
o Curbside collection radio frequency identification system
  • 1331 non-compliant customers identified and contacted, only 52 reoffenders
o Recycling - market downturn, budget effect

- Environmental Services
o Falcon Ridge Water - exploratory drilling for a new well
o Trepanier Bench Water - fire effects - 110 risk evident
o Leak Detection program for Westshore Water resulted in 43% reduction, and at Killiney Beach 20% of m3 pumped
o RDCO lift stations/collector systems - all pumps being investigated for deterioration
o Killiney Beach Water - reduction to scope of upgrade
o Reduced clerical staff by 0.5 FTE
o WWTP - Stage 3 design work completed.

- Information Systems
o MOU Lake Country has yet to sign the agreement. Concern regarding 2013 impact to partners if Lake Country does not sign on.

- Development Services
o School site acquisition
o Inspection Services - staff reduction
o Dog Control- review report received in October. Implementation plan will be coming forward for Board consideration.
o Noxious insect control - low complaint numbers.

- Protective Services
o Trepanier Fire
o Black Mountain grass fire
o Wilsons Land Volunteer Fire Department - volunteer fire chief leaving

- Regional Rescue
o 4 total EOC activations, 27 ESS activations
o Operation exercise - Sept 13
o Review of service is under way

- Parks Services
o Parkland acquisitions - 3 properties closed
o Mission Creek - upgrade to playground
o Trepanier Creek Greenway fire
o Bear closures
o Interpretation programs 8% increase in participants

- Crime Stoppers
o Vehicle donated to the program
o Sponsorship packages being developed
o Tips provided lead to info on two major homicides

- EDC
o Recruitment of United Airlines flights into Kelowna
o Export development - increased interest from China

- Purchasing
With the hiring of a purchasing manager, total quantifiable savings to date are $201,902, including risk reduction to RDCO, time savings for managers and staff and stronger contracts.
It was noted that the full report is in the Board's Reader file.

Discussion
-It was noted that West Kelowna is interested in receiving further information on the RFID program and staff will update Council in the future.
-West Kelowna will look at trunk lines in the near future. It's a low priority for them.
-School site acquisition - approved by the Province, developers will be required to pay a fee in the future.
-Information provided to Kelowna for review of boundary extension.
-What are the financial implications of reduced recycling and reduced income is there a way to offset costs? Staff is focusing on reduction programs (paper free program) paying less processing costs when it ends up in the recycling bins - it's the only thing that can be done to offset costs. Material is not being returned to the landfill. There is no shutdown for recyclables. The material that is recycled here is sent to relatively local markets (not China) plastics go to the Lower Mainland, paper to Washington. We can stockpile if required but there is no ability for reduced transportation costs as we use local markets. Where does the money go for electronics? The Electronics Stewardship of BC - they run the program, collecting, marketing, hauling, processing and they fund depot operations.

BAKER/EDGSON
THAT the Quarterly Program Measures report year-to-date September 30, 2012 be received for information.

CARRIED

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6.2 Briefing on 2013-2017 Financial Plan & Overview of the Process

Staff report dated October 30, 2012 outlined general impacts to consider during the 2013-2017 Financial Plan discussions. Full reporting will be completed through the budgeting process beginning in February. General impacts for 2013 were highlighted as a heads-up for the budgeting process.

BAKER/CONDON
THAT the 2013-2017 Financial Plan overview be received for information.

CARRIED

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.mp3 file icon - click here for help with audio November 8, 2012 audio of entire RDCO Governance and Services Committee meeting - .mp3 (49.6 MB)

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.pdf icon August 20, 2012 Highlights of the Regional District of Central Okanagan Regular Board Meeting

There was nothing mentioned in the Highlights about purchasing commitments for Okanagan Centre Harbour South Breakwater, North Westside Fire Pumper Trucks, Hardy Falls Bridge Replacement, or Diesel Generator sets for Upper Fintry community water system.

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.pdf icon August 20, 2012 Regional District of Central Okanagan Regular Board Meeting Minutes

7. FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES

7.1 Information Report - Purchase Commitments > $100,000 During Second Quarter 2012 (All Directors - Unweighted Vote)
Staff report dated July 30, 2012 outlined the budgeted purchase commitments exceeding $100,000 of the RDCO during the second quarter ending June 30, 2012.

EDGSON/CONDON
THAT the Regional Board, as per section 4.6 of the RDCO Purchasing Policy, receive for information the report on the purchase commitments which exceeded $100,000 made during the second quarter ending June 30, 2012

CARRIED

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12. DIRECTOR ITEMS

12.1 Gellatly Bay Boat Launch
Director Hanson noted that she has received a concern from one of her residents regarding the signage at Gellatly Bay Boat Launch. As this facility is within the boundary of the District of West Kelowna the director will follow-up with Director Findlater.

This was a Director Item so there is nothing in the Agenda documents about 12.1 Gellatly Bay Boat Launch.

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.pdf icon July 23, 2012 Regional District of Central Okanagan Regular Board Meeting Minutes

12. DIRECTOR ITEMS

d) Okanagan Safe Harbour Breakwater

Director Baker thanked the RDCO for the new breakwater at the Okanagan Safe Harbour-comments have been received that it does indeed function again as a 'safe harbour'.

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Cable wakepark hits Okanagan Lake
Castanet.net - by Wayne Moore - Story: 76956 - Jun 22, 2012

YOU-TUBE VIDEO - WHAT CABLE WAKEBOARDING IS ABOUT

You may never have heard of it but cable wakeboarding promises to sweep the Okanagan.

That's the hope of Conrad Wiker who's cable wakepark is set to open to the general public next week.

The facility has taken shape over the past few months on the westside of the WR Bennett Bridge near the old ferry wharf.

Wiker describes cable wakeboarding as something similar to using a T-bar on a ski hill.

"Instead of sitting on your butt it sits in your hands, instead of going up I make you go across, instead of going over snow you go over water and instead of going slow I make you go real fast," says Wiker

"Basically it's just like wakeboarding or water skiing."

Wiker says cable wakeboarding began more than 50 years ago.

"There's 215 cable facilities around the world in 43 countries. We are actually one of eight sports shortlisted for the 2020 Olympics."

Construction on the cable park began in May after about three years of discussions with Westbank First Nation.

Final testing is underway right now with the park slated to open Saturday, June 30.

Wiker says there are two different cable systems, a beginner and an advanced cable.

The beginner cable rents for $75 for a half hour and $135 for a full hour.

"What I tell people is, it's like getting a golf tee time, don't come by yourself because nobody can really wakeboard or cable board for 30 minutes or an hour," says Wiker.

"Most people go three to five minutes on what we call a pull series which is about five to six laps. You take a break and go again."

Wiker says the plan is to operate this first park this year and possibly expand to other locations on the lake in the coming years.

"This is only phase one of two phases here in the Okanagan. Next year, we have plans for a six tower, 10 rider system in which 10 riders will be going at the same time."

That larger system would go where the current cable system is located. The current system, says Wiker, would be moved on the other side of the dock to be used as a training facility.

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Search is on for alien mussels in Okanagan waters
By Judie Steeves - Kelowna Capital News - June 19, 2012

Okanagan College student Adele Brick offers floating keychain reminders and informative carabiners to encourage boaters to help prevent an infestation of two new invasive mussel species in B.C. Zebra and quagga mussels are causing millions of dollars in damage in Eastern Canada and the U.S.

Boaters will be the target of a new program this year to try and prevent invasion of two alien mussel species into B.C. waters, the quagga and zebra mussel.

Adele Brick is a student in the Water Engineering Technology program at Okanagan College and she will be travelling around the valley this summer to help educate people about these prolific, toxic invasive species.

“One female quagga or zebra mussel can produce a million young up to four times a year,” explained Brick.

Zebra mussels will attach themselves to anything aquatic, including the props of boats, water pipes, storm sewers, wharves and boats.

Although the adult mussel is only about the size of your thumbnail, the young are microscopic and free swimming, so they can attach themselves to anything in the water and you wouldn’t even notice them at first, she explains.

However, in no time, they can get into water intakes, clog up pumps or boat motors and cause devastating damage.

“Some cities have to spend millions of dollars cleaning up as a result of these infestations,” Brick said.

So far, they haven’t been detected this far west, but from Ontario east, waters are infested with them, so the likelihood of them being brought here in a visitor’s boat is of grave concern, she said.

Washington State is also free of them so far, but they have been detected in boats entering that state, bound for B.C., noted Brick.

“We don’t want them here,” she said emphatically.

Her work helping to educate people about the mussels and other invasive aquatic species is part of an Okanagan Basin Water Board contract with the South Okanagan-Similkameen Invasive Plant Society, with financial assistance from the Canada Summer Jobs program.

She will work throughout the valley this summer encouraging boaters to clean, drain and dry their boats and equipment before entering another lake, she said.

These invasive mussels can live for up to a month in a very small amount of water, so it’s really important that all the little crevices, wells or bilges in boats are cleaned thoroughly each time the equipment is used.


Native mussels in this region do not attach themselves to anything, so you can be confident if a mussel is attached to a hard surface that it’s not a native mussel, she said.

As well as the economic and environmental damage they do, these invasive mussels expel a substance that can cause toxic blue green algae blooms in lakes, and they can foul beaches by infesting them, creating sharp surfaces which will cut the feet, then the smell of decaying flesh.

Either drain every part of your boat for at least five days in the sun, or pressure wash it in hot water.

Brick will be taking her message to farmers’ markets, boat shows, boat launches and other public places where she will also be handing out floating key chain reminders, and carabiners with tags describing a number of aquatic invasive species of concern.

In order to try and prevent these species from getting a toehold here, everyone has to work together to keep their boats clean and free of them; and to prevent transporting them from one body of water to another.

For more information, or to report any sightings of these alien species of mussel, contact the society at: sosips.ca or e-mail sosips "at" shaw.ca

jsteeves "at" kelownacapnews.com

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Mussel could stop weed control
Kelowna Capital News - November 04, 2011

If a little mollusc that is native to the Okanagan is declared endangered by the federal government, the Okanagan Basin Water Board’s program of harvesting the non-native invasive Eurasian water milfoil could be put at risk.

The Rocky Mountain Ridged Mussel is under consideration by the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans for listing under the Species At Risk Act as endangered because populations have declined in recent years.

At Tuesday’s monthly meeting of the OBWB, executive director Anna Warwick Sears reported that little is known about the biology of the mussel and substantial commitments would be needed from senior government to address primary threats to the species.

For instance, she noted that the invasive zebra and quagga mussels are threatening the Okanagan’s system of lakes, and they would present a significant threat to the native mussel, as does other foreshore disturbances.

She said she is appalled at the federal government even considering the designation when they haven’t even decided to set aside the money to come up with a plan of how to protect the mussel.

“There are more flexible ways to help prevent their extinction,” she said.

Board chairman Stu Wells said if milfoil is not rototilled at the north end of Osoyoos Lake, that end of the lake would be choked out.

The board agreed to send a letter to relevant senior government departments with its concerns regarding the impact such a declaration could have on milfoil control and tourism if a SARA designation is made.

The letter will also suggest that funding be made available instead to study the mussel and determine the cause of its decline in population.

The Okanagan is the only location RMRM occurs in Canada, noted Sears, who said she is normally in favour of listing species that are at risk.

However, in this case, she said, there is simply not enough information available to be sure this is the best route to take.

Uncontrolled growth of the milfoil could also pose a risk to survival of this species of mussel, she added.

jsteeves "at" kelownacapnews.com

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.pdf icon May 10, 2012 Highlights of the Regional District of Central Okanagan Regular Board Meeting

Okanagan Centre Safe Harbour Contract

The Regional Board has awarded a contract for construction of a new south breakwater at Okanagan Centre Safe Harbour Regional Park. The bid of $124,414.08 (including HST) submitted by Burton Marine Pile Driving Incorporated provides the best overall value to the Regional District of the two proposals received that met all of the project’s mandatory criteria. It’s anticipated all work will be complete by June 21st. In addition, Parks Services staff will assess and provide additional information regarding the costs and funding for repairs and/or replacement for the north breakwater for consideration of the Board during the 2013 budget discussion.

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.pdf icon May 10, 2012 Regional District of Central Okanagan Regular Board Meeting Minutes

9. REGIONAL PARKS SERVICES

9.1 Okanagan Centre Harbour Regional Park - South Breakwater - Award of Contract (All Directors - Weighted Vote)

Staff report dated April 30, 2012 outlined the RFP process for the construction of a new south breakwater at the Okanagan Centre Harbour Regional Park.

Three proposals were received, but only two bids me the mandatory criteria.

In 2012, the total general capital funds budgeted for the breakwater is $133,900--$61,800 for the south breakwater and $72,100 for the north breakwater. The bid proposal for this RFP process for the south breakwater only is $124,414.08. The reasons for the higher bid proposals included changes in the design, material specified, material quantities, cost of wood timbers, construction timeline change to May/June, and the public request for a breakwater located within the fishing pier footprint.

BAKER/EDGSON
THAT the Regional Board authorize the award of contract for the construction of a new South Breakwater at the Okanagan Centre Harbour Regional Park to Burton Marine Pile Driving Inc. for a project value of $124,414.08 (inclusive of HST);

AND FURTHER THAT the Parks Services department staff further assess and provide additional information in relation to the future capital investment requirements associated with repairs and/or replacement of the North Breakwater at Okanagan
Centre Regional Park for Board consideration with the RDCO's Regional Parks Service 2013-2017 Five-Year Financial Plan.

CARRIED

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.pdf icon February 9, 2012 Regional District of Central Okanagan Governance and Services Committee Meeting Agenda

.pdf icon Item 10.1 Committee Structure.pdf

Agenda No: 10.1
Mtg Date: Feb 9, 2012

Governance and Services Report

TO: Governance and Services Committee
FROM: Harold Reay, CAO
DATE: January 31,2012
SUBJECT: Committee Structure

The Chair requested that staff review the Regional District's committee structure in order to determine the feasibility of reducing the number of committees to streamline processes and decision making, in order to reduce costs. After reviewing all committees, it is recommended that the Governance and Services Committee recommend to the Regional Board that the committees, for the year 2012, be amended as follows:

· HR/ Committee - no longer required, it's terms of reference are now included in the HR/Audit Committee (Chair and Mayors)

· Sustainability Committee - this committee is comprised of the Mayors and Chair and meets infrequently. This committee can be eliminated and should issues arise they could be referred to the HR/Audit Committee.

· Treaty Advisory Committee - can be eliminated for now and reinstated should treaty negotiations commence.

· Watercraft Committee - This committee is community members at large, the mayors, and one other Board member. This committee has met once in the last four years and can be eliminated.

· Agricultural Advisory Commission - Comprised of 6 members from the public and one Ministry appointment. Planning staff have found their input to be of value when dealing with ALR applications and OCP development and amendments and wish to see this committee continue. Costs are minimal as one staff attends and meetings are infrequent.

· Environmental Advisory Commission - Currently 16 members appointed from the public. Staff has found this committee to provide valuable advice, at minimal cost (staff time for agenda prep and minutes), however the number of members could
be reduced to 9. Our recommendation would be to reduce to 9 by not reappointing any member until we reach less than 9.

· Central Okanagan West Advisory Planning Commission - The Director from this Electoral Area wishes to keep this committee as he relies upon it when reviewing applications.

· Central Okanagan East Advisory Planning Commission - The Director from this Electoral Area does not wish to continue with this committee and should be eliminated.

· Dog Advisory Commission - That this committee be held in abeyance at this time and no appointments be made. This committee will be reviewed by the consultant as part of the Dog Control service review, and recommendations will be forthcoming as to it's structure, if needed.

· Westside Wastewater Treatment Plant Stakeholder Committee - this is comprised of one representative each of West Kelowna, Peachland, Westbank First Nation, and the Regional District. This committee meets only when needed and has been effective and it is recommended that the committee continue.

In addition to the above noted Regional District Committees the Regional District appoints a Director to external committees. Our recommendation relating to these appointments are:

· Airport Advisory Committee - continue to appoint the Chair as a representative.

· Highway 97 Coalition - Not sure if this committee is continuing so no appointment is necessary at this time.

· Okanagan Airshed Coalition - no longer exists, staff will continue to liaison with the South Okanagan Similkameen RD on joint initiatives, the North Okanagan RD no longer participates in air quality programs.

· Okanagan Marine Advisory Council - this committee no longer meets.

There will be some savings in reducing the number of committees and meetings. Directors are reimbursed $65 for half day meetings and $130 for full day meetings, plus staff time required for preparation and attendance. It is difficult to quantify the dollar amount, as it is dependent on the number of meetings held.

This is submitted for the Committee's consideration.

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.mp3 file icon - click here for help with audio February 9, 2012 audio of entire Governance and Services Committee meeting - .mp3 (577 MB)

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.pdf icon February 9, 2012 Regional District of Central Okanagan Governance and Services Committee Meeting Minutes

10. Corporate Services

10.1 RDCO Committee Structure Review

In follow-up to direction from the Regional Board, staff was asked to review the Regional District's committee structure in order to determine the feasibility of reducing committees no longer required and to potentially streamline the process
of decision making.

Staff report dated January 31, 2012 outlined recommendations for the following committees: HR Committee; Sustainability Committee; Treaty Advisory Committee; Watercraft Committee; Agricultural Advisory Commission; Environmental Advisory
Commission; Central Okanagan West Advisory Planning Commission; Central Okanagan East Advisory Planning Commission; Dog Advisory Committee; Westside Wastewater Treatment Plant Stakeholder Committee; Airport Advisory Committee; Highway 97 Coalition; Okanagan Airshed Coalition and the Okanagan Marine Advisory Council

Staff noted that due to concerns raised by the Environmental Advisory Commission which is largely made up of technical people, that by cutting back on its size the effectiveness of the Commission would be jeopardized. It was agreed that further
input should be received from the Commission prior to making a final decision on the number of members required.

ZIMMERMANN/EDGSON
THAT the Governance and Services Committee recommends to the Regional Board that the committee structure for the year 2012 be amended as follows:
• HR Committee - no longer required
• Sustainability Committee - no longer required
• Treaty Advisory Committee appointments - eliminate until treaty negotiations commence
• Watercraft Committee - no longer required
• Agricultural Advisory Commission - continue as previous
• Environmental Advisory Commission - staff to consult with the EAC on membership and report back to the Board.
• Central Okanagan West Advisory Planning Commission - continue as previous
• Central Okanagan East Advisory Planning Commission - discontinue
• Dog Advisory Committee - hold in abeyance until Dog Control Service Review is completed.
• Westside Wastewater Treatment Plant Stakeholder Committee - continue.
• Airport Advisory Committee - appoint Chair Hobson
• Highway 97 Coalition - no appointment
• Okanagan Airshed Coalition - no appointment
• Okanagan Marine Advisory Council - no appointment

CARRIED

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.mp3 file icon - click here for help with audio February 9, 2012 audio of entire Governance and Services Committee meeting - .mp3 (577 MB)

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.pdf icon February 9, 2012 Highlights of the Regional District of Central Okanagan Regular Board Meeting

Regional Committee Structure Review

The Regional Board has approved adjustments affecting its advisory committees. Among the major changes: the Central Okanagan East Advisory Planning Commission will be eliminated. Staff will present a report to the Board at a future meeting on the membership options for the Environmental Advisory Commission. The requirement for a Central Okanagan Dog Advisory Committee will be considered during the overall review of the Dog Control Service. Several other inactive Board committees have also been discontinued. The Central Okanagan West Advisory Planning Commission will remain active.

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.pdf icon February 9, 2012 Regional District of Central Okanagan Regular Board Meeting Minutes

7. COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATIONS

7.1 Rise and Report - Governance & Services Committee meeting of February 9, 2012

d) RDCO Committee Structure (All Directors - Unweighted Vote)

EDGSON/STACK
THAT the Regional District's committee structure for the year 2012 be amended as follows:

• HR Committee - no longer required
• Sustainability Committee - no longer required
• Treaty Advisory Committee appointments - eliminate until treaty negotiations commence
• Watercraft Committee - not required
• Agricultural Advisory Commission - continue as previous
• Environmental Advisory Commission - staff to consult with the EAC on membership and report back to the Board,
• Central Okanagan West Advisory Planning Commission - continue as previous
• Central Okanagan East Advisory Planning Commission -discontinue
• Dog Advisory Committee - hold in abeyance until Dog Control Service Review is completed
• Westside Wastewater Treatment Plant Stakeholder Committee - continue
• Airport Advisory Committee - appoint Chair Hobson
• Highway 97 Coalition - no appointment
• Okanagan Airshed Coalition - no appointment
• Okanagan Marine Advisory Council - no appointment

CARRIED

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.pdf icon February 9, 2012 Regional District of Central Okanagan Governance and Services Committee Meeting Minutes

7. Parks Services

7.1 2008 Major Lake Recreational Marine Facilities Study Update

Staff report dated January 5, 2012 outlined the background of the 2008 Major Lake Recreational Marine Facilities Study. Following receipt of the report in 2009, the Regional Board directed that the study be forwarded to member municipalities for consideration of the recommendations. Peachland, Kelowna and West Kelowna have considered the report and provide feedback whether the RDCO should take the lead role in establishing a coordinating body to collaboratively work with all governments in the delivery of recreational marine facilities on the lakes. To date, no action has been taken.

At the present time, the RDCO does not have a service defined, nor specific department, to take on this role. Of consideration, the OBWB has been empowered to act as a coordinating body for basin-wide water resource management on behalf of the three regional districts.

Discussion:
• Peachland is interested in supporting the goals of the report but believes the heart of the report was the future governance structure for a collaborative model rather than a new program within the Regional District.
• Lake Country wants a lake capacity study done before moving forward. The issue they have is the smaller lakes are filled to capacity in the summer months.
• Have discussions occurred with OBWB, is this a viable option? No discussion has occurred to this point with OBWB.
• Tourist/commercial issues should not an OBWB mandate. OBWB should discuss water quality issues and everyone can cooperate at that level.
• Working collaboratively is important but it's a political issue regarding what to include in municipal boundaries in terms of boat launches, etc. and this should be made by each municipality.
• It is a municipal issue on how to move forward with options within their boundaries. Individual municipalities have their own plans and deal with various issues as they see fit.
• It was a good study which laid out various options - now each municipality can determine how they wish to move forward with the recommendations.
• It should be up to the private sector to create boat launches-if there is a demand the private sector should meet it.
• There may be a role in the future for the Provincial government and if there is, the RDCO could lobby for that if needed.

FINDLATER/ZIMMERMANN
THAT the Governance and Services Committee recommend that the Regional Board receive the January 5, 2012 Major Lakes Recreational Marine Facilities Study update with no further action required.

CARRIED (opposed Stack, Fielding)

========================

7.2 Okanagan Center Regional Park - Harbour Infrastructure Project Update (verbal)

Staff provided an update on the Okanagan Safe Harbour project. Staff recapped the capital works which have taken place at the Harbour over the last year. Staff will continue to express concerns to the Ministry of Environment regarding the
design and the public concerns raised and staff continue to work with the Ministry in an attempt to resolve the issues raised.
It was noted that the facility was originally built with federal funding, subsequently the Federal government left the facility with the region to maintain as a safe harbor but with the refurbishing the RDCO has not be given the approvals to rebuilt it as a safe harbor.

GAMBELL/BLANLEIL
THAT the update on the Okanagan Centre Harbour infrastructure project be received.

CARRIED

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*Note* This is only a snippet, please click link for entire content of this case.

Mynott v. British Columbia (Ministry of Transportation),
2011 BCSC 258
Date: 20110302

[61] The overriding public policy consideration motivating the defendant is the conservation of government resources: it does not want to spend money. This is manifest not only in its answer to the plaintiffs’ claim on its face – an assertion that there is no duty on the government to control “trespassers” and a suggestion that the plaintiffs look to law enforcement – but even more obvious in its highly developed defence at the second line – that the Mynotts cannot expect help from law enforcement, because the police lack the resources. Catch-22 comes irresistibly to mind.

[62] It is utterly foreseeable that in one place or another, the implications of the government policy on access to public water might attract a pattern of use that requires more than benign neglect. That is all that has happened in Creston. The presence of the itinerant workers has led to obnoxious and illegal behaviour which is a nuisance to the Mynotts. There can be no immunity for “policy making” that amounts to setting a chain of events in motion and completely ignoring the predictable consequences. The standard of what is reasonable is objective. It cannot be altered by the circular notion that government spending is policy, so under-pending is “reasonable”, because spending decisions are policy.

Vl

[63] Courts do not enjoin or mandate government action. In our theory of government it is not necessary. Governments are expected to act in accordance with what the Court declares the law to be. I do not hesitate to say that the defendant has permitted a nuisance to emanate from premises it controls and that it has a duty to effectively abate that nuisance. It has, to date, failed to take reasonable steps to do so.

[64] The defendant has expressed a reluctance to act positively, even in the face of this outcome, and has submitted that, in the event of such a declaration, the Court should simply assess damages in a lump sum allowing for past and future harm to the Mynotts. This is clearly inappropriate. The Court should not be invited to implicate itself in the defendant’s neglect of duty by effectively licensing it.

[65] The proper course, in my view, is to adjourn this matter to await the defendant’s abatement during the next summer season. If an effective end has been put to the activities, it will then be possible to estimate the Mynotts’ damages on a one-time basis. I emphasize that it is completely up to the defendant to work out the means by which a remedy is effected.

[66] If an effective remedy has not been implemented, the question of damages will have to be revisited in light of those circumstances. The matter is put over for this purpose to September 19, 2011, at Cranbrook, to fix a date for continuation.

[67] The plaintiffs are entitled to special costs throughout to date.

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Windermere Watersport Inc. v. Invermere (Dist.), 1989 CanLII 2748 (BC CA)

[41] In my view, the last sentence of that paragraph is directly applicable to the issue before us. The unexercised federal authority gives leeway to permit the exercise of provincial authority in relation to the question whether the respondent can operate jet skis on Lake Windermere, an undertaking which is purely local.

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.pdf icon January 23, 2012 Regional District of Central Okanagan Regular Board Meeting Minutes

This was a director item so nothing is mentioned in the Highlights or the Agenda

10. DIRECTORS ITEMS

b) Okanagan Safe Harbour
Director Baker noted that the community meeting in Lake Country was attended by over 60 people. RDCO staff member M. Kopp attended the meeting and provided an explanation as to the RDCO's role and that the proposed design has met with resistance by the Ministry of Environment. Staff will update the Board at its February gth Governance and Services Committee meeting.

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.pdf icon January 12, 2012 Highlights of the Regional District of Central Okanagan Board Meeting

Nothing was mentioned in the Highlights about a Meeting in regards to a Breakwater for Okanagan Center Safe Harbor.

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.pdf icon January 12, 2012 Regional District of Central Okanagan Regular Board Meeting Agenda

Nothing was mentioned in the Agenda about a Meeting in regards to a Breakwater for Okanagan Center Safe Harbor because it was a Director Item

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.pdf icon January 12, 2012 Regional District of Central Okanagan Regular Board Meeting Minutes

10. DIRECTORS ITEMS

a) Okanagan Safe Harbour

Director Baker noted that a meeting of concerned residents has been organized in Lake Country regarding the Okanagan Safe Harbour Restoration project.

Staff will attend to hear concerns raised by local residents.

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.pdf icon November 10, 2011 Regional District of Central Okanagan Governance and Services Committee Meeting Agenda

.pdf icon Item 10.1 Quarterly Program Measures Report.pdf

*Note* this is only a snippet, please click link above for entire content

Board:

001S - Board Sub-Program Corporate Communications (Page 166): A new online e-mail alert/notification program was launched for RDCO water system customers during the quarter and a second edition of the RDCO "Water Talk" newsletter was sent to more than 800 current water users and 300 property owners affected by the new water system that will service the Upper Fintry, Shalal Rd and Valley of the Sun subdivisions. Preparations and news releases were undertaken in September for the November local government election. Community and stakeholder contacts were made during the quarter providing updates on construction plans at Okanagan Centre Safe Harbour Regional Park and regarding the ongoing Westside Landfill Closure process. Draft of the Social Media Policy has been distributed to Managers for consideration and review. Determination of the best method of managing social media content with a view to roll out during 2012 is underway. With assistance from District of West Kelowna and City of Kelowna Communications staff, seven news releases were utilized by the Regional Emergency Program during the course of the Bear Creek wildfire in Sept. Two news releases were issued instituting and lifting a campfire ban and one news release provided information regarding Disaster Financial Assistance program funding for property owners sustaining damage from the extraordinary August 11th rainstorm. Excellent media coverage was provided for the Regional Parks numerous events and programs.

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.pdf icon November 10, 2011 Regional District of Central Okanagan Governance and Services Committee Meeting Minutes

10. Finance & Administrative Services

10.1 Quarterly Program Measures Report - Year-to-date - September 30, 2011

Staff report dated November 2nd outlined an executive summary highlights for the year quarterly program measures report to September 30, 2011. Staff verbally reviewed some of the highlights noting that an amendment to the financial plan bylaw is forthcoming.

OPHUS/EDGSON
THAT the Quarterly Program Measures Report, year-to-date September 30,2011 be received.

CARRIED

It was noted that construction is underway on the Okanagan Safe Harbour and that Lake Country has expressed concern that it will not function in the same way as previous and questioned whether this was a budget issue. Staff noted that the
RDCO is working on refurbishment of safe harbor in cooperation with the Ministry of Environment (MOE) approvals. MOE has identified fisheries habitat in and around the safe harbor and this has elevated concern around the criteria for refurbishment in the area.

There will be impacts from southerly waves as batterboards are no longer in place and cannot be added due to Ministry approvals. Staff continue to work with the MOE regarding the height of the courtesy dock-- under the large lake protocol
docks cannot be floating which means the dock will not function well in low water.
The MOE has agreed to lower the dock slightly and staff will continue to work with MOE to seek approval to drop the dock level-the best may be at high water level.

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Safe Harbour Regional Park Temporarily Reopens

Okanagan Centre Safe Harbour Regional Park will be temporarily open again starting tomorrow, October 1st. This includes the main boat launch in the park located along Okanagan Centre Road West in Lake Country.

It’s been closed since September 14th while crews demolished and removed the entire south breakwater structure. During this period, workers have also put in new piles that will be used for installation of a new viewing/recreational pier and a courtesy dock for boaters.

During this temporary opening boaters and other park users should be aware that equipment and construction crews will be in and around the harbour as they frame and deck the new pier.

Depending on the availability of materials, the Regional District anticipates the park will be closed again from October 11th after the Thanksgiving long weekend until October 21st while crews finish construction on the new structures. Further confirmation of the next closure dates will be available before the long weekend.

The Ministry of Environment has given approval for the Regional District to continue construction beyond the September 30th work window in advance of the expected return of shore spawning Kokanee salmon. During the construction extension, the Ministry requires on-site environmental monitoring of the fish habitat for the presence of shore spawning Kokanee salmon.

Communications Coordinator Bruce Smith says, “With the Ministry’s approval, we are taking advantage of the fish work window extension to get this part of the upgrading completed at a time of year when there’s less demand from the boating community for the launch facility. If fish spawning continues to be delayed in this area, we would hope to complete this work by late October.”

(September 30, 2011)

Source:  Regional District of Central Okanagan What's New

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.pdf icon September 19, 2011 Highlights of the Regional District of Central Okanagan Regular Board Meeting

This was a Director Item so nothing was mentioned about Okanagan Safe Harbour in the Highlights or Agenda

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.pdf icon September 19, 2011 Regional District of Central Okanagan Regular Board Meeting Agenda

.pdf icon This was a Director Item so nothing was mentioned about Okanagan Safe Harbour in the Highlights or Agenda

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.pdf icon September 19, 2011 Regional District of Central Okanagan Regular Board Meeting Minutes

12. OTHER BUSINESS

12.1 Director Items

e) Safe Harbour in Lake Country

Director Gambell reiterated the safety concerns expressed to Lake Country Council regarding the lack of a safe harbour on the North side of Okanagan Safe Harbour. Without a proper breakwater on the north side the area is not a safe harbour in storms.

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.pdf icon August 11, 2011 Regional District of Central Okanagan Governance and Services Committee Meeting Agenda

.pdf icon Item 11.1 Quarterly Program Measures Report.pdf

142 - Regional Parks (Page 109): The Regional Parks Strategic Plan is under development to provide a three year vision and mission towards achieving park service delivery goals, setting 5 year project lists, team building, and enhancing the delivery of Parks services to the public.

The Regional Parks Infrastructure Assessment and Lifecycle Plan is to identify, prioritize, and determine a funding mechanism for replacement of antiquidated infrastructure.

Contract awarded to Ecoscape Environmental Consultants for Phase II of the Sensitive Ecosystems and Biophysical Inventories of five Regional Parks.

New launch pads have been installed at the Okanagan Centre Safe Harbour Boat Launch.

143 - Westside Community Parks (Page 113): Bear Creek Boat Launch was permanently closed effective April 2011 due to high costs for replacement, degrading infrastructure and land tenure issues not easily resolved. Infrastructure is to be removed and the site restored to its natural condition. The decommissioning plan and site restoration plan is complete.

Killiney Beach Community Park Recreation Pier is awaiting approvals from the Ministry of Environment for the proposed removal of the deteriorating breakwater structure.

Planning and design is underway for the boat launch upgrades at Fintry Delta Community Park boat launch.

Installation of a comfort station at Westshore Estates Community Park is in the planning and design stage. Westside Parks Maintenance contract for 2011 was awarded to Marc Langis in the amount of $11,000.

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.pdf icon August 11, 2011 Regional District of Central Okanagan Governance and Services Committee Meeting Minutes

11. Finance

11.1 Quarterly Program Measures Report, Year-to-date - June 30, 2011

The Quarterly Program Measures Report, year-to-date June 30, 2011, Executive Summary was presented for information and review. Staff highlighted any areas of financial concern to date within the Executive Summary.

The Committee was reminded it is staff's responsibility to identify any change from their original plans including goals, revenues, expenses and that it's the Board's responsibility to ensure the documents are reviewed and any concerns raised.

SHEPHERD/FINDLATER
THAT the Quarterly Measures Report, Year-to-date June 30,2011 be received.

CARRIED

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.pdf icon August 11, 2011 Regional District of Central Okanagan Governance and Services Committee Minutes

10.2 District of Lake Country letter re: Wood/Kalamalka Lake Channel

The District of Lake Country's letter of July 20, 2011 outlined a request for the Regional District to apply to the federal navigable waters department for funding to dredge the channel connecting Wood Lake to Kalamalka Lake (Oyama Canal).

The local MP suggested it as a regional issue versus municipal issues.

Staff noted that the Regional District had previously dealt with a similar request from Lake Country in 2005 and at that time the Regional Board. Staff presented the history of the project at that time: Watercraft Committee discussed, fundraising was with the local community, consultant was hired to investigate design options, there were complexities around the project - conclusion was that it would cost approximately $100,000 to complete the project. Only $9,000 was raised from the community at-large. Last time it was dredged was in 1989 by provincial or federal authorities. Environmental assessment would be required. Lake Country confirmed the request is to write to federal government and ask that they take care of navigation between the two lakes and make the navigable water usable largely for the ability for boats to pass between the two lakes.

BAKER/SHEPHERD
THAT the District of Lake Country letter of July 20, 2011 regarding a request to apply for funding to dredge the channel connecting Wood Lake to Kalamalka Lake be received;
AND FURTHER THAT the Regional District send a letter to the federal government requesting that they fulfill their historic obligations to open the Wood/Kalamalka Lake Channel.

CARRIED

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Local Government Act
[RSBC 1996] CHAPTER 323
Part 15 — Specific Regional District Service Powers
Division 8 — Miscellaneous

Authority subject to Water Act

555 (1) The authority of a regional district under the following provisions is subject to the applicable provisions of the Water Act:

section 541 [watercourse may be included in drainage system];

section 542 [requirements respecting drainage works];

section 543 [appropriation of stream channel or bed];

section 544 [control of drainage];

section 548 [interjurisdictional watercourses].

(2) In addition, the following authorities of a regional district are subject to the applicable provisions of the Water Act:

(a) the authority to acquire, manage, extend and remove

(i) works to maintain the proper flow of water in a stream as defined in the Water Act, ditch, drain or sewer in the regional district,

(ii) dikes, or

(iii) works to reclaim or to protect part of the land mass of the regional district from erosion by action of the sea or a stream as defined in the Water Act, or any other cause;

(b) the authority to regulate a wharf, dock, warehouse or slip owned, held or managed by the regional district.

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$288 fine for driving a boat without an operators permit in BC, CHBC news said June 26, 2011 on the 11:00pm newscast.

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The Regional District of Central Okanagan do not want noisy boats on Okanagan Lake and are looking into further enforcement measures on Okanagan Lake after summer of 2010 when there were many boat accidents with people hurt, boats speeding, more than normal, the number of people drowning in Okanagan Lake, and basically careless and reckless behaviour on Okanagan Lake BC which is partly located in the Regional District of Central Okanagan (legal name according to the Letters Patent) and RDCO for short, also known as Central Okanagan Regional District and shortened to C.O.R.D. which we read somewhere was coined by the Media.

.pdf icon RDCO Noise Control Amendment Bylaw No. 1071, 2004 - Amends Bylaw No. 403

.pdf icon RDCO Noise Control Amendment Bylaw No. 968, 2002 - Amends Bylaw No. 403

.pdf icon RDCO Noise Control Bylaw No. 403, 1989 - Amended by Bylaw No. 968, Repeals Bylaw No. 219

.pdf icon Noise Control Bylaw No. 219, 1981 - Repeals bylaw No. 139

.pdf icon RDCO Noise Control Bylaw No. 403, 1989 - Amended by Bylaw No. 968, Repeals Bylaw No. 219

Note* This is only a snippett, please click link for entire contents

III MOTORBOATS

1. No person shall launch a motorboat from any lands in the Regional District if that motorboat is equipped with an exhaust system that permits the exhaust gases from the engine to be expelled directly into the air without first passing through water unless the motor boat is equipped with a muffling device that ensures that the exhaust gases from the engine are cooled and expelled without excessive noise.

2. No person shall operate a motorboat in the Regional District if that motorboat is equipped with an exhaust system that permits the exhaust gases from the engine to be expelled directly into the air without first passing through water unless the motorboat is equipped with a muffling device that ensures that the exhaust gases from the engine are cooled and expelled without excessive noise.

3. No person shall operate any motorboat powered by an engine equipped with exhausting devices commonly described as dry stacks or dry headers.

4. No person shall operate a motor boat powered by an engine equipped with exhausting devices commonly described as water injected headers unless a properly operating muffler is installed thereto.

5. No person shall operate a motorboat powered by an engine equipped with exhausting devices commonly described as over-transom water cooled exhaust unless a properly operating muffler is installed thereto.

6. No person shall operate a motorboat so as to cause noise which disturbs the peace, rest, enjoyment, comfort or convenience of the neighbourhood or of persons in the vicinity.

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Gives noise by-law a blast
Castanet.net - Story# 64487 - Sept 11, 2011

To the editor:

RE: Noise by-law

Concerns with making a city quieter have very little to do with boats or motorcycles.

Trucks, aircraft, railways and tools, lawnmowers and construction activity are far larger contributors.

Targeting a small, yet visible group of citizens is not the role of mayors or council. All contributors should be included if you are serious about noise abatement.

I have a small but legitimate concern, that you are asking tax payers to fund this project.

One in part with equipment and training, two in part that the RCMP will be carrying out the crusade instead of doing real police work.

My question would be, as this is a bylaw, and an amendment to the same, would the role of enforcing this not fall to our bylaw officers? Why would the RCMP be involved?

There are already rules about noise in the Motor Vehicle Act. These can be enforced as part of a traffic officers regular duty.

No change is required in order to enforce an existing law. There are already Federal rules concerning the lake and the water ways, which by the way, belong to all Canadians, not the few hundred who live on Okanagan Lake.

This proposed change in regulation is a waste of time and tax payer money. It is prejudicial and poorly thought out.

As a group you should be ashamed. Very poor politics.

Steve Butler

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Parking meters nab support
Vernon Morning Star - By Richard Rolke - September 11, 2011

One elected official is defending the possibility of parking meters at a busy boat launch.

Director Gyula Kiss believes the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee should look at parking meters at the Kalavista Drive boat launch in Coldstream.

“When I go downtown to the bank, I have to pay for parking,” he said.

“We’ve spent a lot of money to provide parking (at the launch) so why should taxpayers be responsible for all of the cost and not the boat owners?”

Kiss’ comments were in response to a letter received from Coldstream resident Lorne Pearson.

“It is punitive towards other users who do not have the pleasure or resources to live this close to the lake,” said Pearson of meters.

“Parking meters will only add to the current launch times and cause even more congestion in the area.”

Pearson added that the Kalavista lot is only busy in the summer and does not warrant the cost of installing and maintaining parking meters.

Drought Plan Proceeds

There could soon be new guidelines on how to handle drought conditions.

The Greater Vernon Advisory Committee has received the 24 proposed drought response recommendations established by a task force of stakeholders.

“Staff will look at the recommendations and prioritize them,” said Arnold Badke, general manager of engineering.

Among the recommendations are reviewing landscape standard bylaws, revising new lawn irrigation permits and investigating changes to pool and car wash bylaws in an attempt to conserve water.

Director Gyula Kiss was involved in developing the recommendations and he believes there could be a significant impact for residents.

“There will be more dead trees and desert-like landscapes,” he said.

GVAC initiated a drought response process after a lack of water triggered tight restrictions in the spring of 2010.

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Politicians refuse to endorse launch study
Vernon Morning Star - By Richard Rolke - September 11, 2011

A contentious review of Greater Vernon’s boat launches isn’t dropping anchor.

Instead of adopting the study into boat launches on Okanagan and Kalamalka lakes, the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee only received the report for information purposes Thursday.

“To adopt it would be a mistake,” said Coldstream director Jim Garlick, adding that a number of concerns surrounding public boat launches were not addressed.

Garlick wants the document to be considered further once a new parks and recreation general manager is hired.

“It would be great for a new employee to take a hold of it and come up with something better,” he said.

The consultant’s study recommends upgrades to the existing motorized boat launch at Paddlewheel Park on Okanagan Lake​ as well as at other locations on the lake.

A primary focus on Okanagan Lake and not Kalamalka Lake​ has been a concern for the City of Vernon.

“We also don’t just have Okanagan and Kalamalka lakes. We have boaters on Swan Lake,” said Wayne Lippert, GVAC chairperson and a Vernon director.

The District of Coldstream has stated that the study only surveyed boaters and not other user groups like swimmers and paddlers.

Concerns about the study have also come from other jurisdictions.

“The terms of reference weren’t tight enough and the contractor didn’t have clarity moving forward,” said Mike Macnabb, BX-Silver Star director.

Simply receiving the study was unanimous among GVAC members but Vernon director Patrick Nicol suggests the entire issue may lack direction.

“If we don’t adopt it, it will lay there in the wind. We’ll keep going around in a circle,” he said.

Staff states there may be some small, non-monetary items that can proceed at launches, but any large projects that include significant funding will require further scrutiny.

“We won’t be doing anything or spending any money without coming to the board first,” said Trafford Hall, Regional District of North Okanagan administrator.

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Lake Watch keeping an eye on boaters
Vernon Morning Star - By Staff Writer - August 28, 2011

Complaints about personal water craft (PWC) towing people without spotters is keeping the Kalamalka Lake​ Watch program busy.

No spotters has been the top complaint of the summer for the lake watch program.

“It is important for all vessel operators to follow the regulations, but all of the reports that have come in regarding this issue have been directed at PWC,” said Warren Smith with the lake watch program. “Towing can only be done from a PWC when it is made to carry three or more people.”

Smith reminds operators that when towing, a passenger must occupy a seat and act as a spotter at all times.

If anyone being towed is not wearing a life-jacket, there must be one on board for them.

Towing is not allowed when visibility is poor or from one hour after sunset to sunrise.

“Even after recent events on Kalamalka Lake people seem to get lost in the fun, forget common sense, safety and the regulations,” said Smith. “Lake users are asked to report all suspicious and dangerous boating activities to police.

“Three simple key things people can do are observe, record and report.”

In the event of an emergency people should call 911. Observations can also be reported to the Kalamalka Lake Watch Program. Forms are available through the Vernon/North Okanagan RCMP Community Policing office, local municipal governments, or online at

https://ecommerce.vernon.ca/vernon/Lake_Watch_Form.cfm.

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Castanet.net Forum - West Kelowna Boat Launch discussion

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City ready to muffle bikes, boats
Castanet.net - by Wayne Moore - Story: 63904 - Aug 19, 2011

Kelowna's loose noise bylaw could become a thing of the past.

A proposed new noise bylaw would make it illegal for boats to run louded than 85 decibels.

City Council will look at a new noise bylaw Monday which, if adopted, would set decibel limits for motorcycles, car stereos and boats.

The proposed bylaw, crafted from a current bylaw in Edmonton, would set the ceiling at 92 decibels for motorcycles at idle, 96 decibels when motorcycles are up to speed, 90 decibels for car stereos and 85 decibels for boats.

Fines are expected to be set at $500 for Bylaw Offence Notices and $1,000 for Municipal Ticket Information.

Kelowna RCMP would be in charge of enforcement utilizing existing resources.

City Clerk Stephen Fleming, who put together the legislation, says the bylaw wouldn't come into effect until the RCMP are able to purchase the required number of sound meter kits and provide officers with the necessary training.

The kits are estimated to cost about $2,300 each.

According to Fleming, the RCMP have the required funds already budgeted.

In his report to council, Fleming says motorcycle sound levels are based on a standard established by the Society of Automobile Engineers.

"The standard has been reviewed, evaluated and supported by both the Canadian Motorcycle and Moped Industry of Canada and Transport Canada," says Fleming.

He adds that automotive traffic is between 60 decibels and 90 decibels, so, it is suggested, a car stereo should not be at a level higher than most automobile traffic.

"The proposed sound limit for boat noise is 85 decibels when the boat engine or engines are at any speed greater than idle. This is based on federal Maritime Occupational Health and Safety Regulations that considers sound in a workplace louder than 85 decibels to be hazardous."

In 2010, Fleming says Edmonton Police issued noise related tickets.

RCMP Superintendent, Bill McKinnon, suggested back in June that the city look at adopting the Edmonton bylaw saying current rules at the provincial level concerning excessive noise are woefully inadequate.

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We already have laws to control too much noise
Kelowna Capital News - Okanagan Similkameen - July 07, 2011

To the editor:

I have read that there is a proposal for a stricter noise bylaw. I am all in favour of this, however I must question the sincerity of the proposal.

One of the sources of the objectionable noise is the use of illegal boats on Okanagan Lake. I have reported the use of these boats numerous times to the RCMP. On each occasion I have been told that either they cannot catch these people because they don’t have a boat fast enough, or that they do not have jurisdiction.

Section 1000 (2) of the Canadian Shipping Act states: “No person shall operate or permit another person to operate a vessel equipped with a muffler cut-out or by-pass unless the muffler cut-out or by-pass is visibly disconnected in a manner that ensures it cannot be easily reconnected while the vessel is in operation.” This carries a $500 fine.

Part 10: Safety precautions and operational requirements.

Mufflers 1000 (1) No person shall operate or permit another person to operate a power-driven vessel unless it is equipped with a muffler that is in good working order.

(2) No person shall operate or permit another person to operate a vessel equipped with a muffler cut-out or by-pass unless the muffler cut-out or by-pass is visibly disconnected in a manner that ensures it cannot be easily reconnected while the vessel is in operation.

(3) Subsections (1) and (2) do not apply in respect of a vessel that

(a) was constructed or manufactured before January 1, 1960,

(b) is engaged in formal training, in an official competition or in final preparation for an official competition;

(c) is propelled by an outboard engine or a stern-drive, if the exhaust gases are directed under water through the propeller hub or below the cavitation plate;

(d) is operated at five or more nautical miles from shore; or

(e) is propelled by gas turbines or by an aircraft-type propeller operating in air.

If you are serious about returning Okanagan lake to an area that families can enjoy and are not subject to dangerously high noise levels, then why are the present laws not enforced?

Rick Mervyn, Kelowna

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.pdf icon June 27, 2011 Regional District of Central Okanagan Regular Board Meeting Minutes

12. OTHER BUSINESS

12.1 Director Items

h) Watercraft committee
Director Reid noted that it was understood the grant request to the Federal government to provide funding for an Okanagan Lake wide education program was not received. Staff will follow-up with the Director on this issue.

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.mp3 file icon - click here for help with audio June 27, 2011 audio of entire RDCO Board meeting - .mp3 (208 MB)

Click this Windows Media Audio icon for help with audio files June 27, 2011 audio of RDCO Board meeting only about the Water Park - .wma (1.67 MB)

Click this Windows Media Audio icon for help with audio files June 27, 2011 audio of RDCO Board meeting only about the Water Craft Committee - .wma (765 KB)

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.pdf icon June 27, 2011 Highlights of the Regional District of Central Okanagan Regular Board Meeting

There was nothing mentioned in the highlights about the Decibel Meter for law enforcement of the noise bylaw

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.mp3 file icon - click here for help with audio June 27, 2011 audio of entire RDCO Board meeting - .mp3 (208 MB)

Click this Windows Media Audio icon for help with audio files June 27, 2011 audio of RDCO Board meeting only about the new Decibel Meter for law enforcement of the noise bylaw - .wma (12.6 MB)

.pdf icon June 27, 2011 Regional District of Central Okanagan Regular Board Meeting Agenda

.pdf icon There was nothing mentioned in the Agenda about the Decibel Meter for law enforcement of the noise bylaw

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.mp3 file icon - click here for help with audio June 27, 2011 audio of entire RDCO Board meeting - .mp3 (208 MB)

Click this Windows Media Audio icon for help with audio files June 27, 2011 audio of RDCO Board meeting only about the new Decibel Meter for law enforcement of the noise bylaw - .wma (12.6 MB)

.pdf icon June 27, 2011 Regional District of Central Okanagan Regular Board Meeting Minutes

12. OTHER BUSINESS

12.1 Director Items

f) Noise Bylaw
Director Shepherd noted that Supt McKinnon has requested the City of Kelowna look at the ability to change Kelowna's noise bylaw to include such issues as loud stereos, noisy boats, and noisy motorcycles. A bylaw amendment will be drafted for consideration. She encouraged the other municipalities to review this issue as well.

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.mp3 file icon - click here for help with audio June 27, 2011 audio of entire RDCO Board meeting - .mp3 (208 MB)

Click this Windows Media Audio icon for help with audio files June 27, 2011 audio of RDCO Board meeting only about the new Decibel Meter for law enforcement of the noise bylaw - .wma (12.6 MB)

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.pdf icon June 27, 2011 Highlights of the Regional District of Central Okanagan Regular Board Meeting

Okanagan Centre Safe Harbour Project

The Regional Board has given approval to a proposed plan for replacing the deteriorating south breakwater at Okanagan Centre Safe Harbour Regional Park in Lake Country. Subject to approval from the Province and Federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Regional District Parks Services proposes removing the south breakwater and replacing it with a new viewing/recreational pier.

As well, a new courtesy dock would be installed to assist boaters launching and loading their vessels. To ensure public safety, the deteriorating north breakwater would be completely closed, pending consultations with the District of Lake Country on future capital financing, uses or replacement of the aging structure.

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.mp3 file icon - click here for help with audio June 27, 2011 audio of entire RDCO Board meeting - .mp3 (208 MB)

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.pdf icon June 27, 2011 Regional District of Central Okanagan Regular Board Meeting Minutes

7. UNFINISHED BUSINESS

7.1 Okanagan Centre Harbour Regional Park - 2011 Marine Infrastructure Refurbishment Proposal (All Directors - Unweighted Vote)

The Regional Board at its June i h Governance & Services and Regional Board meeting discussed the refurbishment proposal for the Okanagan Centre Harbour and postponed further discussion until the District of Lake Country completed their corporate strategic plan workshop review of this matter. Staff met with Lake Country Council and staff on June 14th and Council supported advancing with the refurbishment as per staff's recommendation.

BAKER/EDGSON
THAT the Regional Board approve proceeding with the 2011 Okanagan Center Harbour regional park refurbishment of the south breakwater structure which will include the construction of an improved viewpoint/recreational pier (south), construction of a new boat launch courtesy dock and the permanent closure of the north breakwater structure to all public access;
AND THAT any remaining capital project funds be carried forward to the 2012 regional parks budget;
AND FURTHER THAT in cooperation with the District of Lake Country (DLC), RDCO and DLC staff assess future design and operational management options as well as capital financing requirements and solutions for the refurbishment or demolition of the north breakwater and that staff provide these recommendations to the RDCO Governance and Services Committee for review and future direction.

CARRIED

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.mp3 file icon - click here for help with audio June 27, 2011 audio of entire RDCO Board meeting - .mp3 (208 MB)

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Boaters and bikers warned to keep it down
Kelowna Capital News - By Kathy Michaels - June 28, 2011

Boaters and motorcyclists had best keep the growl of their engines to a dull roar because Kelowna city council is looking into a noise bylaw with teeth.

“We get a lot of complaints about noisy motorcycles and boats,” said Supt. Bill McKinnon, in his monthly presentation to city politicians.

Unfortunately, he explained the legislation guiding how police deal with noisy vehicles is ineffective, so McKinnon hit up council for some further power.

“I’d like to ask council draft a new noise bylaw, similar to the noise bylaw in Edmonton,” he said, noting that boats, motorcycles and drivers with booming stereos would be the focus of the amendment, and subsequent $250 penalty.

“(Implementation) would require investment in decibel readers and training, but it’s the right direction forward,” he said.

If Kelowna were to mirror the Edmonton bylaw, which has been in effect for one year, police would be able to ticket anyone whose vehicle is producing 92 decibels of noise while idling. When driving, the maximum acceptable noise would be 96 decibels.

Motorcycles and boats with stock factory parts shouldn’t be a problem, as all on-road bikes are built to certain factory noise standards. The bylaw aims to crack down on bikes with custom exhaust systems that increase the bike’s noise. It’s a change in tack that council looked on favourably.

Shepherd said she, like McKinnon, has heard heaps of complaints about noisy motorists, both on land and water, and Edmonton’s bylaw is already on her desk.

Hobson said he has concerns about implementation of penalties due to the fact boat drivers can muffle their noise, upon command. That said, he’d welcome the change.

“This weekend there was a boat across the lake (from his home) and with our windows closed, we couldn’t hear each other,” he said.

City clerk Stephen Fleming said the city could start the process to amend the bylaw by the July 11 council meeting. All it would require would be the addition of a section about decibel reading levels. While it’s a city bylaw, the RCMP would be in control of issuing the fines.

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.pdf icon June 9, 2011 Regional District of Central Okanagan Governance and Services Committee Minutes

7.2 Okanagan Centre Harbour Regional Park - 2011'Marine Infrastructure Refurbishment Proposal

Staff report dated June 1, 2011 outlined the history and options for the update of the Okanagan Centre Harbour.

It was noted that the Regional District's parks service program does not include a mandate to provide safe refuge for vessels on Okanagan Lake and there is no formal partnership with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) or the Canadian Coast Guard with regards to marine navigation or safety on Okanagan Lake.

The Parks Services has focused on marine facility asset replacement with the primary objective to provide pUblic recreational access to the lake. The options for consideration were outlined. It was noted that staff continue discussions with the District of Lake Country regarding the proposed options for consideration. Director Baker noted that the District of Lake country recommends that nothing be done in terms of demolition until Lake Country workshops are completed.

SHEPHERD/BAKER
THAT the June 2, 2011 staff report on the Okanagan Centre Harbour Regional Park 2011 marine Infrastructure Refurbishment proposal be received and further discussion be POSTPONED to the June 27 Regional Board meeting or until the District of Lake
Country corporate strategic plan workshop review of this matter is complete.

CARRIED

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.mp3 file icon - click here for help with audio June 9, 2011 audio of entire RDCO Governance and Services Committee meeting .mp3 (283 MB)

Windows Media File Icon June 9, 2011 audio of RDCO Governance and Services Committee meeting only about Okanagan Centre Safe Harbour - .wma (8.94 MB)

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.pdf icon June 9, 2011 Regional District of Central Okanagan Regular Board Meeting Minutes

6.1 Rise and Report - Governance & Services Committee meeting of June 9, 2011

a) Okanagan Centre Harbour Regional Park - 2011 Marine Infrastructure Refurbishment Proposal

SHEPHERD/BAKER
THAT the June 2, 2011 staff report on the Okanagan Centre Harbour Regional Park 2011 marine Infrastructure Refurbishment proposal be received and that further discussion be POSTPONED to the June 27 Regional Board meeting or until the District of Lake Country corporate strategic plan workshop review of this matter is complete.

CARRIED

--------------------------------------------

There was no agenda for this subject

.pdf icon June 9, 2011 Regional District of Central Okanagan Regular Board Meeting Agenda

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Operation targets impaired boaters
Vernon Morning Star - By Roger Knox - June 29, 2011 1:00 AM

Operation Drywater quickly turned into Operation Deficiency on Okanagan lakes over the weekend.

Enforcement officials had set up Operation Drywater, an U.S.-based initiative held the weekend before the July 4 long weekend to educate people on impaired boating, for the first time in Canada this past weekend.

The three-day initiative, Friday to Sunday, was set up on Kal Lake, Wood Lake, Shuswap Lake, Okanagan Lake in Kelowna and Osoyoos Lake.

And while officials did only find a handful of boats that had alcohol on board, they quickly discovered a great majority of vessels checked had some kind of deficiencies.

“A lot of these deficiencies were in the safety equipment, licensing and registering of vessels,” said Sgt. Josh Lockwood with the North Okanagan Conservation Services.

“If you bring in a vessel from another country, other than the customs importation documentation they have to change and have the vehicle registered in Canada.

“Lots of people didn’t have or didn’t produce their boat operator’s card which is a requirement along with photo identification.”

On Kal Lake, officers checked 37 boats. Twenty were given written warnings.

Two boaters were charged for pulling a skier without a spotter. Only one vessel had alcohol or liquor on board.

On Wood Lake, officials checked 14 vessels and wrote 10 violation and warning notices.

In the Shuswap, near Sicamous, officials checked 28 vessels and six commercials vessels.

A total of 23 violation tickets were written and two boats were directed to shore to fix what Lockwood called “inadequacies that would not allow that boat to stay on the lake.”

Three boaters were given tests for alcohol impairment and while their levels were not a level high enough to provide a breath sample, if they had been driving a car, the levels would have been enough to fall under the immediate roadside prohibition program.

One houseboat was directed to shore to get fire extinguishers and secure its propane tank. Three rental boats were checked and all three had deficiencies.

One boater was ticketed for speeding and three were charged for towing a skier without a spotter.

Two boats on Shuswap Lake were fully compliant.

Officials were a perfect 13-for-13 on Osoyoos Lake, checking 13 boats and issuing 13 violations or warnings.

In Kelowna, on Okanagan Lake, 30 vessels were checked and 22 violations and warnings were written. One boat was taken to shore for an inadequacy.

Lockwood said that while all the deficiencies aren’t of a serious nature, things like failing to have batteries in a flashlight could be serious if the flashlight is to be used for signalling for help.

One of the big issues for officials is the boat operator cards.

Many people think they can operate a boat if they don’t have a card but somebody on board does.

Not so.

Everybody who gets behind the steering wheel of a boat must have their competency card,” said Lockwood.

“You have five people in a boat, one has the card, that one must drive.”

Officials also found a lot of vessels with more than 10 horsepower operating without visible licensing numbers on the boat.

An integrated marine unit returns to Shuswap Lake for the Canada Day long weekend.

Like last year, their base will be a houseboat situated at the Narrow.

“That will be the law enforcement office for the lake for Salmon Arm, Sicamous and conservation,” said Lockwood.

“We’ll be looking for impaired boaters, we’ll be checking to see if campfires are out of control, dealing with noise complaints plus fishing and boating regulations on Shuswap Lake.”

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April 25, 2011 CHBC news said Bear Creek Park Boat Launch on Okanagan Lake is permanently closed due to shallow water and sediment, and because the electoral area has changed.  Central Okanagan West taxpayers would have to pay for repairs without West Kelowna's help now that West Kelowna has separated and gone on its own.  The Boat Launch would need too many repairs costing approx. $100,000.  The Regional District of Central Okanagan said they are removing the boat launch and returning the area to its natural state.

There are still 13 boat launches between Peachland and Fintry the news said.

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Boaters Battle Back - CHBC News

The house boaters moved from Gellately Bay to another part of Okanagan Lake and the house boaters say this part of Okanagan Lake is not under the jurisdiction of West Kelowna.

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Poll on Castanet.net Feb 21, 2011 at 11:46pm we saw, and below is what the poll said at that time.  The poll had not been closed yet when we looked, so the results below may have changed by the time the poll closed.  Too bad Castanet.net doesn't leave the polls on the net for awhile.

Should more be done to prevent the illegal mooring of houseboats on Okanagan Lake?

Yes 1299
No 575
Total Votes 1874

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Booze and boats don't mix
Castanet.net - by Contributed - Story: 62837 - Jun 24, 2011

Operation Dry Water kicks off on the Okanagan Lake this weekend.

Police will be conducting education and enforcement patrols aimed at reducing alcohol related accidents and fatalities on the water.

Patrols and boat ramp checks will be set up on the water ways all over the Okanagan and Shuswap. The checkpoint style operation will be set up similar to an ICBC counter attack campaign, except on the water.

Constable Steve Holmes says police expend a lot of resources to the roadways to ensure people are following the rules and now the same resources will be applied to the water.

" If someone is caught drinking while operating a boat then the same penalties will apply as those caught drinking and driving on the road, the legal limit on the water is the same as on the road."

Holmes says boats are not confined to a road way and are able to drive all over the lake, therefore having the potential to cause serious harm or death.

Forty per cent of fatalities and incidents on the water can be attributed to the use of alcohol.

"If people are keeping to themselves, not being rowdy and enjoying a drink then that is not something we are going to focus that much on."

Holmes says the concept of Operation Dry Water is to avoid collisions between boats or boats running into solid objects or even people falling off boats.

"We need to get the message out there if you are on a boat you should be wearing a life jacket."

People going out on the lake are able to bring alcohol onto boats as long as the boats do not pull up to the beach or join up with other water crafts.

"Once boats join up with other boats or water crafts they become a public space and it is illegal to consume alcohol in a public space."


Police have three boats that patrol the Okanagan and Shuswap lakes, all three will be out this weekend for Operation Dry Water.

Currently there is no marine unit assigned to the Okanagan Lake to conduct regular patrols.

Holmes says Kelowna RCMP maybe looking into getting a marine unit, as the number of people boating on the lake continues to rise.

Boat operators must be over the age of 16 and carry a Pleasure Craft Operator Card.

Don Campbell, the commander of the Kelowna Power Squadron, says pleasure craft operators have needed a license since B.C. implemented the law in 2009.

"The majority of people operating boats have their Pleasure Craft Operator Cards. It is mostly tourists that get caught without a license."

The complete course and license through the Canadian Power and Sails costs $80, and those wanting to challenge the test can do so online for $45.

The Pleasure Craft Operator Cards are basic, and included a date of birth but do not have a picture.

Campbell says there are rules on the water just like rules on the road.

"Not everyone knows what all of the regulations are. For example who has the right of way a power boat or a sale boat?"

Campbell says each instance is situation dependent and encourages people to take the course.

CPS is conducted on a volunteer basis and the courses are generally run from fall to spring.

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Get ready to fight the itch
Vernon Morning Star - By Jennifer Smith - June 12, 2011

Okanagan beaches are popular in the summer but swimmer’s itch is cause for concern among residents.
morning star file photo

Summer in the Okanagan is all about having fun in the sun at the beach.

But like the inevitable sun burn that comes from not protecting your skin, swimmer’s itch is another unpleasant addition to Okanagan summers.

Those drive-you-mad itchy spots can pop up after splashing around in any lake.

“I don’t like to use the word nuisance, but that’s what it is, a nuisance,” said Dr. Paul Hasselback, medical health officer with the Interior Health Authority.

As irritating as the approximately 10-day rash can be, especially for young children, swimmer’s itch alone isn’t dangerous.

The condition is caused by small worm-like parasites that live in snails. When they leave the snails in search of a second host (usually water fowl or birds) they sometimes inadvertently come in contact with humans, explains Hasselback.

The parasite cannot survive in humans, but the larvae burrowed under the skin is what causes an allergic reaction – hence swimmer’s itch.

The unfortunate part for swimmers in the North Okanagan is that there is no warning at local beaches of the potential for swimmer’s itch.

Carissa Caron found that out the hard way when she took her nieces to Kin Beach last weekend and left with two very itchy and uncomfortable little girls.

“I’m surprised they don’t post signs because if I would’ve seen signs I wouldn’t have gone to the beach,” said Caron.

Hasselback confirms that Interior Health does not test for swimmer’s itch, as the parasite’s existence varies from beach to beach and even from different locations at a single beach due to wind activity.

But Caron says a simple warning would have spared her nieces, and their mother, a lot of discomfort.

“I moved here from Thunder Bay and we have swimmer’s itch at our lakes and they post signs saying there have been reports of this and to swim at your own risk.”

The Regional District of North Okanagan is looking into the possibility of posting signs at local beaches this summer.

But there is some hesitation for fear of scaring off tourists and locals.

“I don’t want to create a concern and drive people away,” said Al McNiven, parks and recreation general manager.

Therefore some research is being done up and down the valley to determine whether swimmer’s itch is a concern and what other locations post signage.

One option is to possibly post precautionary information on how to prevent swimmer’s itch.

Although there is no way to entirely avoid swimmer’s itch, unless you never step foot in a lake or pond, there are a couple of things swimmers can do:

•Shower immediately after exiting the water;
•When a shower is not accessible, towling off immediately can also do the trick to rub the parasites off the skin before they have a chance to burrow;
•Avoid areas with lots of weed growth, there may be more snails around plants, and there may also be more larvae;
•There tend to be more larvae near the shore, so if there is a pier or wharf to enter the water, doing so may reduce your risk of exposure (do not dive into unknown waters);
•Applying waterproof sunscreen before swimming may help reduce the number of larvae from penetrating the skin.


“The best thing is for everyone to acknowledge that it does occur,” said Hasselback.

While Caron’s nieces picked up the parasite in June, Hasselback says swimmer’s itch is more common in the warmer months.

“It’s a bit early in the season,” said Hasselback. “We generally see it more in July and August and that could be because that’s when people are going into the water more.”

 

TO CHECK FOR SWIMMERS ITCH BEFORE YOU GO SWIMMING

Stick your toes or fingers in the water, and then let your toes dry naturally in the sun.  Wait 10 minutes and see if your toes get itchy.  With swimmers itch, it takes a few minutes and you will get itchier gradually, not immediately.

 

TO AVOID SWIMMERS ITCH

Towel off good, and take your wet bathing suit off after swimming if there is no shower available.

MOST IMPORTANTLY, don't let the water dry up on your skin naturally.

 

IF YOU HAVE SWIMMERS ITCH

Use Calamine Lotion with antihistamine on swimmers itch

If its really bad, ask your doctor for an antihistamine.

Take shallow lukewarm baths with three tablespoons of baking soda in the water.

Take colloidal oatmeal baths.

Apply cool compresses.

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.pdf icon May 30, 2011 Highlights of the Regional District of Central Okanagan Regional Board Meeting

Nothing was mentioned in the Highlights about the Inland Lakes Task Force

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.mp3 file icon - click here for help with audio May 30, 2011 audio of entire RDCO Board meeting - .mp3 (36.2 MB)

Click this Windows Media Audio icon for help with audio files May 30, 2011 audio of RDCO Board meeting only about Inland Lakes Task Force - .wma (1.79 MB)

.pdf icon May 30, 2011 Regional District of Central Okanagan Regional Board Meeting Agenda

.pdf icon Item 6.2 UBCM - Inland Lake Issue Task Force.pdf

Agenda No: 6.2
Mtg Date: May 30, 2011

Union of BC Municipalities
Suite 60 10551 Shellbridge Way
Richmond, BC, Canada V6X 2W9
Phone: 604.270.8226
Email: ubcm "at" ubcm.ca

May 18, 2011
Chair Robert Hobson
Central Okanagan Regional District
1450 KLO Road
Kelowna, BC
V1W 3Z4

Dear Robert:

I am writing to follow-up on correspondence from CORD regarding your Board's request that UBCM form a Task Force to review various inland lake issues facing local governments in BC.

Please accept my apologies for the delay in responding.

Your letter was presented to Executive at the April meeting where it was referred to the next Presidents Committee meeting in July. However, in the meantime I wish to advise of existing UBCM policy on this matter.

Back in 2009 the UBCM membership adopted a resolution that was sponsored by the North Okanagan Regional District regarding the regulation and protection of the use of waterways. I am attaching a full copy of the resolution for your review. This resolution called on the provincial government to immediately take a leadership role and initiate an Inland Waterways Task Force with stakeholder representatives from a variety of interests. This represents existing UBCM policy on this matter.

I am also enclosing the response from the Province on this matter. To date they have not initiated such a task force.

We understand that a similar resolution has been received from NORD for the 2011 Convention.

This received endorsement from SILGA at your recent Area Association meeting in Merritt in May.

I believe that the intent of your letter is certainly captured within our existing policy that was endorsed at Convention. The one difference is that our existing policy calls on the Province of BC to lead this Task Force.

As previously stated, we will review your letter further at our July Executive meeting and will be in touch after that time. As per the UBCM resolutions process, if CORD wishes to submit a resolution on this matter you can do so prior to the deadline of June 30, 2011. Once again, thank-you for bringing this matter to our attention.

Yours truly,
Barbara Steele
UBCM President

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2009 B142 REGULATION & PROTECTION OF USE OF WATERWAYS North Okanagan RD

WHEREAS the safe, responsible and environmentally sensitive use of our inland waterways for recreational and other purposes is a high priority with many federal and provincial agencies having specific interests and roles in the regulation and protection of these valuable resources;

AND WHEREAS there is no single agency, comprehensive plan, nor adequate regulatory and enforcement framework to sufficiently ensure that these resources are effectively protected and managed for the long term benefit of all residents and users throughout BC;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) requests that the provincial government immediately take a leadership role and initiate an Inland Waterways Task Force, with stakeholder representation including, but not limited to:

Provincial Ministry of Environment
Provincial Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure
Provincial Ministry of Health Services
Provincial Ministry of Community Development
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Integrated Land Management Bureau
Transport Canada Office of Boating Safety
RCMP
Various local governments, including First Nations

To review the current recreational, environmental and water quality issues related to the safe, shared use of inland waterways and bring forward a comprehensive plan to better manage, regulate, and enforce the shared use of these valuable resources.

CONVENTION DECISION: NOT CONSIDERED - AUTOMATIC REFERRAL TO EXECUTIVE
EXECUTIVE DECISION: ENDORSED
PROVINCIAL RESPONSE

Integrated Land Management Bureau

The development of an Inland Waterways Task Force would require cooperation between a number of agencies at several levels of government. Due to the high complexity of the issues involved, careful deliberation among provincial ministries will be necessary to consider the possible composition of and distribution of responsibilities in any such Task Force. Preliminary discussions are being arranged to determine how management of inland waterways may be better addressed.

RESOLUTIONS COMMITTEE COMMENTS
The Resolutions Committee advises that UBCM members have not previously considered the establishment of an Inland Waterways Task Force. Previous resolutions have focused specifically on water quality protection, managing / regulating recreational uses on waterways, etc., but none have made this specific request.

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.mp3 file icon - click here for help with audio May 30, 2011 audio of entire RDCO Board meeting - .mp3 (36.2 MB)

Click this Windows Media Audio icon for help with audio files May 30, 2011 audio of RDCO Board meeting only about Inland Lakes Task Force - .wma (1.79 MB)

.pdf icon May 30, 2011 Regional District of Central Okanagan Regional Board Meeting Minutes

6.2 UBCM re: RDCO's request for consideration of an Inland Lake Issue Task Force

UBCM noted in their letter of May 18th that the request for consideration of an Inland Lake Task Force is being referred to the next Presidents Committee meeting in July for further discussion. UBCM provided the review of their existing UBCM policy on this matter noting it has previously been discussed at Convention in 2009.

In discussion, it was agreed that it is a complicated issue but that the Province needs to be 'at the table'. Consideration was given to sending a resolution to the 2011 UBCM Convention but it was noted that this has already been done.

HODGE/FINDLATER
THAT the May 18, 2011 letter from UBCM regarding the Regional District's request for consideration of an Inland Lake Issue Task Force be received for information;

AND FURTHER THAT a letter be forwarded to the Province requesting the Province take a leadership role and initiate and fund an Inland Waterways Task Force.

CARRIED

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.mp3 file icon - click here for help with audio May 30, 2011 audio of entire RDCO Board meeting - .mp3 (36.2 MB)

Click this Windows Media Audio icon for help with audio files May 30, 2011 audio of RDCO Board meeting only about Inland Lakes Task Force - .wma (1.79 MB)

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.pdf icon May 12, 2011 Regional District of Central Okanagan Governance and Services Committee Meeting Minutes

9. Parks Services

9.1 Bear Creek Boat Launch Facility Closure (for information only)

Staff report dated May 5, 2011 provided an information report on the closure of the Bear Creek Boat Launch. Staff reviewed the background for closure of the boat launch. A draft restoration plan was noted-staff continue discussions with BC Parks and the Province with regards to the restoration plans.

Concern was expressed that a backgrounder such as was presented today would have been useful to the Board prior to the sending out the News Release. Where are the Province, boat builders, tourism organizations, etc. in putting up funds for
boat launches and parking when it comes to adding or improving boat launches within the region? Senior government funds will be required to initiate any recommendations within the Marine Facilities Study.

EDGSON/BAKER
THAT the Governance & Services Committee receive for information the report from staff dated May 5, 2011 regarding the Bear Creek boat launch facility closure.

CARRIED

EDGSON/SHEPHERD
THAT the Marine Facilities Study be brought back for review and consideration what further action should occur.

CARRIED

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.mp3 file icon - click here for help with audio May 12, 2011 audio of entire RDCO Governance and Services Committee meeting .mp3 (381 MB)

Click this Windows Media Audio icon for help with audio files May 12, 2011 audio of RDCO Governance and Services Committee meeting only about Bear Creek Boat Launch - .wma (10.4 MB)

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There is nothing mentioned in the May 12, 2011 Highlights of the Board Minutes or the Board Agenda in regards to the Inland Lakes Task Force

.pdf icon May 12, 2011 Regional District of Central Okanagan Special Board Meeting Minutes

Director Items

Lakes and Rivers Issues

Director Shepherd noted that various elected officials in the valley are working on a grassroots initiative on concerns being raised around inland lakes and rivers (ie: noisy boats, regulations, etc). A news release will be forthcoming in the near future.

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.mp3 file icon - click here for help with audio May 12, 2011 audio of entire RDCO Board meeting .mp3 (43.6 MB)

Click this Windows Media Audio icon for help with audio files May 12, 2011 audio of RDCO Board meeting only about Inland Lakes Task Force - .wma (1.68 MB)

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Okanagan Centre Safe Harbour Regional Park and main boat launch reopen Saturday, May 14th, 2011

Source RDCO

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Bear Creek Boat Launch Closed

The Bear Creek Boat Launch located in and adjacent to Bear Creek Provincial Park is now permanently closed. The Regional District, which has maintained and operated the facility for many years, is announcing the closure now in advance of the upcoming marine season.

Signs have been posted and the boat launch is no longer accessible. Later this year the infrastructure will be removed and the site will be restored to its natural condition as is required under agreements between the Regional District and adjacent landowners. The Regional District regrets having to close the Bear Creek Boat Launch however, several factors combined in the decision to close the facility.

The Bear Creek Boat Launch is a Central Okanagan West Electoral Area Community Park facility, funded solely by ratepayers within the electoral area. The shallow water level, continuing sedimentation, and the topography of the lake bed at the current location have combined to make the launch unsuitable for continued use, requiring more than just a simple fix. Improvement costs for the facility have been estimated in excess of $100,000 including required environmental studies and approvals, professional design and facility construction. Under current best management practices any new marine facility would require the Regional District to address important fisheries and environmental values at this site and any proposed design solutions are prohibitively high for the electoral area ratepayers. The Regional District also believes it is not fiscally responsible for those ratepayers to make the significant financial commitments required to redesign and construct a new boat launch in the absence of obtaining long term land use agreements.

Central Okanagan West Electoral Area residents that require a boat launch are asked to please use the community boat launch located in Fintry at the end of Fintry Delta Road or in Killiney Beach Community Park on Hodges Road or in Fintry Provincial Park. Other municipal launching facilities are available across the Central Okanagan offered by the District’s of West Kelowna, Peachland, Lake Country and the City of Kelowna. Link to map for Boat Launches in the Central Okanagan

Residents with questions or concerns regarding the closure of the Bear Creek Boat Launch may contact the Parks Services office by email at parks "at" cord.bc.ca or by calling 250-469-6232.

(April 21, 2011)

Source - RDCO's Whats New

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.pdf icon March 21, 2011 Regional District of Central Okanagan Regular Board Meeting Minutes

Inland Lake Issue Task Force

It was noted that the Regional District had sent a letter to UBCM in September 2010 requesting that they consider the formation of an Inland Lake Issue Task Force. To date a response has not been received and staff will follow up on the request and report back to the Board.

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.mp3 file icon - click here for help with audio March 21, 2011 audio of entire RDCO Board meeting .mp3 (165 MB)

.mp3 file icon - click here for help with audio March 21, 2011 audio of entire RDCO Board meeting revised .mp3 (176 MB)

Windows Media File Icon March 21, 2011 audio of RDCO Board meeting only about the revised section added to the end.mp3 (2.47 MB)

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.pdf icon March 10, 2011 Regional District of Central Okanagan Special Board Meeting Agenda

.pdf icon There is no RDCO Board Agenda about the Water Craft Committee, but it was mentioned in the audio

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.mp3 file icon - click here for help with audio March 10, 2011 audio of entire RDCO Board meeting .mp3 (48 MB)

Windows Media File Icon March 10, 2011 audio of RDCO Board meeting only about the Watercraft Committee - .wma (1.52 MB)

.pdf icon March 10, 2011 Regional District of Central Okanagan Special Board Meeting Minutes

There are no Regional Board Meeting Minutes posted for March 10, 2011 and its April 19, 2011 ????

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.mp3 file icon - click here for help with audio March 10, 2011 audio of entire RDCO Board meeting .mp3 (48 MB)

Windows Media File Icon March 10, 2011 audio of RDCO Board meeting only about the Watercraft Committee - .wma (1.52 MB)

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Boat launch changes urged
Vernon Morning Star - By Richard Rolke - April 03, 2011

A consultant is recommending changes to Paddlewheel Park because of demands at the boat launch.

It’s a tight squeeze for anyone wanting to go boating on Greater Vernon lakes.

A consultant reviewing boat launches on Okanagan and Kalamalka lakes has told Vernon council that current facilities are insufficient for demand.

“We’re fortunate all of these boat owners don’t go down (to the lake) all at the same time,” said Coun. Shawn Lee.

A survey found that 36 per cent of households in Greater Vernon own a boat and 10 per cent plan on purchasing a boat in the next five years.

Boat ownership in Coldstream is highest at 56 per cent, with the two electoral areas at 45 per cent and Vernon at 32 per cent.

In 2009 and 2010, more than 10,000 boats were launched at local public launches each summer, while there is moorage for 1,600 boats on Okanagan Lake and there are 500 slips/docks on Kalamalka Lake.

It’s anticipated there could be an additional 2,000 boats in the area in the next 20 years.

Consultant Doris Haas, who is doing the study for the North Okanagan Regional District, is recommending changes to how boat launches and boat storage are provided.

Haas suggests Paddlewheel Park be redesigned for more efficient parking of boat trailers, while protecting other park uses.

She also calls for new motorized launches at Foster Road and Kin Beach in Okanagan Landing, and she identifies eight potential sites for non-motorized launches on Okanagan Lake.

“Some of the sites are now used but it would be better if they were designated for that use,” said Haas.

While 71 per cent of the Greater Vernon residents surveyed have motor boats, 63 per cent own a boat with oars or paddles.

In terms of the city’s waterfront neighbourbood centre plan, the study suggests sites be preserved for future moorage and a public dock.

“Boaters usually have money they like to spend on food and shopping,” said Haas of tourism.

The study only looked at non-motorized use on Kalamalka Lake, and five potential sites for launches have been identified.

The study also looks at the possibility of valet parking to reduce pressure at launches or using school parking lots for vehicles and trailers.

Other issues raised are garbage disposal and washrooms, and Coun. Jack Gilroy insists they must be addressed.

“I boat a lot in the States and they use chemical toilets,” said Gilroy.

“I wouldn’t mind paying (for launch use) if the money went towards that.”

The final draft report will be presented to the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee April 7.

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Study launches boating concerns
Vernon Morning Star - By Jennifer Smith - March 16, 2011

With 10,000 boats launching onto local lakes each season, and more anticipated in the coming years, a push is on for increased access to the water.

A study of boat launches on Kalamalka and Okanagan lakes has been underway to create a 20-year plan. The study, done by GDH Solutions, Summit Environmental Consultants and Ipsos Reid, recommends some work needs to be done to address the growing need for lake access.

On Okanagan Lake recommendations include re-configuring the launch at Paddlewheel Park, improve the launch at Tronson and add a new launch at Foster Road and Kin Beach.

“They need to be improved and possibly a boat launch be considered right at Kin Beach,” said Doris Haas, GDH Solutions, in a presentation of the draft report.

There is also a push for eight non-motorized launch sites (for canoes, paddle boats, paddle boards, etc.) on Okanagan Lake.

On Kalamalka Lake, five sites are recommended for non-motorized launches: Westkal, Kal Beach, Centennial Park, Kinloch and Kekuli Bay.

“There’s been talk of promoting this area as a paddle board destination therefore there needs to be a place for them to go,” said Haas, also noting that the terms of reference for the study are not to make recommendations regarding motorized boating on Kalamalka Lake.

According to the report, there are 6,000 motorized boats on Kalamalka Lake and 4,000 on the north end of Okanagan Lake.

“There is a potential increase of 2,000 boats in 20 years,” said Haas, adding that along with tourism and population growth, the people who are living here and aging here will continue to want to access the lakes.

The study found that Coldstream has the highest percentage of boat owners (56 per cent), followed by electoral areas B and C (45 per cent), then Vernon (32 per cent).

Since 75 per cent of boat owners transport their vessels using a trailer, the report recommends boat storage near lake access points.

The study also found that a majority of those surveyed support investment into upgrades to local marine facilities.

But some Coldstream politicians and residents feel the study has done nothing to address the issues at the north end of Kalamalka Lake.

“I know that this study really came out of concerns from residents in the Kalavista area,” said Coun. Richard Enns.

Resident Donna Anderson, whose property neighbours the Kalavista boat launch, says along with the noise, dust, congestion and safety issues on the narrow road, she is worried about the environmental impact.

According to Haas, there are approximately 250 boats on Kalamalka Lake at any given time during the boating season. Since most of those boats congregate in the north end of the lake, where the intake for drinking water is, Anderson says it comes down to wants vs. needs.

“To me, boating on the north end of Kalamalka Lake is a want and the water is a need,” said Anderson. “Safety is a need, boating is a want.”

The draft report will be presented to the public in an open house sometime in April, after being reviewed by the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee.

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Yacht club ready to expand
Vernon Morning Star - By Richard Rolke - March 09, 2011


The Vernon Yacht Club is constructing 30 new boat slips this spring.
 Vernon Yacht Club expansion drawing

Pressure for boat access on Okanagan Lake is being eased.

The Vernon Yacht Club will start work on 30 new boat slips this month and they will be completed by May 1, just in time for a new boating season.

“People are continuing to join the club. We have a wait list of about 50 people wanting slips,” said Tim Amy, commodore.

“Throughout the Okanagan, demand exceeds availability for water moorage.”

It’s anticipated another 10 to 12 slips may be added in two or three years.

The current project will cost about $450,000 to complete.

“This is entirely member-funded,” said Amy.

“What people pay for moorage will service that debt.”

The work will be done by Kemp Concrete, Burton Marine Pile Driving and Benchmark Electric.

The wood portion of the existing B dock will be replaced with a concrete dock and fingers and extended beyond its current length to add 14 slips.

“Concrete is far more durable and there’s less maintenance than wood,” said Amy.

“It’s more stable and doesn’t move around as much.”

Parts of the old B dock will be used to add 16 new slips to the existing C dock.

It will become the last wooden structure at the club.

The club, which started in 1953, is open to members who have their principal residence within a 100-kilometre radius of the club.

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Houseboats not an eyesore
Castanet.net - Feb 21, 2011 - Story# 60290

To the editor:

Action needed on Okanagan Lake

If the boat passes all tests and it is not leaking anything then leave it alone. EVERYONE should be able to use the lake. Houseboats are only an eyesore to those who choose it to be! I, for one, love walking along the shore and looking at boats.

Instead of trying to get them off the lake why not try getting stiffer rules about upkeep and have regulations on yearly inspections so you can be sure there are no leaking fluids?

Barb Kirby

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Action needed on Okanagan Lake
Castanet.net - by Grant Scott - Story: 60266 - Feb 19, 2011

The recent fire that destroyed a houseboat in Sutherland Bay also again raised the issue of unregulated moorage on Okanagan Lake.

Heather Rice, the President of the North End Residents Association continues to be frustrated with the inability of all levels of government to deal with the issue.

"There's a number of jurisdictions involved with regulating the lake, but I figure with Kelowna being the largest city in the valley, and the one that has the impact on the valley as far as the use of the lake that they, along with the Regional District, should take the lead and really make this a priority." says Rice.

She would also like to see more input from the federal level as well.

"Its a municipal issue, but its overseen mostly by the feds. I believe it's time they get involved with (Kelowna-Lake Country MP) Ron Cannan to figure out what we're going to do. It's an issue all across Canada and it's time for the feds to take a look at their laws and revamp them so municipalities have control over their area."

NERA is not simply concerned about the visual impact these houseboats have.

They recently commissioned a water quality study which found leaking fuel, oil and human waste is having a negative impact on the environment. Plus the city's water intake is nearby and Rice is worried how the pollution will affect the water supply.

"Its a combination of issues in Sutherland Bay because there's very little water movement with the log boom in place, and then you have heavy use with boats using that tiny boat launch there, and then there's accidents as well." says Rice.

"We did have a small accident this summer. One of the barges had a leak which went right into the bay and had to be cleaned up. With no regulation, my concern is that it's going to become a huge problem."

With multiple jurisdictions on the lake, it has become difficult to determine how to take action against the problem.

"They have a bit of a city lot right in Sutherland Bay, so they are able to manage that area, but the houseboats will anchor just outside that area. Some new boats who aren't aware will moor inside that area, and we'll let by-laws know about those issues but they're very slow to react." Rice says.

It's her hope that by continuing to lobby all parties involved, something can be done before an environmental disaster strikes.

"I'm just very concerned for the lake itself. It's going to become a huge issue as we get more and more people moving into the valley and we don't have enough moorage, so people will begin mooring wherever they want once they realize there is no regulation where they can and cannot moor."

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Plan to open up lake access
Vernon Morning Star - By Richard Rolke - February 10, 2011

Ten properties on Lakeshore Road could be developed by the North Okanagan Regional District as public access to Okanagan Lake.
cory bialecki/morning star

Expanded lake access could be moving ahead in Greater Vernon later this year.

The North Okanagan Regional District is considering improvements to 10 Lakeshore Road properties so people can enjoy Okanagan Lake.

“It will make quite a difference,” said Al McNiven, parks and recreation general manager, of increased access.

“It would provide a greenway along the water.”

NORD has owned many of the sites for years, but action is just being taken now to upgrade them.

“We have enough properties adjacent to each other that it makes sense to begin enhancements,” said McNiven.

All of the properties have 50-foot frontages along the lake.

The proposed work includes the removing of dangerous trees, rough grading, installation of a wood rail fence, signage, log benches, planting willow trees and seeding for lawn.

“Park development will also be consistent with crime prevention through environmental design principles as well as adhere to guidelines set forth by the Ministry of Environment for the development of properties adjacent sensitive environmental areas,” said Keith Pinkoski, parks planner, in a memo.

However, the $220,000 project depends on it being included in the regional district’s 2011 budget.

“We’ll know in early March if it’s approved,” said McNiven.

If the funds are available, the next step will be to go to the City of Vernon and ask that the properties be rezoned from residential to parks and open space.

Once rezoning is done and the project has gone to tender, it could be late spring before work begins.

“It should be started before summer but when you get in there and start levelling things out and installing irrigation, it could be late summer before it’s done,” said McNiven.

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Man drowns in Kal Lake
by Castanet Staff - Story: 57220 - Oct 2, 2010

A man has drowned in Kal Lake after allegedly jumping into the water to go for a swim late Wednesday night.

RCMP spokesperson Gord Molendyk says a report came in around 10 p.m.

"Someone said they heard someone calling for help near the main dock of Kal Lake. Police and EHS arrived and learned that two males were on the dock, and one decided to go for a swim. He dove in swam out from the dock came back then turned and swam out again. He stopped swimming sank and never resurfaced. The second man called for help," says Molendyk.

He says the body of a 44-year-old man was recovered by Search and Rescue in about six to eight feet of water about an hour after arriving on scene.

"The investigation into the drowning has learned the man is not from the Okanagan area. He was in the valley picking fruit, indications are he may have come to the area from Newfoundland. Attempts are being made to contact next of kin."

Molendyk says that alcohol is likely a contributing factor in the death.

This is the tenth known drowning in Okanagan waters since March.

One man, Jason Paul, drowned in the Enderby River and two others, Gary Roos and Kelroy Munroe, both died in Kalamalka Lake.

Five others, Harry Price, Cole Barr and James Cormier all perished in Okanagan Lake. The bodies of Barr and Cormier have not yet been recovered.

The other two were an unidentified young boy near Fintry and an unidentified man, were both discovered drowned in Okanagan Lake.

Eric Thomas drowned in a kayaking accident in McCulloch Lake in May.

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Houseboat issue draws attention
Kelowna Capital News - By Mike Simmons - September 24, 2010

Houseboats drift off Kalamoir Regional Park on Sept. 22. The boats are the subject of an attempted legal injunction by the district of West Kelowna for mooring within the district’s water zone.
Mike Simmons/Capital News

Legal wrangling over houseboats anchoring off West Kelowna is being watched by boat residents in coastal B.C. as a potential precedent-setting situation.

West Kelowna communications supervisor Kirsten Jones said Gellatly Bay is now clear of boats, including one flatbed boat that had been holding out.

The district is pursuing legal action against three boats that proceeded to moor off Kalamoir Regional Park. The license of occupation covers only Gellatly Bay, but the West Kelowna water zone encompasses the Kalamoir shoreline within its boundary that extends out to the middle of the lake.

West Kelowna has applied for an injunction and is waiting to hear the result.

Bill Sassaman, director of the B.C. Nautical Residents Association, noted there a number of coastal communities that are taking the same tack towards residential boats.

Sassaman lives on a sailboat year round. He said he has the freedom to navigate, and noted that part of navigation includes anchoring.

He said the Gellatly Bay case seems to be partly due to people considering houseboats ugly. Sassaman added if a boater complained about a house on shore being ugly, there would likely be no action taken.

“It seems the (license of) occupation that the city has gotten is solely to eliminate these people.”

Sassaman travels up and down the coast, anchoring off communities to get supplies. The only place where he finds any legal restriction about anchoring is in Vancouver’s False Creek.

“That’s a very contentious issue and still before the courts.”

He said if houseboats in Gellatly Bay were pumping sewage into the water, that would be illegal and owners should be prosecuted. But his concerns rest on if the boats are being banished simply because people on shore find them objectionable.

Since the foundation of his association this spring, close to 500 members have jumped on board. Sassaman said almost everybody is having problems with where they can anchor.

He pointed to Bowen Island, where the municipality passed a bylaw prohibiting anchor within 300 metres of shore. A transgressing boater was served with a court order, but legal action did not follow. The Bowen Island rule on anchorage was put into place due to conflicts with recreational use and potential problems with garbage or waste from residential boats, reasons not unfamiliar to West Kelowna.

“I suspect the city’s going to have a very tough time,” said Sassaman.

The same legal grappling is being seen in Oak Bay in Victoria as well.

Sassaman said the association wants to support Okanagan Lake houseboaters because a decision could also help coastal nautical residents.

msimmons"at" kelownacapnews.com

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CORD considers Lake Watch
Vernon Morning Star - By Richard Rolke - September 25, 2010

Boaters could soon come under increased scrutiny on Okanagan and Wood lakes.

The Central Okanagan Regional District board is considering establishing a Lake Watch program so the public can report improper boating activities.

“We want to educate people about not doing unsafe things on the lakes,” said James Baker, Lake Country director.

Among the concerns are speeding, boats getting too close to kayakers and swimmers and operating vessels while intoxicated.

“People are doing some really stupid things. There doesn’t seem to be any knowledge of marine courtesy,” said Baker.

If the public reports an incident, authorities may pursue enforcement.

The CORD initiative would be similar to a program the Vernon RCMP Safe Communities Unit operates on the Shuswap River and Kalamalka Lake.

“There is a strict reporting criteria and protocol to follow and, if warranted, these types of occurrences will be reported to the police for follow-up investigation,” states a brochure from the Vernon Safe Communities Unit.

“The program is not designed to be punitive but to be proactive by assisting the education of all boaters to do so in a safe and responsible manner.”

CORD’s original goal was just Okanagan Lake, but Baker insists there needs to be a focus beyond that.

“Wood Lake is one of the areas where there is the most conflict,” he said.

“It’s a busy lake for wakeboarders but it’s still a fishing lake.”

CORD’s crime prevention co-ordinator will now work with member municipalities about the possible budget impact of the program.

If program proceeds, it eventually could be expanded to the portion of Kalamalka Lake within CORD.

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Public will have somewhere to report bad boating
Kelowna Capital News - By Mike Simmons - September 22, 2010

Reckless boaters could be reported by other lake users next season as the Regional District of Central Okanagan looks at the cost of adopting the Lakewatch program on Okanagan Lake.

RDCO crime prevention co-ordinator Duane MacTavish said the Lakewatch program is a result of concerns raised by many boaters who were witnessing unsafe boating practices or noisy boats. The program has been in effect for two years on Kalamalka Lake. MacTavish said education is the key component, and generally enforcement is the last resort. “It’s intended to create a safe environment.”

Last year, the city of Vernon received 21 complaints from the boating public through the program. Nine letters of education were sent out as a result, and no police action was taken.

MacTavish said the program involves signs being placed at lake access points. Kalamalka Lake has seven signs up. He noted Okanagan Lake would probably need 24 of the signs, considering all the various marinas, yacht clubs and boat launches.

The cost is estimated at $200 to $300 per sign installation. MacTavish noted he is already in preliminary talks with RCMP Supt. Bill McKinnon and West Kelowna Staff Sgt. Duncan Dixon.

“I think together we could make a bit of an impact here.”

MacTavish said the program would take approximately two weeks to implement, starting in May before the long weekend. The program would continue into the prime boating season.

Director Sharon Shepherd noted the program is proactive, and gives citizens at least some ability to send their complaints of incidences somewhere. She pointed out many area municipalities are going into budget deliberations, and that if each of the municipalities in the area were responsible for looking after their accesses, it would break down the costs of the program.

Director Graeme James asked if the program would also look at the small but highly-used Wood Lake. He pointed out the usage of Wood Lake per square mile is higher than on Okanagan Lake, and there were a number of incidents there during this summer.

MacTavish said the program’s primary concern is Okanagan Lake from Peachland to Lake Country, but it would be expanded in phases.

msimmons "at" kelownacapnews.com

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September 20, 2010 Highlights of the Regional District of Central Okanagan Regular Board Meeting

Proposed Lake Watch Program

The Regional Board supports future consideration of a Lake Watch public reporting program for Okanagan and Wood Lakes. The Regional Crime Prevention Coordinator will work with municipalities regarding possible budget implications of the program that is designed for the public to report instances of improper and unsafe boat operation for follow up and where warranted, possible enforcement. An application will also be made for potential grant funds to offset any costs of signage and education
materials for the proposed program. A similar program is operating along the Shuswap River and on Kalamalka Lake.

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Boat Safety Supported

The Regional Board has asked that a letter be sent to Transport Canada in an effort to ensure a continued presence on Okanagan Lake in order to raise awareness about safe boating practises. The Regional District Watercraft Committee recommends that Transport Canada be asked to support stationing a vessel in the Central Okanagan to promote safe boating through awareness, education and training as well as by joint watercraft regulation enforcement and patrols.

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.mp3 file icon - click here for help with audio Audio of the entire Regional Board Meeting - Audio_Brd_Sept 20_10.mp3 (101 MB)

Windows Media File Icon - click for help with audio Sept 20, 2010 audio of RDCO Board meeting only about the Lake Watch Proposal .wma (8.79 MB)

Windows Media File Icon - click for help with audio Sept 20, 2010 audio of RDCO Board meeting only about the Watercraft Committee .wma  (5.28 MB)

September 20, 2010 Regional District of Central Okanagan Regular Board Meeting Agenda

Item 9.1 RDCO Watercraft Committee Recommendations.pdf

Agenda No: 9.1
Mtg: Date: Sept. 20, 2010
Regional Board Report
TO: Regional Board
DATE: September 20, 2010
FROM: RDCO Watercraft Committee
(Directors Reid, Findlater, Fielding and Baker - RDCO Appointees)
RE: Watercraft Committee Recommendations

The Watercraft Committee met August 18, 2010 and the draft minutes are provided for information. The following actions were agreed to by the Committee:

1. That the Regional Directors of the Watercraft Committee formulate what steps would be necessary to have the Union of BC Municipalities promote the creation of a Task Force to look at various inland lake issues faced by local governments in B.C. (Le. governance, speed limits, and decibel level limits).

2. That the Regional Directors of the Watercraft Committee report to the Regional Board to convey to the member Municipalities how to take the recommendations in the Central Okanagan Major Lakes Recreational Marine Facilities Study Final Report to the next steps.

3. That staff be directed to contact the Vernon Community Policing to inquire about the Lake/River Watch Program for the possible establishment of a Central Okanagan Lake Watch Program. Note: Crime Prevention Coordinator Duane MacTavish, is in attendance to update the Regional Board on the program.

The Regional Board is requested to support the following recommendation in order to move forward with the proposed action:

Recommendation:
That a letter be sent to Transport Canada asking for continued support of a Transport Canada vessel stationed in the Okanagan Lake area to promote safe boating through education, awareness, training/orientation to the regulations and joint enforcement patrols.

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Minutes of the WATERCRAFT COMMITTEE meeting of the Regional District of Central Okanagan held at Regional District Offices, 1450 KLO Road, Kelowna, B.C. on Wednesday, August 18, 2010

1. Call to order
Harold Reay, CAO Regional District of Central Okanagan, welcomed everyone in attendance and called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m.

2. Appoint Committee Chair for 2010
Director Angela Reid was nominated for Chair of the Watercraft Committee for 2010.

Director Angela Reid accepted the nomination. There were no further nominations.

#WC01/10 FIELDING/FINDLATER
THAT Director Angela Reid be declared Chair of the Watercraft Committee for 2010.

CARRIED
3. Review List of Technical Advisors to the Committee (List provided)
It was noted that a representative from the Westbank First Nation should be included also Sgt. Josh Lockwood, North Okanagan Conservation Officer had conveyed that he would like to be included in the list of stakeholders,

ACTION:
Chris Marrie will forward to the committee copies of, The National Recreational Boating Council and Regional Boating Advisory CounciI minutes for their information, By consensus the Technical list was agreed to.

4. Broad discussion on the issue of High Speed/Noisy Boats and Lack of Enforcement on Central Okanagan Lakes (RCMP in attendance to speak to the issue).

High Speed/Noisy Boats
RCMP Sgt. Chernoff and Cst. Williams provided the committee with an update on their enforcement efforts to date and the challenges of enforcement.
• Kelowna detachment have 2 fulltime officers, 2 boats and provide enforcement starting May or June depending on the weather.
• Funding is provided from the Regional District for weekend enforcement shifts that occur overtime.
• Staff are on the water daily and there are weekend overtime shifts.
• Enforcement has taken place on the water, boat launches, marinas and Yacht Clubs, looking for non-compliance of regulations and licenses,
• Majority of time spent along beaches where most boating activities are.
• The majority of Kelowna residents are complying with the Small Vessel Regulations.
• There are no specific speed limits on the lake except around shore (30m) speed limit is 1Okm/hr and under the bridge.
• Ticketing businesses that don't have the required equipment as per the Small Vessel Regulations when renting boats.
• Some tickets issued have been given out for unsafe operation.

Challenges
• The boat used for enforcement is also utilized in search and rescue cases (This has been a priority this year).
• Personnel are used for other enforcement duties.
• Difficult to have both boats in the water at the same time to provide enforcement due to resources and lack of trained operators.
• Difficult to enforce speeding boats (cigar boats) as current boat is not fast enough to catch the boat, although will pursue with helicopter partially if drug activity is suspected.
• Non-residents not complying because they don't know the regulations or don't care.
• Out of 47 boats checks, 17 were local and 30 were from out of town.

Events i.e, Center of Gravity brings a lot of boats from out of town that do not comply to the regulations.

In prior meetings of the Watercraft Committee it was noted that high speed/noisy boats had been discussed. UBCM resolutions had been sent and procedures on reporting complaints of excessive noise on the lake had been conveyed to the
Committee.

Transport Canada noted that an amendment to the Canada Shipping Act, Small Vessel Regulations to reflect the concerns expressed had been done,

The current legislation in place within the Canada Shipping Act, Small Vessel Regulations 37. (1) states:
"Subject to subsection (2), NO person shall operate a power-driven vessel within five miles of shore unless a noise. abatement mechanism is in use at all times during that operation..."
This does not apply to any small vessel constructed before January 1, 1960; or any small vessel that is engaged in an official competition, formal training or final preparation for an official competition.

Discussion:
• Why can't there be a blanket speed limit? It takes time up to 3 to 5 years to implement that type of change in the regulations and may be faced with resistance,
• What are the fines? Fines are usually between $250 to $500 and a surcharge. Fines may be increased up to $10,000 if they are taken to court.
It was noted that there were different fines for different offences such as no muffler, cut-out switch, licenses etc,
• Why can't the police have a faster boat? Should RDCO be lobbying? Need more resources for a better boat. RCMP prefers the boats that they have for practical entry (soft sides means less damage) onto other boats, Other larger areas have not being provided with a faster boat and it would presumptuous to think that the Okanagan would receive one.

The Committee discussed noise and the thought of using the decibel readings for enforcement. It was noted that it would have to come from an organized group as there is nothing on the books, which limit or stipulate the sound limit.

Discussion ensued on how to achieve effective enforcement. The key topics identified to make enforcement more effective and next steps for the committee:

• Educate the public on how they can help with the enforcement,
• Stakeholder input on decibel level limits,
• Coast Guard presence,
• Integration with regional districts and municipalities,
• Lake Watch Program,
• Working with other stakeholder groups,
• Control speed (set speed limits),
• Governance,
• More resources.

The following actions require Regional Board support:

ACTION:
That the Regional Directors of the Watercraft Committee formulate what steps would be necessary to have the Union of BC Municipalities promote the creation of a Task Force to look at various inland lake issues faced by local governments in B.C. (i.e. governance, speed limits, and decibel level limits).

ACTION:
That Staff send a letter to Transport Canada asking for continued support of a Transport Canada vessel stationed in the Okanagan Lake area to promote safe boating through education, awareness, training/orientation to the regulations and joint enforcement patrols.

ACTION:
Staff be directed to contact the Vernon Community Policing to inquire about the Lake/River Watch program for the possible establishment of a Central Okanagan Lake Watch Program and that a representative of the Lake/River Watch Program be invited to attend a Watercraft Committee meeting to provide information on their program.
The Committee discussed the possibility of a public education appeal on the regulations and a lake watch program (funds would need to be dedicated).

Transport Canada noted that they have the materials that provide information on safe boating practices and compliance with regulations. Information has been provided to established Lake Watch Programs and others.

Transport Canada asked the Committee to consider the establishment of a Joint Enforcement and Compliance Team for the Okanagan. It was noted that there is a team in the Shuswap area which is currently working well. The Chair noted the
information and suggested that this be put on the next agenda for discussion.

ACTION:
That the establishment of a Joint Enforcement and Compliance Team for the Okanagan be put on the next Watercraft Committee agenda.

5. Houseboat Control
The City of Kelowna noted that they have had a problem with houseboats for numerous years. They have introduced new zoning and parking restrictions and have seen some success. The District of West Kelowna noted similar problems and successes.

The current problems are that houseboats are still transient, local governments are against them mooring on the edge of the lakes and there is no marina for them to moor. It was suggested that a solution is needed and may be a united voice is needed to speak to who has jurisdiction of the water and work together. It was suggested that part of the solution is not just enforcement, but providing a facility (marina), as it is an important component of what makes this the Okanagan.

It was noted that Recreational Use Zoning does not allow a marina within the zone, however it allows the municipality to weigh into the decision making on marina expansion.

6. Central Okanagan Major Lakes Recreational Marine Facilities Study Final Report Staff update on Regional boards resolution of October 27,2008.

The study was commissioned by the Regional Board who gave direction to staff to do a Marine Facilities Study. Through the process, one step was to identify different facilities and infrastructure on the lakes, what was out there, what needed to be
upgraded, governance model on how they would be delivered and the economic impact to the region as a whole. The next step was that a coordinating committee to be set up.

Director Findlater noted that it was not on the radar for West Kelowna investment in a marine facility due to infrastructure priorities, but would welcome private industry.

Westbank Yacht Club would like to expand, however there has not been interest or funding. The main issue is parking.

The City of Kelowna have moved forward with the expansion of the Kelowna Yacht Club over the next few years.

The District of Peachland has the governance options on their radar. Currently looking to work together and joining the coordinating committee once it is established. The District has moved forward with new bylaws and a wharf expansion.

The District of Lake Country - Governance was an issue. Lake Country is in the process of establishing a shoreline zoning and License of Occupation. Currently have a lot of other infrastructure pressures. It was suggested that Lake Country would like to
see coordinated governance.

It was suggested that the Okanagan Basin Water Board (Stewardship Council) may be the catalyst to coordinate the parties to discuss the recommendations put forth in the Central Okanagan Major Lakes Recreational Marine Facilities Study.

ACTION:
That the Regional Directors of the Watercraft Committee report to the Regional Board to convey to the member Municipalities how to take the recommendations in the Central Okanagan Major Lakes Recreational Marine Facilities Study Final Report to the
next steps.

----------

• Other:

Green House Gases (GHG) and how we are reducing our Footprint in regards to watercraft.

ACTION:
That the environmental impacts and Gree(1 House Gas concerns in regards to watercraft be brought back to the committee for further discussion.

----------------------------------------

.mp3 file icon - click here for help with audio Audio of the entire Regional Board Meeting - Audio_Brd_Sept 20_10.mp3 (101 MB)

Windows Media File Icon - click for help with audio Sept 20, 2010 audio of RDCO Board meeting only about the Lake Watch Proposal .wma (8.79 MB)

Windows Media File Icon - click for help with audio Sept 20, 2010 audio of RDCO Board meeting only about the Watercraft Committee .wma  (5.28 MB)

September 20, 2010 Regional District of Central Okanagan Regular Board Meeting Minutes

2. DELEGATION

2.1 Duane McTavish - RDCO Crime Prevention Coordinator re: Update Lake Watch Program

In follow-up to the recent Regional District's Watercraft Committee meeting, an update on a Lake Watch Program currently in place in the North Okanagan was provided by the region's Crime Prevention Coordinator. The review included:

• There is a strict reporting criteria and protocol to follow to reporting incidences on a lake,
• The objective of the program is to encourage those that follow the rules to be part of the solution when observing those that do not follow the rules.
• Education is the key to the program and the enforcement of existing legislation would be used only as a last resort. The intention is to create the safest environment for all who use the waterways.
• Shuswap River Watch protocol, reporting form, signage was highlighted,

Discussion on a possible Central Okanagan program included:
• The main cost of a program in the Central Okanagan would be signage, staff time organizing the program, communication.
• It would take a couple of weeks to get the program up and running; for example--media blitz in May, followed by signage and ready to go for May long weekend until September.
• The question was raised whether Woods Lake would be part of the initial program. Staff noted that the consideration was for Okanagan Lake but that consideration would be given to expand to Woods Lake.
• The program will focus on high visible areas such as: boat launches, marinas, and yacht clubs.
• What funding would be available for the program? It was noted that there is a federal 'Boating Safety Class Contribution Program' that has been brought to the attention of the Watercraft Committee which funds up to 75% of eligible expenditures. The Administrator has the application and staff will complete the application and submit by the November 151 deadline.
• It was noted that the Crime Prevention Program does not include the City of Kelowna. As budget deliberations are beginning for 2011 it would be prudent for the municipality to consider the program costs.
• Staff will inform Westbank First Nation of the program for their consideration as well.
• The final design and cost of the program will be brought back to the Regional Board for approval.

SHEPHERD/EDGSON
THAT the Lake Watch Program presentation by Duane McTavish, RDCO Crime Prevention Coordinator, be received;

AND THAT the Regional Board supports consideration of a Lake Watch Program for the Central Okanagan and directs staff to proceed with submission of the Boating Safety Class Contribution Program application;

AND FURTHER THAT the City of Kelowna be contacted concerning their participation and the budget implications of a Lake Watch Program.

CARRIED

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

9. NEW BUSINESS

9.1 RDCO Watercraft Committee (Recommendations to the Regional Board) (All Directors - Unweighted Vote)

Staff report dated September 20, 2010 included the minutes of the August 18, 2010 Regional Watercraft Committee meeting and outlined the actions to be undertaken including: steps to promote the creation of a UBCM Task Force to look at various inland lake issues; convey to member municipalities how they plan to take the recommendations in the Major Lake Recreational Marine Facilities Study to the next steps; and inquiring about establishing a possible Lake Watch Program in the Central Okanagan (see earlier delegation on this issue). It was noted that the Committee is requesting the Regional Board
support a letter being forwarded to Transport Canada for continued support for a vessel located in the Central Okanagan promoting safe boating.

REID/HODGE
THAT the September 20th report on the Watercraft Committee recommendations and the August 18, 2010 Watercraft Committee minutes be received;

AND FURTHER THAT a letter be sent to Transport Canada asking for support for a Transport Canada vessel stationed in the Okanagan Lake area to promote safe boating through education, awareness, training/orientation to the regulations and joint enforcement patrols.

CARRIED

SHEPHERD/FIELDING
THAT a letter be sent to UBCM requesting that a Task Force be formed this year to review various inland lake issues faced by local governments in BC.

CARRIED

Discussion ensued regarding the Central Okanagan Major Lakes Recreational Marine Facilities Study final report. Staff noted that following review of the report by the Regional Board, a letter was forwarded to the member municipalities requesting they review the report, consider the recommendations and report back to the Regional District. To date, there has been no response to the letter. The question was raised whether municipalities have considered the report-some have, but there was consensus that the question should be raised again with each of the municipalities. It was noted that the Watercraft Committee discussed the lack of moorage facilities and questioned how to move forward in a collaborative way.

REID/FIELDING
THAT a letter be forwarded to the member municipalities asking for clarification on if and how they are going to consider the Central Okanagan Major Lakes Recreational Marine Facilities Study in their future plans and whether they are interested in
considering a collaborative approach to the marine study.

CARRIED

----------------------------------------

.mp3 file icon - click here for help with audio Audio of the entire Regional Board Meeting - Audio_Brd_Sept 20_10.mp3 (101 MB)

Windows Media File Icon - click for help with audio Sept 20, 2010 audio of RDCO Board meeting only about the Lake Watch Proposal .wma (8.79 MB)

Windows Media File Icon - click for help with audio Sept 20, 2010 audio of RDCO Board meeting only about the Watercraft Committee .wma  (5.28 MB)

Blue Divider Line

Free Society!

This letter to the editor of the Vernon Morning Star September 12, 2010 makes a lot of sense,
and its too bad we all didn't have the same sense!

Free Society by Ian D. Tribes - about how everything is over regulated

Blue Divider Line

Dangerous boating cited by cops
Kelowna Capital News - August 17, 2010

Irresponsible boating had near-dire consequences this weekend.

Around 6:30 Sunday, Lake Country police responded to a complaint that a black and white Malibu boat had hit a swimmer and continued off at a high rate of speed on Okanagan Lake,” said Sgt. Rick McIsaac in a press release.

“The victim who had been struck, declined medical assistance and stated that the boat hit him in the shoulder after doing a 180 degree turn at a full throttle near the shore,” said McIsaac, of the accident near the beach on Okanagan Center Road in Lake Country.

“The operator of the boat was subsequently identified by police and was arrested near the scene and taken to Kelowna detachment for processing.” Charges of dangerous operation of a vessel are being recommended against a 35-year-old Pitt Meadows man.

Blue Divider Line

Cops confront rule breakers on Okanagan Lake
Kelowna Capital News - By Kathy Michaels - September 02, 2010

With a squeal of a siren, and a spray of water, one of Kelowna’s police crafts pulled over a boat load of Saudi tourists Thursday afternoon on a ride under the William Bennett Bridge.

“Stop your engine,” Const. Rohle Williams, yelled out to the three young guys who, like the family pulled over before them, looked understandably perturbed to see a police boat loaded with members of the local media on their tail.

“Do you see that sign,” said Christopher Marrie, a boating safety officer from Transport Canada, as he pointed to a sign of a circled number eight.

It, of course, denoted the eight-kilometre an hour speed limit under the bridge—a marker few boaters heed on lake visits.

They admitted to not noticing it, and when asked to ante up the requisite paperwork for their day’s boat rental, they also fell short, leaving them to return to shore to get things up to snuff.

All in all, it may sound like a slow motion, drama-dry snippet from TV shows the likes of COPS, but it’s that kind of enforcement that police service hope will change the tide of behaviour on local waterways.

As Marrie puts it, there’s a surprising level of disregard for lake safety in the Okanagan, as reading through any newspaper this summer would make clear.

“When you look at all the accidents we have on waterways across Canada, we’ve had them all here in the Okanagan,” said Marrie, who for the first time had a Transport Canada craft implanted in the Okanagan this year.

“It’s a (draw) for boaters, but there’s too much of a rush to hit the water, and people aren’t looking at what is safe—it’s party time.”

A quick tally shows there have been seven fatalities in local lakes this year.

Cole Barr, 25, recently died during an outing this summer and the search for him was only recently called off.

Another elderly man was found in the lake near Gyro beach last month and a fisherman near Rattlesnake Island also died. Another accident on McCulloch Lake took a life, and there were two deaths on Kalamalka Lake.

“About half the fatalities in B.C. are in the Okanagan/Shushwap,” said Marrie. “We have regulations, and people need to follow them.”

Among the infractions that are most readily available for enforcement officers to ticket, are locals who are without the proper safety equipment, such as paddles signals, rope and bailing devices. Worse yet, there are people who don’t wear their lifejackets.

And, Marrie stressed, it shouldn’t just be kids who are wearing them.

While there’s nothing to force adults to wear lifejackets on boats larger than seadoo or jet-ski size, it’s something they strongly recommend.

“We see boats where the children are wearing life jackets and the parents aren’t,” said Const. Steve Holmes. “We tell them, if something happens to you, your children are going to live to see you die.”

It’s an admittedly morbid message, but one Transport Canada officials and local police have seen the need for far too often, and heading into the Labour Day weekend hustle and bustle, they want locals to keep that scenario, and other risks, top of mind.

If not, be prepared to join the ranks of the 260 boats they sent back to shore for not being prepared.

Worse yet, be among the 60 who received tickets totaling $16,000.

Blue Divider Line

Update: boat collides with kayaker
by Castanet Staff - Story: 56600 - Aug 29, 2010

Update 11:45 a.m. - RCMP say the kayaker seriously injured in Saturday's crash will require surgery for the gashes he received to his rib cage and legs.

He was hit by a speedboat near Peachland travelling approximately 20 m.p.h.

The driver of the motorboat rescued the injured kayaker, placed him in his boat and transported the kayaker to shore where he was taken to hospital by ambulance.

A man is in hospital with serious but non life threatening injuries after a crash on Lake Okanagan Saturday afternoon.

He had been kayaking between Peachland and Rattlesnake Island when he was hit by a speedboat.

The impact reportedly tore a hole into the side of his wooden craft.

The operator of the boat reportedly claimed to not have seen the kayaker due to high waves.

"It was choppy out there," says West Kelowna RCMP constable Ryan Rode.

RCMP are still investigating the incident and Rode says charges are being considered.

Alcohol was not a factor in the crash.

Blue Divider Line

Boat collides with kayaker
by Castanet Staff - Story: 56600 - Aug 29, 2010

A man is believed to be in serious condition after a crash on Lake Okanagan Saturday afternoon.

He had been kayaking near Peachland when he was hit by a speedboat.

The impact reportedly tore a hole into the side of his wooden craft.

RCMP are investigating the incident, but say alcohol was not a factor.

Blue Divider Line

Boaters challenging DWK water rights
Castanet.net - by Wayne Moore - Story: 56591 - Aug 28, 2010

Keith Newcomb doesn't believe the District of West Kelowna's claim that its newly obtained Water 1 Zone Bylaw gives it jurisdiction over the entire district waterfront to the middle of Okanagan Lake.

Now, he's going to have to go to court to prove it.

Newcomb is a houseboat owner recently evicted, along with several other houseboat operators, from Gellatly Bay.

He eventually dropped anchor in front of Kalamoir Regional Park near Casa Loma.

"West Kelowna got their license of occupation for Gellatly Bay which gave them permission to remove boats from there. They did their due process and any boats that were in there left," says Newcomb.

"The rules are we had to leave so we did. Now West Kelowna is trying to say they have jurisdiction over all their shoreline."

Newcomb says the municipality, through the bylaw, claims their zone covers the entire West Kelowna waterfront to the middle of Okanagan Lake.

"We don't think so."

Lawyers for the District of West Kelowna have gone to the B.C. Supreme Court in order to uphold its assertion that the municipality has the legal right under its Water Zone Bylaw (871.202) to remove the boats from the Kalamoir area.

"We've hired lawyers to challenge them on that."

He says eight boat owners have joined Newcomb in his battle against the municipality.

Newcomb claims it will be bad news for boat owners anywhere in the province if West Kelowna is able to win this court challenge.

"Once West Kelowna is able to achieve its goal of having control of the water to the middle of the lake then other municipalities and other cities will do the same thing. Pretty soon, there won't be any anchoring anywhere in B.C. lakes."

While most people view this as a houseboat issue, Newcomb says that is just not the case.

"Every boater who likes to anchor their boat for the day or overnight, this isn't going to be able to happen because every municipality will say they have water rights to the middle of the lake and there's no anchoring."

Newcomb says it is going to cost between $20,000 and $40,000 to fight the municipality in court.

He says he can't afford to fight it alone.

"As you may expect this will be a costly endeavor. The question of the legality of the DWK bylaw is already slated for an early hearing in the B.C. Supreme Court. We implore all waterfront owners and all boaters in B.C. for financial assistance to stop this willful attack at our federal and provincial rights to navigate our lake."

Anyone interested in helping with the legal challenge can contact Newcomb at againstdwkwaterzone "at" gmail.com

Blue Divider Line

Contentious houseboats now moored near Kalamoir Park
Kelowna Capital News - By Dave Preston - August 20, 2010

While three Gellatly Bay houseboats have moved to a bay off Kalamoir Regional Park, two other houseboats (including the houseboat pictured here) are moored one kilometre north of the park, just off Campbell Road.
Dave Preston/contributor

The Gellatly Bay houseboats that raised the ire of some West Kelowna residents because they were an eyesore and represented squatting, are gone from the bay, but not from West Kelowna.

Three of the last remaining houseboats chugged out of the bay last weekend, as per orders from the District of West Kelowna, but they only managed to move a few kilometres away. Now they’re parked in the bay near Kalamoir Regional Park.

Same problem, different location.

Kirsten Jones, district communications coordinator, said officials were hoping the remaining Gellatly houseboats would find appropriate moorage, which doesn’t include in front of the Casa Loma area.

The district contends that the houseboats are in non-compliance with the municipality’s water zone and that their owners know they are in non-compliance.

Casa Loma residents and the Casa Loma Neighbourhood Association have let the district know they aren’t happy that the Gellatly Bay problem simply shifted to their neck of West Kelowna.

Two other houseboats departed Gellatly Bay Tuesday. Left was one flatbed boat whose owner was arranging to have it hauled away on a truck trailer.

The district has extended its deadline for removal of houseboats from the waters bordering West Kelowna several times and finally had enough this past week.

Barry Williamson, lawyer for the district, was in B.C. Supreme Court Wednesday asking for an injunction hearing. Williamson was seeking a court order to remove or relocate the three houseboats that moved from Gellatly Bay to the bay off Kalamoir Regional Park.

Williamson was unsuccessful in getting a short date for a hearing.

Blue Divider Line

Repo man, not thief, nabbed with boat, says company
Kelowna Capital News - August 17, 2010

A local boat dealer says the man detained on the Bennett Bridge last week for the alleged possession of a stolen boat committed no crime.

“It was a simple boat repossession,” said Gail Giese, owner of Tru Northwest Marine. “I sent my employee to pick up a boat from an owner that was in default of payment after he refused to resolve the issue.”

She adds that a note advising of the boat’s reclamation location was also left for the owner.

How that turned into a major police situation which included helicopters, traffic blockage, and spike strips “shocks and concerns” the dealership owner.

“I have the utmost respect for the RCMP and the role they perform in protecting the community, but this seems like a case of overreaction to inaccurate information,” said Giese.

A Tru Northwest Marine employee was subdued and arrested as the situation played out on the bridge.

“This was an unfortunate situation…one that was totally preventable. I am sure that everything will come out in the investigation,” said Giese.

Local RCMP say the incident is still under investigation.

Blue Divider Line

Police nab alleged boat thief on Bennett Bridge in Kelowna
Kelowna Capital News - August 10, 2010

Police start their investigation after nabbing a boat thief as he crossed W.R. Bennett Bridge in Kelowna Tuesday, boat in tow.
Sean Connor/Capital News

Kelowna police used a helicopter Tuesday at midday to track an alleged boat thief in a cat and mouse chase around West Kelowna before he tried to make an escape across W.R. Bennett Bridge.

RCMP blocked traffic on the east side of the bridge, forcing the suspected thief to come to a halt with his booty in tow.

They had been notified of the alleged theft by the boat owner who saw what was happening and followed his 16-foot outboard motor boat as it was towed behind a black pickup truck.

When the driver headed east across W.R. Bennett Bridge, police blocked traffic on the Kelowna side and let the gridlock halt the attempted get away.

Blue Divider Line

August 12, 2010 Highlights of the Regional Board Meeting

There is nothing mentioned in the Highlights of the Regional Board meeting about the houseboats and boat launches on Okanagan Lake BC

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.mp3 file icon - click here for help with audio August 12, 2010 audio of entire RDCO Board meeting .mp3 (48.5 MB)

Windows Media File Icon - click for help with audio August 12, 2010 RDCO Board meeting audio clip only about the houseboats and boat launches on Okanagan Lake BC .wma (446 KB)

August 12, 2010 Regional District of Central Okanagan Regional Board Meeting Agenda

There is nothing mentioned in the agenda about the houseboats and boat launches on Okanagan Lake discussion that the Board had at RDCO Board meeting.

---------------------------------------------

.mp3 file icon - click here for help with audio August 12, 2010 audio of entire RDCO Board meeting .mp3 (48.5 MB)

Windows Media File Icon - click for help with audio August 12, 2010 RDCO Board meeting audio clip only about the houseboats and boat launches on Okanagan Lake BC .wma (446 KB)

August 12, 2010 Regional District of Central Okanagan Regional Board Minutes of the Meeting

Minutes are not approved by the Regional Board to post to RDCO's website until after the following Regional Board Meeting and could be a month or two after August 12, 2010.

---------------------------------------------

.mp3 file icon - click here for help with audio August 12, 2010 audio of entire RDCO Board meeting .mp3 (48.5 MB)

Windows Media File Icon - click for help with audio August 12, 2010 RDCO Board meeting audio clip only about the houseboats and boat launches on Okanagan Lake BC .wma (446 KB)

Blue Divider Line

.pdf icon July 26, 2010 Highlights of the Regional District of Central Okanagan Regular Board Meeting

There was nothing mentioned about the boating committee in the highlights of the Regional District of Central Okanagan Board Report, but something was mentioned in the audio posted below.

.mp3 file icon - click here for help with audio July 26, 2010 audio clip of the Regional Board discussion in regards to a boating committee in light of the recent boating accidents on Okanagan Lake. .mp3 (636 KB)

Windows Media File Icon - click for help with audio July 26, 2010 audio clip of the Regional Board discussion in regards to a boating committee in light of the recent boating accidents on Okanagan Lake. .wma (328 KB)

.mp3 file icon - click here for help with audio (70.7 MB .mp3) audio of the entire Regional District of Central Okanagan Board Meeting - Audio_Brd_July 26, 2010.mp3

click here for help
with the audio files
Click here to get help on how to listen to the audio files.

 

.pdf icon July 26, 2010 Regional District of Central Okanagan Regular Board Meeting Agenda

Nothing was mentioned in the Regional Board agenda in regards to the boating committee.

---------------------------------------------------

.mp3 file icon - click here for help with audio July 26, 2010 audio clip of the Regional Board discussion in regards to a boating committee in light of the recent boating accidents on Okanagan Lake. .mp3 (636 KB)

Windows Media File Icon - click for help with audio July 26, 2010 audio clip of the Regional Board discussion in regards to a boating committee in light of the recent boating accidents on Okanagan Lake. .wma (328 KB)

.mp3 file icon - click here for help with audio (70.7 MB .mp3) audio of the entire Regional District of Central Okanagan Board Meeting - Audio_Brd_July 26, 2010.mp3

click here for help
with the audio files
Click here to get help on how to listen to the audio files.

.pdf icon July 26, 2010 Regional District of Central Okanagan Regular Board Meeting Minutes

Minutes of the Board Meetings are not usually available until after Regional Board approval at the following meeting.  There was going to be a regular Board meeting on August 23, 2010 but RDCO cancelled it.  The next Board meeting is Sept. 9, 2010

-----------------------------------------------------

.mp3 file icon - click here for help with audio July 26, 2010 audio clip of the Regional Board discussion in regards to a boating committee in light of the recent boating accidents on Okanagan Lake. .mp3 (636 KB)

Windows Media File Icon - click for help with audio July 26, 2010 audio clip of the Regional Board discussion in regards to a boating committee in light of the recent boating accidents on Okanagan Lake. .wma (328 KB)

.mp3 file icon - click here for help with audio (70.7 MB .mp3) audio of the entire Regional District of Central Okanagan Board Meeting - Audio_Brd_July 26, 2010.mp3

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Blue Divider Line

July 8, 2010 Regional District of Central Okanagan Special Board Meeting Minutes

Director Items was added to the agenda.

5. DIRECTOR ITEMS (requiring action)

b) RDCO Watercraft Committee
Concern was expressed regarding the recent fatality on Shuswap Lake and the possibility of a universal position with area local governments regarding high speed, noisy boats and the lack of enforcement on area lakes. It was noted the Regional Board may wish to take an issue encouraging senior levels of government to 'get a handle on the issues' including enforcement or lack thereof'. It was noted the issue regarding houseboats and moorage are different issues. There is a Local Marine Advisory Council but they have no capability to implement action. It is believed that UBCM has previously dealt with a resolution on the issue, as well as possibly SILGA. As the Regional District Watercraft Committee has not met in some time it was suggested that the Committee meet to review the issue.

SHEPHERD/EDGSON
THAT concerns raised regarding high speed, noisy boats on Okanagan lakes be referred to the RDCO Watercraft committee to discuss with local RCMP for possible solutions and that the committee report back to the Regional Board.

CARRIED

Staff will contact the committee and arrange a meeting in the near future. As the Committee has not met in some time, a chair will need to be appointed at the meeting.

-------------------------------------

Audio - Revised Note Regarding This Meeting.pdf

.mp3 file icon - click here for help with audio  Entire Board Meeting Audio - Audio_Brd_July 8, 2010.mp3 -  (229 MB)

Windows Media File Icon - click for help with audio  July 8, 2010 audio clip of Board meeting regarding speeding boats on Okanagan Lake (4.88 MB)

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Blue Divider Line

Illegal houseboats just won’t go away
Kelowna Capital News - By Dave Preston - August 06, 2010

A crew working for the District of West Kelowna sets a buoy Thursday in Gellatly Bay near the anchorage of an illegally-moored houseboat.
Dave Preston/contributor

The houseboats of Gellatly Bay, which many thought would be long gone by now, seem more like floating Energizer bunnies. They keep going and going and going.

The end for the rag tag flotilla of houseboats seemed a fait accomplis at the end of June when the District of West Kelowna announced it had secured a license of occupation for the bay and would be giving houseboat owners 30 days to clear out, that, after two years of flared tempers over the floating lodgers’ use of the bay as a home.

July 30 was the deadline to vacate, and while some thought tow boats would be chomping at the bit to remove the houseboats at the stroke of midnight, the district had a slightly different game plan.

Just over a week ago, West Kelowna announced it would hand-deliver notices to the occupants of the houseboats stating they had to move. Along with the notice came a warning: You have until Tuesday (Aug. 3) to move your boat, or the district will seek a court ruling authorizing the forcible removal of the boats.

Tuesday came, a half-dozen houseboats remained, and the district changed tactics again.

“It’s not in our best interest to go into court,” Kirsten Jones, communications coordinator for the district, said Thursday.

The possibility of legal action looms over the remaining houseboats in Gellatly Bay, but Jones said the district would rather give a little more time to their owners to get them out than to spend taxpayer money on a court case.

“Our end result has not changed,” said Jones, adding the district will see, one way or the other, all of the boats gone from the bay.

Jones said, as of Thursday, the district was down to dealing with a handful of houseboat owners, one of whom owns several of the remaining Gellatly Bay houseboats.

“Fundamentally, we are trying to get compliance without taking it to court and involving taxpayers’ money,” said Jones.

“We received confirmation from two boat owners that they will be leaving on August 14,” Jones said. “We are willing to wait for that time.”

Jones said the district has received the name of the contractor that is supposed to move the boats by the 14th and the district will be confirming with the contractor that arrangements have been made.

The district is talking to another boat owner and encouraging him to comply with the no-moorage rule.

“Two other boats, we can’t determine who the owners are,” said Jones.

If the district can’t determine who the owners of those houseboats are, a court case may be the only option, according to Jones.

“A week is not considered to be that much of a hardship,” said Jones, who admits that the district’s delay is not going over well in West Kelowna.

“It’s one of those issues that has been brewing for a while,” Jones said.

The district has received “a lot of calls” from angry residents who just want the houseboats gone, according to Jones.

“It’s been a very frustrating time for people who love that waterfront,” she said.

edit "at" kelownacapnews.com

Blue Divider Line

27 empties found in ski boat involved in fatal houseboat crash
By ROBERT KOOPMANS, Kamloops Daily News August 5, 2010

One person was killed when a speedboat crashed into a houseboat on Shuswap Lake. The speedboat is shown inside the houseboat after Sunday's collision. Photograph by: Vancouver Sun, RCMP handout

KAMLOOPS - Police found 27 empty beer and cooler cans in a ski boat that crashed into a houseboat on Shuswap Lake near Anglemont, killing the houseboat's driver, court documents reveal.

Chase RCMP filed the documents in order to get a warrant to seize blood samples taken from Leon Reinbrecht, the ski boat's driver.

Reinbrecht's blood was collected at Royal Inland Hospital after the July 3 crash. Police state in the court documents they expect the blood samples will reveal the man was impaired at the time of the accident.

Kenneth Brown was killed in the crash.

The RCMP's information to obtain a search warrant spells out what led investigators to suspect Reinbrecht may have been impaired at the time.

According to the documents, officers found 19 empty beer cans inside the ski boat as well as several empty cooler containers.

The officers also found a small baggie of marijuana near the ski boat, which was covered in bloody fingerprints. The inside of the ski boat was covered in blood.

At RIH, officers spoke with Reinbrecht, the court documents indicate. One of the officers noted a strong odour of liquor on the man's breath and asked if he had been drinking earlier in the evening.

Reinbrecht said in reply that he drank one beer after the crash — while he was trapped inside the ski boat inside the houseboat, he claimed — because he was thirsty, police reported as they assembled their information to obtain a warrant.

Officers also noted other things, including the fact Reinbrecht's boat was not operating running lights at the time of the collision. The switch for the ski boat's running lights was in the off position. The houseboat, in comparison, was operating all of its running lights as well as interior cabin lights.

Police also spoke with witnesses who reported seeing Reinbrecht's boat doing "high-speed doughnuts" in the moments before the crash.

One woman said Reinbrecht's boat narrowly missed crashing into her boat just moments before the collision with the houseboat, the court documents reveal.

Reinbrecht also gave a statement to police. He told officers he was on the lake to watch the fireworks and was driving his boat about 30 km/h. He said he did not see the houseboat because its lights were not on. He did not lose consciousness.

Officers searched police databases and noted Reinbrecht has three past convictions for impaired driving, according to the documents.

Police use informations to obtain search warrants to articulate to a judge the reasons they have to believe someone has committed an offence.

None of the information in the documents has been proved, nor is it considered evidence.

It's not known if the blood samples seized revealed a blood-alcohol content in excess of the legal limit to operate a motor vehicle, and Reinbrecht has not been charged with a criminal offence.

Blue Divider Line

Global 6pm news August 4, 2010

over $16,000 in fines and over $16,000 worth of warnings on Shuswap Lake August Long Weekend 2010 it said.

Can't find the video for this but seen it on the news that night.

Blue Divider Line

Underwater Installation
Vernon Morning Star - August 03, 2010

Crews place electrical cables under 3.6 kilometres of Okanagan Lake from Lake Country to North Westside Road. The four new cables will replace the existing three aging cables that have been serving customers on Westside Road for more than 25 years.
Gene Bryant/B.C. Hydro photo

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DWK delays court action on boaters
Castanet.net - by Wayne Moore - Story: 56129 - Aug 4, 2010

The District of West Kelowna is hopeful the handful of houseboats remaining in Gellatly Bay will soon be gone.

The houseboats are in contravention of the municipality's new License of Occupation which covers the DWK portion of Gellatly Bay.

Houseboats and other watercraft illegally moored in the bay had until midnight last Thursday to remove their vessels.

While most have complied, Communications Supervisor, Kirsten Jones says a few houseboats belonging to two owners remain in the bay.

Jones says the municipality is working with those owners.

"We are in what I would say negotiations. We are sensing compliance is coming and we are working with them in determining exactly what their issues are and what they need," says Jones.

"There is some concern a contractor is not going to be available for a week or so to pull out the anchors. As long as we are sure that they intend to leave, we may look at asking for a set date on when they will leave."

The municipality indicated last Friday it was prepared to go to court to seek an injunction to obtain the legal right to have the boats towed.

Jones says that route was put on hold after it appeared the owners did intend to comply with the eviction order.

"Obviously the district wants to avoid the cost of any court action. If we feel compliance is imminent we will work with them, at their expense."

She says the municipality is concerned the boats are still in Gellatly Bay well past the 'drop dead date,' but says they are doing their best to verify the information they are receiving from the two boat owners.

"We are making sure we are being given accurate information and we are going to try and secure some sort of confirmation from them that they will be leaving."

She says a rental houseboat entered the bay Tuesday and dropped anchor, however, she says that boat was asked to move along.

Jones wouldn't indicate how long the municipality is prepared to wait for the remaining boats to leave, saying only that they will continue to verify information they are given and ensuring they (boat owners) are following up with what they say.

Blue Divider Line

Gellatly Bay to destination unknown
Kelowna Capital News - By Dave Preston - August 01, 2010

A 30-day warning period for houseboat owners to remove their craft from Gellatly Bay in West Kelowna, expired Thursday at midnight but that didn’t mean a fleet of tugs and towboats were set to descend on the bay Friday morning.

By Thursday afternoon, just six houseboats out of dozens that were moored in Gellatly Bay remained. A seventh was seen leaving the area southbound under its own steam.

Previously the District of West Kelowna gave houseboat owners a 30-day warning to remove their boats from the bay or face having them towed and impounded at the owner’s cost.

“We have an enforcement strategy in place,” said Kirsten Jones, communications coordinator for the district.

Friday morning at 9:30, district bylaw officers, with assistance from the RCMP, were to visit each moored craft in the bay and attach a Notice of Non-Compliance.

“The notice is very clear what we are going to do,” said Jones.

The remaining houseboats have until Tuesday to get out of Gellatly Bay or the next step in the strategy will proceed. That will involve lawyers for the district petitioning the BC Supreme Court for an injunction to forcibly remove the boats.

“Once we get that order, we will tow them,” Jones said.

In the mean time, along with the Notice of Non-Compliance, Jones said houseboat owners will be given an offer from a contractor to tow their boats elsewhere.

“We know of one guy who wants to take advantage of the service,” said Jones, adding the tow service will be at the owner’s expense.

The contractor was set to remove any buoys in the bay Friday that did not have boats attached to them.

“On Tuesday, we will again assist anyone who wants help,” said Jones.

Also required to vacate the bay are three or four pleasure boats that have been moored for some time.

Gellatly Bay will become a place where moorage is not allowed in the future, said Jones. The district’s contractor will be setting out new buoys, owned by the district, that warn of the no moorage rule and that will help delineate the bay’s boating area from its swimming area.

Jones said she has heard some concerns from the public that there will not be boating of any kind allowed in the bay in the future, but she said that is a misunderstanding. Boating, water skiing and other water sports can continue as normal, but there will be no overnight mooring allowed and buoys will be set out to keep boats away from swimming areas.

edit "at" kelownacapnews.com

Blue Divider Line

DWK will go to court to remove boats
Castanet.net - by Wayne Moore - Story: 56061 - Jul 30, 2010

The District of West Kelowna is prepared to go to court if it has to in order to remove the remaining houseboats from Gellatly Bay.

Houseboats and other illegally moored watercraft had until midnight Thursday to leave the bay as part of the municipality's new License of Occupation granted by the province.

The License of Occupation covers the district's portion of Gellatly Bay

West Kelowna Communications Supervisor, Kirsten Jones, says the municipality still hopes the remaining six houseboats will leave on their own.

If they are not gone by Tuesday, Jones says district lawyers will appear before the Supreme Court to seek an injunction to obtain the legal right to have the boats towed.

Jones says the municipality has been approached by a lawyer representing some of the boat owners who state they have no intention of leaving.

At 9:30 Friday morning, municipal bylaw officers and the RCMP began posting notices of non-compliance of the remaining half dozen houseboats.

Jones says the notices clearly state West Kelowna's intention to go to court Tuesday if they are not removed.

She says parks staff are also removing all unattended buoys and markers from the Gellatly Bay area.

On Tuesday, Jones says district buoys and markers will be put in place.

Blue Divider Line

Last day for houseboats to vacate bay
Castanet.net - by Wayne Moore - Story: 56014 - Jul 28, 2010

About a half dozen houseboat owners may be heading for a confrontation with the District of West Kelowna.

The owners of houseboats and other boats illegally moored in Gellatly Bay were given notice at the end of June to move their vessels within 30 days or have them towed away.

The 30 day window ends Thursday.

While several houseboats have been moved, about a half dozen remain moored in the bay.

"We're still hoping for voluntary compliance," says West Kelowna Communications Director, Kirsten Jones.

"We're hoping they will do the right thing."

Late last month, the municipality received a License of Occupation from the provincial government for the portion of Gellatly Bay abutting its property.

The municipality served all vessel owners illegally moored in the bay notice they had to remove their vessels within 30 days, effective June 29.

Jones says the municipality was able to locate the owners of every vessel. Notices of eviction were mailed to each owner while a copy was posted on each vessel.

Vessels not moved by Thursday will be towed and stored for 30 days, after which, if the vessels are still unclaimed, the towing company will be free to take action to recover its costs of towing and storage.

Houseboats started arriving at Gellatly Bay in the summer of 2008, about the same time Shelter Bay Marina evicted all its houseboats.

That was October 31 of 2008, a few months after the City of Kelowna was successful in removing a number of houseboats from Sutherland Bay.

Since that time, West Kelowna has been working on ways to get ownership of the water to have the boats removed.

It appears many of the vessels which have left Gellatly Bay have moved back to Sutherland Bay.

Kelowna Mayor Sharon Shepherd says those boats have and will continue to be removed.

"We have jurisdiction over a part of Sutherland Bay and we will continue enforcing where we have jurisdiction," says Shepherd.

"I know there has already been some enforcement that has taken place over the last couple of months so staff will continue to do that."

The city has limited jurisdiction in Sutherland Bay and vessels who drop anchor outside the jurisdictional zone are far more than just an eyesore for Shepherd.

"I think it's a safety issue and also the ability of Tolko to continue its operation. They have the need to go back and forth across the lake and that I think has to be taken into account. That would probably be the responsibility of the Federal Government to respond."

While the City of Kelowna will continue removing houseboats from Sutherland Bay as it has in the past, Shepherd says it's time the region began serious discussions about what to do with houseboats over the long term.

"We need to do an analysis of whether we have the ability to find houseboat locations anywhere, where should they be and how should they be managed."

Shepherd says there is a committee at the Regional District that oversees marine issues.

She says they will be getting together in the next couple of weeks to begin discussing the many issues surrounding Okanagan Lake.

In the meantime, vessels with no place to call home continue to be unwanted eyesores for neighbours and visitors alike and will continue to be moved to the next moorage spot.

Blue Divider Line

Parasailor hitting chop
Kelowna Daily Courier - Don Plant 2010-07-28

The parasail operator fined for careless driving after a strange collision on Okanagan Lake says he‘s not guilty.

Luke Weller, part-owner of Okanagan Parasail, is disputing the $288 penalty because the investigating officer told him West Kelowna RCMP has jurisdiction, and yet no one from that detachment has spoken to him, he said.

On top of that, Weller claims the alleged victims had been drinking and police failed to take breath samples.

The officer who spoke to witnesses was "quite overwhelmed" and "over his head," Weller said.

"I‘m definitely fighting it. You‘re fining probably the most qualified captain on the water, and I‘m here explaining the rules to you, and you‘re going to give me a fine?"

Weller, who has operated parasail boats for six years, denies there even was a collision Friday evening. He was hauling customers in a tethered parachute across Okanagan Lake when he nearly collided with two pleasure boats tied up near the old ferry dock on the Westside, he said.

The sun was obscuring his view as he drove at less than 20 km/h, he said. He realized the boats were ahead when he was about 25 metres away.

"There was just enough time to manoeuvre to get out of the way.

"Neither myself, the deck hand or 10 passengers were aware we were on a collision course," he said. "I was completely blinded by the sun. It was unfortunate that my tack was leading me straight into the sun, but the wind and weather conditions dictate where I can and can‘t go."

Weller‘s 26-foot boat was heading toward the two boats, which were attached and anchored with 11 people on board having drinks and a barbecue. Bart Dyck, who owns a 31-foot cabin cruiser, said not one person in the parasail boat was facing forward as it approached.

The 11 adults began yelling and waving their arms to get Weller‘s attention, Dyck said. One of them threw a beer bottle at the parasail boat.

The object slammed onto a woman‘s head and bounced into the face of 11-year-old Tianna Haist, breaking her sun glasses, cutting her forehead and smashing her nose.

"The bottle is what saved people‘s lives. He would have gone straight through my hull and a husband and wife in front of his boat would have been dead," Dyck said. "People in both boats would have been dead."

Weller made a sharp turn and his boat "bounced off" the driver‘s side of the cruiser, knocking people over, Dyck said. Some people dove into the other boat, while others jumped into the water.

The impact popped the seals on the hull and burst the the bumper buoys between the boats, Dyck said.

He‘s waiting for a damage estimate.

Dyck can‘t understand why Weller claims the sun was blinding him when his head was turned behind him as he approached.
"Why maintain that same straight path for 500 yards if the sun‘s in your face?" he said. "No one turned around."

Weller looks back occasionally for three seconds to check the parasailor is flying at the right height, but spends 70 per cent of his time watching what‘s in front of him, he said. A deck-hand watches the parasailor, but also has to harness and put life-jackets on the next customers.

Allegations that Weller wasn‘t paying attention are a "slap in the face" and "ridiculous," he said.

RCMP and Transport Canada are investigating the incident. Weller met with police Tuesday and claims he and the officer couldn‘t tell where contact was made between the vessels.

"There‘s not even a scratch on either vessel," he said.

Dyck disputes that, saying police took pictures of a mark on his boat. Both men agree someone threw the beer bottle before the alleged collision. A friend of the injured girl claimed it was thrown afterward, when both groups were yelling at each other.

An officer of boating safety is looking into the incident and general complaints about the parasail boat, said Gavin Brown, senior marine inspector with Transport Canada.

Weller said no one from the department has approached him

Blue Divider Line

Stay far away from the Kelowna BC Parasail on Okanagan Lake

Yacht club says incident wake-up call
Kelowna Daily Courier - Don Plant - 2010-07-28

The parasail boat that collided with another vessel Friday was an accident waiting to happen, says the Kelowna Yacht Club.
Staff complain the operator is towing airborne passengers too close to kids and disabled people in sailboats, kicking up a wake and narrowly missing other pleasure craft near Kelowna‘s downtown lakeshore.

"Our concern is he‘ll continue to operate dangerously, in our opinion, until someone is seriously injured or killed," said John Sharples, the club‘s sailing-fleet captain.

"He‘ll run along the beach and turn in east toward the gas dock and yacht-club moorage, which is the most congested part of Okanagan Lake."

Children sail small dinghies up to 100 metres from shore and disabled sailors sip and puff air through a straw to operate special sailboats with an instructor.

Sharples claims the parasail boat motors within 35 metres of them, creating a "fairly large wake" behind it.
Jim Kay, yacht club manager, says sailors use only a small part of Okanagan Lake.
"We have some first-time boaters between ages 8 and 13. It‘s terrifying when a big boat like that goes by and they have a three-foot wake to contend with," he said. "We‘re asking for co-operation."

Luke Weller, who operates the parasail boat, says he‘s trying to give it. He met with staff from the yacht club and sailing school last week. He explained how the wind direction forces him to follow certain routes on the lake so his customers stay aloft.

"If there‘s a north or south wind, I can only go across the lake," he said. "I have less than two kilometres. Not enough room to successfully tack back far enough to make a turn."

Weller drives past congested areas because his company relies on exposure to get customers, he said. He makes passes in front of City Park, the beach and along the boardwalk where people congregate, he said.

"For me to parasail in the middle of the lake, nobody sees us out there," Weller said. "We have our phone number on our parachute."

He can now identify the dinghies children and disabled sailors use, so he concentrates more on avoiding them.

He objects to allegations that he looks over his shoulder too often and fails to watch where he‘s going.

"Sometimes I have to cut somebody off. If I am, I do it as safely and as far away from vessels as I can," he said.

"This is a relatively small lake and we need to share it. I‘m going to do everything I can to keep out of everybody‘s way."
The yacht club would like to see the parasail boat stay out of the bay between the northern point of City Park (by the concession) and Manhattan Point.

That would shorten Weller‘s tacks when there‘s a south wind and make it harder to haul heavy customers because he needs more speed and can‘t turn 90 degrees, he said.

"I try to alter my tack and course as much as I can, without endangering the people up in my parachute. I‘m not driving through a group of sailors blindfolded."

Blue Divider Line

Cigarette smoke in their eyes
Kelowna Daily Courier Staff - 2010-07-29

Wanted - the driver of a smoking-fast cigarette boat on Okanagan Lake.

An officer in the RCMP Zodiac tried to follow the 30-foot power boat after it roared past him Tuesday afternoon.
Const. Rollie Williams couldn‘t keep up and suspects the operator was deliberately evading him.

A cigarette boat is a high-performance speedboat designed for racing on open ocean. Most models are equipped with at least 1,000 horsepower and can cost more than $250,000.

Kelowna RCMP just acquired a six-metre Zodiac with a 200-horsepower outboard to give police a faster presence on the lake.
The cigarette boat was travelling too fast, said Williams. He‘s afraid someone will get hurt or die because of the driver‘s behaviour.

The vessel was heading north about 3:30 p.m. off Lakeshore Road between Cedar Creek and Summerhill wineries. Williams was keeping a perimeter around search-and-rescue boats trying to locate the body of Cole Barr on the lake bottom.

There‘s no official speed limit on the lake. It would be too difficult to enforce, said Sgt. Ann Morrison.

"It‘s hard to police that," she said. "The (RCMP) helicopter is the only piece of equipment we have to use for visual estimation."

The offending boat is white with blue stripes, Williams said.

Blue Divider Line

Where are these houseboats suppose to move to on Okanagan Lake?

Why doesn't West Kelowna want houseboats on Okanagan Lake?  We see nothing wrong with the houseboats and feel they actually add character to Gellatly Bay.

Nobody should be kicked out of the Bay without some place to go!  West Kelowna Mayor Doug Findlater has no heart!

The Houseboats should stay until houseboat moorage is attainable on Okanagan Lake, don't you think?

It is not the house boaters fault there is no houseboat moorage available, but rather West Kelowna's fault for not taking command and finding houseboat moorage.  Instead of being part of the solution, West Kelowna is part of the problem.

If there was a shortage of boat launches, I am sure they wouldn't ban boats on Okanagan Lake!

They don't ban cars because there isn't enough parking!

Last day for houseboats to vacate bay
Castanet.net - by Wayne Moore - Story: 56014 - Jul 28, 2010

About a half dozen houseboat owners may be heading for a confrontation with the District of West Kelowna.

The owners of houseboats and other boats illegally moored in Gellatly Bay were given notice at the end of June to move their vessels within 30 days or have them towed away.

The 30 day window ends Thursday.

While several houseboats have been moved, about a half dozen remain moored in the bay.

"We're still hoping for voluntary compliance," says West Kelowna Communications Director, Kirsten Jones.

"We're hoping they will do the right thing."

Late last month, the municipality received a License of Occupation from the provincial government for the portion of Gellatly Bay abutting its property.

The municipality served all vessel owners illegally moored in the bay notice they had to remove their vessels within 30 days, effective June 29.

Jones says the municipality was able to locate the owners of every vessel. Notices of eviction were mailed to each owner while a copy was posted on each vessel.

Vessels not moved by Thursday will be towed and stored for 30 days, after which, if the vessels are still unclaimed, the towing company will be free to take action to recover its costs of towing and storage.

Houseboats started arriving at Gellatly Bay in the summer of 2008, about the same time Shelter Bay Marina evicted all its houseboats.

That was October 31 of 2008, a few months after the City of Kelowna was successful in removing a number of houseboats from Sutherland Bay.

Since that time, West Kelowna has been working on ways to get ownership of the water to have the boats removed.

It appears many of the vessels which have left Gellatly Bay have moved back to Sutherland Bay.

Kelowna Mayor Sharon Shepherd says those boats have and will continue to be removed.

"We have jurisdiction over a part of Sutherland Bay and we will continue enforcing where we have jurisdiction," says Shepherd.

"I know there has already been some enforcement that has taken place over the last couple of months so staff will continue to do that."

The city has limited jurisdiction in Sutherland Bay and vessels who drop anchor outside the jurisdictional zone are far more than just an eyesore for Shepherd.

"I think it's a safety issue and also the ability of Tolko to continue its operation. They have the need to go back and forth across the lake and that I think has to be taken into account. That would probably be the responsibility of the Federal Government to respond."

While the City of Kelowna will continue removing houseboats from Sutherland Bay as it has in the past, Shepherd says it's time the region began serious discussions about what to do with houseboats over the long term.

"We need to do an analysis of whether we have the ability to find houseboat locations anywhere, where should they be and how should they be managed."

Shepherd says there is a committee at the Regional District that oversees marine issues.

She says they will be getting together in the next couple of weeks to begin discussing the many issues surrounding Okanagan Lake.

In the meantime, vessels with no place to call home continue to be unwanted eyesores for neighbours and visitors alike and will continue to be moved to the next moorage spot.

Blue Divider Line

Careless boater fined
AM1150 - Thu, 2010-07-29

The RCMP have ticketed a careless speeding boater who disrupted their search this week.

Crews were on the lake near the Betrram Creek area on Tuesday, searching for the body of 25 year old Cole Barr.

Police say a boat sped by officers, racing at a dangerous speed - and deliberately tried to disrupt their work.

Acting on a tip from the public, officers went to the boat owner's residence yesterday and issued the person a ticket.

The boater is now facing a 400 dollar fine.

The registered owner is from Alberta, but does own a home along the lake here in Kelowna.

Denise Wong - Kelowna

Blue Divider Line

Patrols hit the water
Vernon Morning Star - By Roger Knox - July 27, 2010

Revellers on Shuswap and Mara lakes may notice an increased enforcement presence this August long weekend.

And they may not.

The Integrated Shuswap Enforcement Unit, which is made up of officials from the RCMP, conservation officers services, department of fisheries and oceans and B.C. Parks will, for the first-time ever, have a 24-hour enforcement on the lakes this weekend.

“We will have eight patrol vessels rotated on shift patterns throughout the Shuswap Lake Water Basin, which includes Mara Lake,” explained North Okanagan conservation officer Josh Lockwood, a member of the integrated enforcement unit.

“Those eight vessels will be well marked. We will also have vessels on the lake that I will not disclose. They will be used by plain-clothes personnel for covert operations to deal with some of the more evasive violators.”

The unit will be on the water from 2 p.m. Friday to 2 p.m. Monday, the busiest weekend of the year on Shuswap and Mara Lakes, and there will also be a 24-hour policing office manned at Cinnemousun Narrows, the centre of the four Arms – North, Seymour, Anestey and Canoe Reach – on Shuswap Lake.

Shuswap houseboat companies have posted notices regarding the most common violations on the lake on all of their houseboats, so everybody on a houseboat will have the information.

The unit will also be looking for improperly registered boats, checking for operator licences, life jackets and people operating personal watercraft under the prohibited age of 16. They will also be actively pursuing impaired operators of motor vessels.

“Our enforcement vessel will have a certified breathalyzer operator on board and a data master machine,” said Lockwood.

“Officers in the boat will have access to an alcohol roadside screening device to put together an investigation for the impaired operation of a motor vessel.

“The purpose of our enforcement this weekend is public safety. We are not there to spoil your weekend. Nothing will spoil your weekend faster than having a loved one injured or drown.”

Tickets for offenders can range from $115 to $500 while the improper registration of a boat brings a fine of $287.50.

“What we’re seeing is that a number of boats have been purchased in the U.S. then brought across the border through Canadian Border Services. The documentation that’s done for there is for taxes,” said Lockwood.

“Those boats need to be re-registered with the Canadian registry. People are handing off California, Nevada and Oregon registry which is not acceptable.

“Boats from outside Canada need to be re-registered at the Access Centre or online,” said Lockwood.

In the recent weeks and months there have been several incidents, fatalities and drownings in Okanagan lakes, including a July long weekend accident involving a houseboat and speedboat that killed a Shuswap resident.

Lockwood said planning for the August long weekend has been in the works for sometime, even prior to the Shuswap accident.

At the end of May, compliance checks for such things as fishing licences and life jackets were conducted on Mabel Lake.

Lockwood said 26 boats were checked and all 26 were in non-compliance.

Locally, area RCMP will be patrolling Mabel and Okanagan Lakes, as well as the Shuswap River, to make sure everyone has a safe August long weekend.

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Gellatly Bay issues
AM1150 - Tue, 2010-07-27 - Local News

Problems continue to pop in the Gellatly Bay area of West Kelowna.

Mayor Doug Findlater says a lack of parking is a big issue.

"Anywhere you go to a beach, on a hot day, it's a long walk to get near the water. I think maybe we can maybe make some minor improvements that would squeeze a few more parking spaces out and organize it better."

Councillor Carol Zanon expressed some concern over the dock at the boat launch and directed staff to put up some danger signs in the area, which will go up this weekend.

Work on the boat launch will begin after the boating season is complete, sometime in October.

Matt Folkard - Kelowna

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Boater rage on Okanagan Lake
by Castanet Staff - Story: 55961 - Jul 26, 2010

Kelowna RCMP are investigating an incident that took place on the lake Friday evening where a para sail boat struck another boat.

Sgt. Ann Morrison says shortly before 8 p.m. two boats were tied together floating in the lake.

She says one of the boats was allegedly struck by a boat that was carrying several passengers, with two para-sailors in the air.

"Investigation has revealed that the para sail boat operator didn't see the boats and swiped one boat as he drove by," says Morrison.

"Witnesses on the para sail boat state that someone on one of the two boats threw a beer bottle at the boat. The bottle struck one passenger and injured another, an 11-year-old girl, in the face."

Morrison says the bottle caused an injury to the girl's face and she was taken to Kelowna General Hospital for treatment.

The investigation continues and so far police have issued a violation ticket to the driver of the para sail boat for careless operation of a vessel under the Shipping Act, which carries a fine of $288.

The beer bottle incident investigation continues

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Patrols dish out boating fines
Vernon Morning Star - July 24, 2010

RCMP and Transport Canada carried out safety inspections on recreational boats last week on Okanagan, Kalamalka, Wood and Mabel Lakes.

Transport Canada and the RCMP teamed up this past week for a series of on-water patrol blitzes aboard a Transport Canada Zodiac currently stationed in the Okanagan.

Boating safety patrols were conducted on Okanagan, Kalamalka, Wood and Mabel Lakes.

On Okanagan Lake, patrols were launched from Kelowna, Summerland and Penticton. Boaters were also checked on local boat ramps for operator cards and safety equipment.

Approximately $1,500 in fines were issued for such offences as missing fire extinguishers, safety equipment not in good working order, no proof of operator competency on board (pleasure craft operator card), towing without a spotter, towing without enough seats for every person being towed and insufficient number of lifejackets.

In addition, 30 boats were escorted back to shore and prohibited from operating until they met the safety requirements of the Canada Shipping Act and the Small Vessel Regulations.

Fines range from $115 to $575.

Not carrying enough lifejackets carries a fine of $230 for the first missing one and $115 for each additional missing one. Lifejackets and PFDs must be Canadian-approved and in good repair. Check your flotation devices before heading out. Boaters are encouraged to always wear a PFD when on the water.

These patrols were conducted to help ensure safe boating is enjoyed by all those on Okanagan waterways. Transport Canada, RCMP and Conservation Officer joint patrols will continue throughout the summer.

Boaters are reminded to read the Transport Canada Safe Boating Guide before hitting the water or visit

www.boatingsafety.gc.ca.

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Fines range from $115.00 to $575.00 for most boating offenses. Not carrying enough life jackets carries a fine of $230.00 for the first missing one and $115.00 for each additional missing one.

Source below Thirty boats escorted back during blitz
Castanet.net - by RCMP - Story: 55903 - Jul 23, 2010

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 The foreshore definition is described as being the area of Lakeshore from the legal high water mark or boundary of Crown Land out into Okanagan Lake two hundred meters
Central Okanagan Foreshore Plan Update November 19, 2007
Source - Regional District of Central Okanagan Board Agenda Nov 19, 2007
Item 6.1 Board policy - Central Okanagan Lake Foreshore Plan Update.pdf
(Section 6.0 page 45)

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Looks like its going to cost you more to go boating in the Central Okanagan now

Regional District of Central Okanagan Governance and Services Agenda October 9, 2008

Ipsos Reid Survey found out of 1,000 telephone interviews, that four in ten households own a boat and that one in ten will likely purchase a boat in the next five years.

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Boating week is April 12-18, 2010

If you don't have a PCOC card with you while operating a boat, you can be fined $250.

It takes about 30 - 45 minutes to complete the Transport Canada accredited exam.

For details on how to acquire your "Pleasure Craft Operators Card" or PCOC to operate a boat,

visit

http://www.tc.gc.ca/marinesafety/

http://www.boaterexam.com/

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IPSOS REID POLL RESULTS

http://www.regionaldistrict.com/docs/parks/marinestudy/ipsos.pdf

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Lake Okanagan Marina & Rentals Inc. - ski boat rentals, gas,
 

Lake Okanagan Marina & Rentals Inc.
Boat Rentals: Tournament boats, pontoon boats, deck boats, watertoys, ski boats, jet skis, gas

Reservations: 250-979-8740
2751 Westside Road
@ Lake Okanagan Resort

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Issues heat up again at boat launch
Vernon Morning Star - July 24, 2010

A slow start to summer has given way to lineups and traffic violations once again at the Kalavista boat launch on Kalamalka Lake.
Morning star file photo

Summer started slowly this year which kept traffic light at the Kalavista boat launch but recent warm weather has people flocking back and the same problems are cropping up.

That’s according to Kalavista Neighbourhood Committee chairman Norm Hladun who believes council and local officials are doing the best they can but also that more help is needed.

“It’s a difficult area because it’s so small,” said Hladun. “There’s lots of users using the same limited infrastructure.

“These are not easily solved problems; it’s a matter of enforcing the rules so people don’t flaunt the rules.”

But rule enforcement is difficult to execute. The District of Coldstream uses the services of the Commissionaires at the boat launch but they are responsible to make circuits of the lake, checking out each site, meaning there are long periods of time when a given launch is unsupervised.

The only other source of enforcement at the boat launch would be from the RCMP but as Coldstream bylaw officer Bob Bibby noted, it’s not realistic to expect an officer sitting there all day.

“They can’t station an RCMP officer there full time,” he said. “We’re working with the resources we’ve got.”

Hladun has other specific concerns including vehicles waiting to use the launch and stopping on Kalavista Road. This forces drivers to go into the wrong lane to get around but the Commissionaires are not able to penalize motorists blocking traffic

“There’s a jurisdictional thing as well,” said Bibby. “The Commissionaires are there to hand out parking tickets and that’s it.

“As far as crossing traffic lines, that’s RCMP.”

Bibby said he hasn’t had an increase in complaints about the area and that the number of parking tickets issued has not gone up noticeably from last year. He says boating traffic is directly tied to the weather.

“When the sun comes out and it’s hot, everyone heads to the boat launch,” he said. “May and June were slow but the July long weekend was busy.

During busy times, two Commissionaires patrol the area with one staying stationary and the other completing the boat launch circuit.

“Their presence tends to keep people honest,” said Bibby.

Yet for residents like Hladun, who says cars are frequently parked illegally in front of his home, more enforcement remains the goal.

“It’s just as problematic as it has been in the past,” he said. “My own personal view is to keep (the launch) it open but properly managed.

“We’ll get a solution eventually; I hope it’s not the closure of the launch.

“People here are pretty patient but it gets to be a legal issue.”

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Thirty boats escorted back during blitz
Castanet.net - by RCMP - Story: 55903 - Jul 23, 2010

This past week, Transport Canada and the RCMP teamed up for a series of on-water patrol blitzes aboard a Transport Canada Zodiac currently stationed in the Okanagan.

Boating safety patrols were conducted on Okanagan, Kal, Wood and Mabel Lake.

On Okanagan Lake, patrols were launched from Kelowna, Summerland and Penticton. Boaters were also checked on local boat ramps for operator cards and safety equipment.

Approximately $1500.00 in fines were issued for such offenses as missing fire extinguishers, safety equipment not in good working order, no proof of operator competency on board (pleasure craft operator card), towing without a spotter, towing without enough seats for every person being towed, insufficient number of life jackets.

In addition, 30 boats were escorted back to shore and prohibited from operating until they met the safety requirements of the Canada Shipping Act and the Small Vessel Regulations.

Fines range from $115.00 to $575.00 for most boating offenses. Not carrying enough life jackets carries a fine of $230.00 for the first missing one and $115.00 for each additional missing one.

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Rent a boat at the Eldorado, Kelowna BC

500 Cook Road
763-DOCK
250-763-3625
1-866-608-7500
www.eldoradokelowna.com

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Public Health Risks

West Nile Virus - Questions and Answers

Cryptococcal Disease - Public Health Advisory on Vancouver Island

BC HealthFiles for information on health and safety:

Beaver Fever
Blue-Green Algae
General Health Advice for Travellers
Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS)
Tick Bites and Lyme Disease
Sun-Smart
Swimmer's Itch
How to Disinfect Drinking Water
Poison Ivy

Don't allow your dog to swim in Blue-Green Algae or drink the water from an Algae Bloom

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Windows Media File Icon - click for help with audio June 28, 2010 RDCO Board Meeting COW Director Jim Edgson says we don't want Houseboats on Okanagan Lake BC

Windows Media File Icon - click for help with audio June 28, 2010 (.wma) audio 1.34 MB of the Regional District of Central Okanagan Regular Board meeting West Kelowna Mayor Doug Findlater in regards to the house boaters being kicked out of Gellatly Bay by the District of West Kelowna (Westbank). Right click the link to download the .wma file to your computer (download the file to your desktop) and then click on the file to play it.  The file will not play if you do not have a player that will play .wma files.  Here is a good player that we have installed and tried if you need one.  Its called VLC Player and it will play .mp3 and .wma file formats.

If you want to hear the entire Regional Board Meeting then right click here to download entire (.mp3) audio file.

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City expanding commercial dock space
Castanet.net - by Wayne Moore - Story: 55775 - Jul 15, 2010

Kelowna City Council has authorized the expenditure of $60,000 to expand the commercial moorage space at the Kerry Park/Sails dock.

The space is being built to accommodate two new rental agreements.

The expansion will make room for eight commercial vessels including the Fintry Queen which has yet to sail this summer.

The $60,000 will be repaid to the city in the form of lease payments over the next five years.

The commercial moorage area was originally expanded in March of 2007 and allowed space for future expansion.

Council approved $20,000 in the 2010 capital budget for the Spirit of Kelowna Paddle Wheeler to be accessed from the Fintry Queen pier.

An additional $60,000 is needed to accommodate the additional lease with Executive House Boats and to complete the pedestrian loop as per the original design intent.

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Boat owners served eviction notice
Castanet.net - by Contributed - Story: 55439 - Jun 29, 2010

The District of West Kelowna has received a Licence of Occupation from the Province of BC for the portion of Gellatly Bay directly abutting District property and will begin immediate enforcement of inappropriate use in the bay.

The District says it received word Friday afternoon that its application to the Integrated Land Management Bureau of the BC Ministry of Agriculture and Lands for a Licence of Occupation for Gellatly Bay was approved.

The Licence entitles the municipality, as owner of the land abutting a portion of Gellatly Bay, to enforce appropriate uses of this portion of the Bay, in line with the W1 (Water Use – Recreational) Zone previously established for the area. This zoning allows only temporary moorage and prohibits moorage of floating residential vessels.

The District will immediately begin taking the following enforcement steps:

•Mailing a letter of notice to known owners of any vessels currently moored in Gellatly Bay

•Posting this same letter directly on the vessels currently moored in Gellatly Bay.
The letter states vessel owners have 30 days from June 29, 2010 to remove the vessel from the Bay.

If the vessels are not removed, the district will have them towed to a safe moorage site, the cost of towing and storage are the responsibility of the vessel owner.

Towed vessels will be stored for 30 days, after which, if the vessels are still unclaimed, the towing company will be free to take action to recover its costs of towing and storage.

“We have been facing the problem of unwelcome moorage in Gellatly Bay for almost two years now and I know this news will be welcomed by many residents,” says Mayor Doug Findlater.

“It’s been a long time coming, but the end is near and the District now has jurisdiction over these important waters and a solid agreement for its management with our neighbours, Westbank First Nation.”

On June 22, the District of West Kelowna and Westbank First Nation announced the signing of a Joint Management Agreement for Gellatly Bay.

Both governments have agreed to respect each other’s jurisdiction and interest in the protection of Okanagan Lake, its foreshore and Gellatly Bay in particular.

By signing the binding Joint Management Agreement, both Council’s have committed that management of Gellatly Bay will be carried out through the Joint Management Committee established under the agreement.

The Joint Management Committee will be comprised of two representatives from each government.

The committee will consider and recommend policies regarding the public and private use of Gellatly Bay, as stipulated in the W1 Zone

The District has established a W1 Zone on all waters fronting lands within the District of West Kelowna which prohibits moorage of floating residential structures such as houseboats.

“With the W1 Zone in place everywhere else in the District, if the houseboats move to a different location within the District, we are ready to enforce appropriate uses,” says Mayor Doug Findlater.

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West Kelowna Mayor Doug Findlater, where can these house boats attain moorage in West Kelowna on Okanagan Lake, and are you banning all house boats from West Kelowna?

Houseboats told to leave Gellatly Bay ASAP
Kelowna Capital News - June 28, 2010

Houseboat owners with boats on Gellatly Bay are expected to start receiving eviction notices later this summer.
Sean Connor/Capital News

The District of West Kelowna has received a licence of occupation from the Province of British Columbia for the portion of Gellatly Bay directly abutting district Property and will begin immediate enforcement of inappropriate use in the Bay.

The district received word Friday afternoon that its application to the Integrated Land Management Bureau of the BC Ministry of Agriculture and Lands for a licence of occupation for Gellatly Bay was approved.

The licence entitles the district, as owner of the land abutting a portion of Gellatly Bay, to enforce appropriate uses of this portion of the bay, in line with the W1 (Water Use – Recreational) Zone previously established for the area. This zoning allows only temporary moorage and prohibits moorage of floating residential vessels.

The district will immediately begin taking the following enforcement steps:

*Mailing a letter of notice to known owners of any vessels currently moored in Gellatly Bay

*Posting this same letter directly on the vessels currently moored in Gellatly Bay

The letter states vessel owners have 30 days from June 28, 2010 to remove the vessel from the bay. If the vessels are not removed, the district will have them towed to a safe moorage site. The cost of towing and storage are the responsibility of the vessel owner. Towed vessels will be stored for 30 days, after which, if the vessels are still unclaimed, the towing company will be free to take action to recover its costs of towing and storage.

“We have been facing the problem of unwelcome moorage in Gellatly Bay for almost two years now and I know this news will be welcomed by many residents,” said Mayor Doug Findlater.

“It’s been a long time coming, but the end is near and the district now has jurisdiction over these important waters and a solid agreement for its management with our neighbours, Westbank First Nation.”

On June 22, the District of West Kelowna and Westbank First Nation announced the signing of a joint management agreement for Gellatly Bay. Both governments have agreed to respect each other’s jurisdiction and interest in the protection of Okanagan Lake, its foreshore and Gellatly Bay in particular. By signing the binding agreement, both councils have committed that management of Gellatly Bay will be carried out through a joint management committee established under the agreement. The committee will be comprised of two representatives from each government. The committee will consider and recommend policies regarding the public and private use of Gellatly Bay, as stipulated in the W1 Zone.

The district has established a W1 Zone on all waters fronting lands within the District of West Kelowna which prohibits moorage of floating residential structures such as houseboats.

“With the W1 Zone in place everywhere else in the district, if the houseboats move to a different location within the district, we are ready to enforce appropriate uses,” said Findlater.

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Temporary fix allows boaters out on lake
Vernon Morning Star - June 26, 2010

As the busy summer season approaches, the boat launch at Okanagan Centre Safe Harbour Regional Park is temporarily open again.

Higher water levels on Okanagan Lake and more detailed investigation of the existing main launch have identified a temporary repair that will be made shortly, allowing the Central Okanagan Regional District to make the main launch available for use by boaters.

“This is a temporary fix so that we can get the popular launch back in service for the recreational boating community,” said Brent Smith, communications co-ordinator.

“Our staff will monitor the lake level and the condition of the boat launch daily.”

The main launch at the Lake Country park has been closed since January because the farthest pads were damaged and separating which, combined with low lake water levels, could result in potential damage to vehicles, trailers and boats.

CORD is still planning to replace the complete launch structure later this summer as new, engineered pads must be installed.

“This will likely result in another temporary closure while work takes place on site, the concrete is poured, cured and the new pads are installed,” said Smith. “We recently received the environmental approvals we were seeking to conduct work in the water while protecting the fish spawning habitat.”

Until Sept. 30, the gate to the park, boat launch, small beach and parking area along Okanagan Centre Road is locked daily from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.

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CHBC TV Video of what the Houseboat owners have to say about being kicked out.

CHBC TV News Video - Boats at Bay

Houseboats floating on borrowed time
Kelowna Capital News - By Jason Luciw - June 25, 2010

Houseboat owners with boats on Gellatly Bay are expected to start receiving eviction notices later this summer.
Sean Connor/Capital News

Houseboats will be given the boot from Gellatly Bay before the end of this summer, according to the District of West Kelowna.

Director of building and regulatory services Dave Slobodan told council this week that his staff has already begun making preparations to serve eviction notices.

Between 13 and 18 houseboats are consistently moored in Gellatly Bay and they will be required to leave within the next three to eight weeks, according to Slobodan.

The municipality is awaiting arrival of a licence of occupation for Gellatly Bay, which would permit the municipality to regulate uses in the bay in place of the provincial government.

“We’ve identified each of those owners of these crafts, so that when we get the licence of occupation, we’re able to notify those owners as quickly as possible,” stated Slobodan.

“Once we have the licence of occupation, we have authority under part six of the Land Act so we can then notify those owners and ask them to leave the bay.”

Chief administrative officer Jason Johnson said that the licence of occupation should be in the municipality’s hands within the next two to three weeks.

Staff would then be in a position to post 30-day eviction notices on the crafts and send letters to the owners advising of new moorage restrictions in the bay.

“We wanted to make sure the public was aware of our enforcement strategy and perhaps people might want to start coming into compliance before the enforcement strategy comes into place next month,” said Johnson.

It’s not just houseboats that will be required to move, mentioned Slobodan.

“We’re actually looking at all the vessels in Gellatly Bay.”

That means upland property owners living on Angus Drive would also be prohibi permanently mooring their vessels, like speedboats or sailboats, in the bay.

Commercial vessels moored in the bay would also be required to leave, Slobodan stated.

“If the vessels are not removed within 30 days we do have contact with a towing company that has the ability to move them out. Owners will then have another 30 days to claim their vessels,” Slobodan noted.

Boat owners would be required to pay towing and storage costs to reclaim their boats, he noted.

The municipality plans to place signage at the Gellatly Bay boat launch and other locations around the bay, advising that overnight and permanent moorage would be prohibited, said Slobodan.

Moorage buoys are also going to be removed from the bay, he noted.

“We will ask for those buoys to be removed with the houseboats or the vessels. The ones that aren’t removed, staff will put a strategy together to remove those.”

Staff will then put together a strategy to add municipal buoys to Gellatly Bay to be used for temporary moorage only.

“For people coming in for the day to just dock their boat and spend time in Gellatly Bay.

“Temporary moorage, in our definition, is not overnight––you can’t stay overnight.”

Bylaw services will be constantly monitoring of the bay to ensure compliance, the municipality stated.

The municipality has been trying to prohibit houseboat moorage in Gellatly Bay since October 2008 when residents living on land overlooking the bay complained that the vessels were a blight on the landscape, ruining their lake views and the public’s enjoyment of the waterfront.

Some residents also feared that people who were living permanently on some of the boats were dumping effluent into Okanagan Lake, allegations which boat owners have denied.

jluciw "at" kelownacapnews.com

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DWK, WFN, team up to look after Bay
Kelowna Capital News - June 25, 2010

The District of West Kelowna and Westbank First Nation signed a new agreement this month that will see the two governments jointly manage Gellatly Bay.

Both governments have agreed to respect each other’s jurisdiction and interest in the protection of Okanagan Lake, its foreshore and Gellatly Bay in particular.

By signing the binding joint management agreement, both council’s have committed that management of Gellatly Bay will be carried out through a joint management committee established under the agreement.

It will be comprised of two representatives from each government.

The committee of four will consider and recommend policies regarding the public and private use of Gellatly Bay, under the water use-recreational zone, which West Kelowna has already established for the area. This zone prohibits moorage of floating residential structures, such as houseboats, boat houses and boat shelters and only allows temporary boat moorage accessory to the use of the immediately abutting upland parcel.

“This is another tremendous step forward for the District of West Kelowna and Westbank First Nation as we continue to recognize that we are more than just neighbours,” said West Kelowna Mayor Doug Findlater.

“Our interests, assets and goals are so often inter-laced and West Kelowna Council is very pleased to continue to work towards mutual decisions that benefit both our organizations and our residents.”

Chief Robert Louie agreed.

“WFN has always believed in the benefits of working together locally as governments to find innovative and forward thinking ways to collaborate and get things done by creating a solid foundation for addressing the needs of our governments, our citizens and the community at large,” Louie said.

“As caretakers responsible for the protection and stewardship of the lands and water in our traditional territory, we are proud to be partners in the protection of our lake, its foreshore and the future health and enjoyment of these areas.”

West Kelowna has applied to the Integrated Land Management Bureau of the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture and Lands for a licence of occupation for Gellatly Bay.

The WFN has asserted aboriginal title and rights over the bay and intends to file a specific claim for past government actions that resulted in a loss of foreshore lands.

The agreement recognizes each government’s interest in Gellatly Bay and ensures that each will work cooperatively in good faith and in a respectful manner to manage Gellatly Bay for the purposes of environmental conservation and passive recreation.

jluciw "at" kelownacapnews.com

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Agreement may end moorage
Castanet.net - by Contributed - Story: 55326 - Jun 23, 2010

A new agreement between the Councils of the District of West Kelowna and Westbank First Nation could mean the end of moorage for houseboats on Gellatly Bay.

A new agreement was signed this month that will see the two governments jointly manage Gellatly Bay.

Both governments have agreed to respect each other’s jurisdiction and interest in the protection of Okanagan Lake, its foreshore and Gellatly Bay in particular.

By signing the binding Joint Management Agreement, both Councils have committed that management of Gellatly Bay will be carried out through the Joint Management Committee established under the agreement.

The Joint Management Committee will be comprised of two representatives from each government.

The committee will consider and recommend policies regarding the public and private use of Gellatly Bay, as stipulated in the W1 (Water Use – Recreational) Zone already established for the area by the District of West Kelowna.

This zoning prohibits moorage of floating residential structures, such as houseboats, boat houses and boat shelters and only allows temporary boat moorage accessory to the use of the immediately abutting upland parcel.

“This is another tremendous step forward for the District of West Kelowna and Westbank First Nation as we continue to recognize that we are more than just neighbours. Our interests, assets and goals are so often inter-laced and West Kelowna Council is very pleased to continue to work towards mutual decisions that benefit both our organizations and our residents,” says Mayor Doug Findlater.

Chief Robert Louie says the WFN has always believed in the benefits of working together locally.

"As governments to find innovative and forward thinking ways to collaborate and get things done by creating a solid foundation for addressing the needs of our governments, our citizens and the community at large. This co-management agreement is an example of the successes that can be achieved in working with this approach,” says Louie.

He says he that as caretakers responsible for the protection and stewardship of the lands and water in our traditional territory, they are proud to be partners in the protection of our lake, it’s foreshore and the future health and enjoyment of these areas.

Currently, the District of West Kelowna has applied to the Integrated Land Management Bureau of the BC Ministry of Agriculture and Lands for a Licence of Occupation for Gellatly Bay.

Westbank First Nation have asserted aboriginal title and rights over Gellatly bay and intends to file a Specific Claim for past government actions that resulted in a loss of foreshore lands.

The agreement recognizes each government’s interest in Gellatly Bay and ensures that each will work cooperatively in good faith and in a respectful manner to manage Gellatly Bay for the purposes of environmental conservation and passive recreation.

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DISCRIMINATION AGAINST HOUSEBOATS IN THE OKANAGAN

Another marina, still no houseboat moorage
Kelowna Capital News - By Jason Luciw - May 21, 2010

Houseboat owners believe they have the right to moor their vessels in Gellatly Bay, but West Kelowna is still looking for tools to regulate moorage because residents living nearby have complained that the boats are a blight on the landscape.
Jason Luciw/Capital News

“They’re about as welcome as gravel pits.”

That’s how West Kelowna Mayor Doug Findlater described houseboats on Okanagan Lake, as his municipality struggles to deal with a number of vessels moored in Gellatly Bay.

Findlater’s comments came during discussion around the Central Okanagan Regional District board table this week, as he and other directors gave conditional support to proposed marina expansion at Lake Okanagan Resort.

The mayor asked resort vice-president Doug Fry why provisions for houseboat moorage were removed from the proposal.

Fry said it was a business decision.

“It doesn’t make financial sense. It was a drag on the company in general––just the liability of insurance in this day and age as it related to that activity.”

The company that used to own the resort had hoped to provide moorage for houseboats, which could then be used as timeshare opportunities, Fry elaborated.

“They kind of wanted to do all things for all people and in that context they acquired 30 houseboats in Sicamous,” Fry said.

However, since then the proposed marina expansion had been reduced in scope from 296 slips to 158 berths, because of concerns the larger marina would impact Kokanee salmon habitat and houseboat moorage provisions were also removed from the application at that time.

Central Okanagan West electoral area director Jim Edgson noted residents in Wilson’s Landing were pleased to learn that houseboats weren’t included in the latest application.

“They’re wildly ecstatic there won’t be any houseboats. That’s number one.

Number two, is they welcome and support fully the reduction in the dock size,” said Edgson.

Meanwhile, Findlater said that if companies weren’t willing to take on the liability of houseboat moorage, he questioned the point of allowing houseboats on Okanagan Lake at all, although he noted that owners don’t take kindly to the suggestion that they moor their boats on Shuswap Lake instead.

Findlater and the District of West Kelowna have been at odds with houseboat owners for nearly two years, ever since residents living in the Gellatly Bay area complained that the flotilla was ruining views from their expensive homes.

Complainants also questioned whether raw effluent was being dumped into the lake, a claim houseboat owners denied more than a year ago at public hearing into West Kelowna’s proposed Water Use Zone.

The Water Use Zone would control houseboat moorage and other uses in Gellatly Bay, but it hasn’t yet been implemented because it is missing a key enforcement tool.

West Kelowna, working in cooperation with the Westbank First Nation, has applied to the B.C. Ministry of Environment for a licence of occupation in Gellatly Bay, which would allow the municipality to control the foreshore and ban houseboat moorage.

The City of Kelowna has taken similar steps to prohibit houseboat moorage in Sutherland Bay on the east side of the lake.

jluciw "at" kelownacapnews.com

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Size matters when it comes to marina plan
Kelowna Capital News - By Jason Luciw - May 18, 2010

A proposal to triple the size of the marina at Lake Okanagan Resort, near Wilson’s Landing, is lacking input, according to the Central Okanagan Regional District.

The board weighed in Monday night on the resort’s application to the B.C. Ministry of Environment to increase the size of its moorage facility from 58 berths to 158 slips.

Before agreeing to conditionally support the application to the ministry, however, the board sought clarification on a few issues, including the size of the proposed expansion and opportunities for public and First Nations’ feedback.

The board began by questioning why so many slips would be needed when the resort has only 79 rooms.

Resort spokesman Doug Fry said that the larger marina was in keeping with an expansion plan for tourist and residential accommodation.

“It contemplates up to 500 residential units on that land. Currently there are just in excess of 230 including two new buildings.”

Resort expansion would be subject to market conditions, noted Fry, offering no firm timelines for full build out.

Fry also noted that the marina expansion has been reduced in scope since the resort originally applied to the ministry in 2006.

The initial application called for 296 slips, plus moorage for 10 houseboats, a storage house for water toys and fuel station on the lake.

The size was reduced because of potential impacts on kokanee salmon spawning grounds, regional district staff noted.

Fry then mentioned that a fuel pump station and a small water toy and life jacket storage facility would still be included in the plans, but added at a later date.

The provision for houseboat slips was removed, he said.

Central Okanagan West electoral area director Jim Edgson said he had opportunity to speak with area residents at a recent meeting concerning the marina application.

They’re pleased so far with what they see, according to the director.


“They’re wildly ecstatic there won’t be any houseboats. That’s number one.

Number two, is they welcome and support fully the reduction in the dock size,” said Edgson.

“They would like to see the fuelling establishment there. They need a fueling facility.”

However, board chairman Robert Hobson noted that residents should also be able to express their views, either for or against the marina, directly to the applicant.

The regional board said it would support the marina expansion application, provided the environment ministry required the applicant to hold a public information session.

It also wanted the ministry to ensure the Westbank First Nation and Okanagan Nation Alliance were consulted concerning the revised application, noting they were consulted at the time of the original application in 2006, but not since.

The board also wanted to ensure the marina was monitored full time and that environmental safeguards were in place including the use of a proven catch system to prevent spills into the lake at the fueling station.

The board said it would also like to receive annual reports on the marina’s impacts on water quality, which the applicant has promised to monitor for at least 10 years.

jluciw "at" kelownacapnews.com

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Mara Lake algae bloom May 2010 : questions and answers.

http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/epd/water-quality/area-specific/mara-lake/mara-lake-algae-bloom.pdf

Algae blankets surface of Mara
Vernon Morning Star - May 20, 2010

Golden brown and stinky and very much in evidence, an algal bloom discovered May 11 at the south end of Mara Lake now covers the entire lake and beyond.

Streaks of the algae were seen in Shuswap Lake near Sicamous and towards Marble Point May 14, says Gabriele Matscha, environmental section head with the Ministry of Environment.

“It seems to move back and forth and is still covering the entire (Mara) lake,” Matscha said, noting the bloom is sometimes on the surface and other times below.

“It can actually move three metres in depth.”

The single-celled algae, ochromonas, is most common in spring and in nutrient-poor waters.

It is the same algae that made up the Shuswap Lake bloom of 2008 that stretched some 50 kilometres from Salmon Arm Bay to Cinnemousin Narrows.

“This algae thrives in clear water during the spring, while competition from other algae is still relatively low,” says Matscha. “Since these conditions are usually present for very short periods in the spring, blooms of this algae are short-lived and do not occur in the summer.”

Matscha says a “perfect storm” scenario of environmental factors allows the algae to grow faster than normal, sometimes doubling over one to two days.

As to what caused the bloom first discovered near the mouth of the Shuswap River, Matscha says, increased water flow in April makes the river a likely source for organic matter and nutrient input necessary for a bloom.

“MOE is monitoring the lake daily at this point to try to explain what is happening,” Matscha says. “It’s about understanding the complexities and potential causes of the bloom.”

But Shuswap Environmental Action Society president Jim Cooperman does not think the ministry is doing enough.

“We all think that these blooms are a sign of lake water quality deterioration and we’re concerned the ministry does not take the same viewpoint,” he says.

“The only way we’re going to get to the root of the problem is by adopting the water quality monitoring program as recommended by SLIPP (Shuswap Lake Integrated Planning Process).

Matscha, however, says MOE is working with several partners, including the Columbia Shuswap Regional District, Interior Health, Shuswap Water Action Team Society, Swansea Point Community Association and other residents to monitor water quality in the lakes.

“Our office has worked and is working with various partners on seven water quality projects in the Shuswap and Mara lakes in 2009 and 2010,” she says. “We focus more water quality monitoring efforts on Shuswap Lake than on any other area in our region.”

Matscha says there is no evidence the algae is toxic to humans, pets or livestock.

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Suspected algae bloom blights Mara Lake
Vernon Morning Star - By Barb Brouwer - Salmon Arm Observer - May 12, 2010

An aerial view of Mara Lake with the orange algae visible.  Photo contributed

It looks similar, it smells similar and it’s covering most of Mara Lake.

But whether a suspected algal bloom is the same as the Shuswap Lake one that stretched from Salmon Arm Bay to Sicamous in June 2008, was yet to be determined at the Shuswap Market News press deadline.

Tina Keeley, Mara Lake resident and co-ordinator of a 15-member Shuswap Water Action Team (SWAT) water testing crew, got a call about 2 p.m. Tuesday advising her that what was suspected to be an algal bloom had been spotted at the south end of Mara Lake.

A couple of hours later, Keeley received another call, this time from a Swansea Point volunteer.

“She said she could see it – rust, brown, yellow in streaks and a putrid smell,” said Keeley. “She figured it stretched from Swansea Dock to Black Point, close to the entrance of Turtle Bay.

“From what she could see, she suggested 60 to 70 metres long and about 20 metres across.”

Keeley called the Ministry of Environment to report the sighting and says staff responded quickly, promising to send staff out the following morning.

“We rounded up a bunch of water testers and asked them to take samples and tell us if and where they spotted the bloom,” says Keeley, noting that her biggest concern was to inform everyone who gets water from the lake not to drink it until they knew what they were dealing with.

When Keeley and her husband went out on the lake Wednesday morning the bloom had sunk below the surface.

“We headed south to the slide area on Highway 97A and were right in the middle of it, about five to six feet below the surface of the water, all big huge yellow swirls, but no smell,” she says. “We drifted and it would come around the boat, then it would be gone. Whether it’s breaking up or sinking because of the cold nights we don’t know.”

Gabriele Matscha, an environmental section head in MOE’s Kamloops office, said Wednesday her staff were on Mara Lake collecting samples which were to be tested by an algal specialist Thursday.

“I cannot comment on whether it is the same, but similarities have been observed,” Matscha said referring to the 2008 Shuswap Lake bloom that was similar in time of year, colour and associated odour. “Their report indicates a threat that it’s likely an algal bloom that has spread from Shuswap River to Mara Point.”

Testing was expected to reveal algae type, concentration and potential risks of the algae to human and the environment, said Matscha, noting MOE planned to release a question and answer sheet once the details became available. Matscha said MOE staff will continue to investigate in a step-by-step process to find both causes and the source of the bloom.

Environmentalists were vocal about the appearance of the bloom.

“Once again, we’re facing a large algal bloom that is like the canary in the coal mine,” said Shuswap Environmental Action Society president Jim Cooperman. “It points to serious problems in Shuswap and Mara lakes and the need for a Shuswap watershed council as recommended by SLIPP (Shuswap Lake Integrated Planning Process).”

SWAT president Ray Nadeau calls the algal bloom another indication of excess nutrients being put into the lake from various sources.

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.pdf icon March 11, 2010 Governance & Services Committee Meeting Minutes (Pg. 8)

Jurisdiction for motorized boats remains with the Province/Federal governments. What process would there be to move forward with limiting the use of gas motorized boats? SEKID may be interested in doing this application but ultimate the authority is with the Federal government.

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Boat exam a reality
Vernon Morning Star - By Brent Mutis - April 10, 2010

Charleen Powell, of HIgh Response Water Sports and proctor for Transport Canada’s boating licence exam, walks boater Melanie Stuckless through some scenarios prior to her writing the test Wednesday outside Canadian Tire in Vernon. Photo

Remember that flap about getting your boating licence last September when it officially became a binding rule?

It hasn’t gone away. And boaters face a $250 fine if they’re caught operating a motor craft without a licence.

Luckily, there are plenty of places in the Okanagan to get certified and once you do, it’s good for life.

In Vernon, there will be test-taking opportunities three times every week until Labour Day weekend.

Charleen Powell, of High Response Water Sports (Facebook link), gives the exam on behalf of Transport Canada and is stationed just outside Canadian Tire on 27th Street every Wednesday from 4 to 7 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., excluding long weekends.

Powell says people need to take the licence process more seriously.

“When cars came out, you didn’t need a driver’s licence but people kept crashing,” she said. “Boating got so popular, now it’s the same as having a driver’s licence.”

She says Transport Canada’s research indicates only a third of boat owners currently have a licence. An avid boater herself, Powell says some people’s boating practices are appalling.

“It is scary because one of the biggest mistakes people make is picking people (in the water) up on the left-hand side,” she said. “You can drive over them so easily.”

If you’re not well-versed in proper boating techiniques, don’t sweat it too much. Powell will go over some of the basics in advance of you writing the test.

“I have a crash course I give people beforehand,” she said, adding things like port and starboard side and red and green directions cause new boaters some confusion. “I walk people through some examples before they sit down and write.”

The exam costs $60 to write but you don’t have to pay if you don’t pass.

There is also a test-writing facility at the Canadian Tire in Kelowna and there will soon be stations at the Kamloops and Salmon Arm locations too.

“Now, it doesn’t matter who you are, you have to have a licence,” said Powell. “Anyone can write one though kids under 16 can only operate maximum 40 horse-power boats.”

Cash or credit cards are acceptable when paying for your exam.

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Study considers boat access
Vernon Morning Star - By Richard Rolke - March 13, 2010

Kalamalka and Okanagan lakes will be the focus of a boat launch study.
photo submitted

Public demand to access local lakes is the driving force behind a proposed study.

The Greater Vernon Advisory Committee will pursue a consultant to review the current status of boat launches and future needs on Okanagan and Kalamalka lakes.

“We need to look at capacities and any environmental impacts,” said director Doug Dirk.

“It will be valuable information for everyone.”

The terms of reference for the study are an inventory of boat launches, projecting the demand for boat access over the next 20 years, providing recommendations on how to meet public demands and surveying the public to determine satisfaction on boat access.

The process will also provide recommendations on how launching facilities should be provided and managed.

It’s essentially been determined there isn’t room for additional launches on Kalamalka Lake.

“Other than Kekuli Bay, where are you going to go? The options are pretty much zero,” said Al McNiven, parks and recreation manager.

GVAC recently learned that B.C. Parks is considering expanding Kekuli Bay Provincial Park on Highway 97 subject to provincial budget approval.

“The plan is to expand parking capacity from 46 stalls to 83 stalls,” said McNiven.

These plans come at the same time that some residents have complained about traffic and other issues at the GVAC launch on Kalavista Drive in Coldstream.

“Doubling Kekuli Bay will have a big impact and alleviate congestion,” said Dirk.

There are also issues on Okanagan Lake, with the Paddlewheel Park launch being extremely busy during the summer.

“We’ve seen growth down in that area and that’s increased demand,” said McNiven.

It’s anticipated that the boat launch study could cost between $65,000 and $70,000 to complete.

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Safe Harbour Boat Launch Closed

Effective immediately, the boat launch at the Okanagan Centre Safe Harbour Regional Park is closed.

Communications Coordinator Bruce Smith says, “One of the concrete pads has broken and there is exposed rebar so unfortunately it’s not safe for use. Until environmental approvals are received and the repairs are complete people with smaller boats and trailers may choose to use the area to the south of the closed boat launch. Because of the low lake water level anyone with a large boat should not use the Safe Harbour to launch. Instead, they should launch or trailer their vessel in other locations such as the District of Lake Country Coral Beach launch in Carrs Landing or the City of Kelowna Water Street or Cook Street boat launches.”

The Regional District apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause. Smith adds, “Even though the launch itself is closed, the Safe Harbour still provides shelter and refuge for boaters during storms, poor weather conditions or other emergency needs at any time.”

From October through the end of April, the gate to the Regional Park, boat launch, small beach and parking area along Okanagan Centre Road in Lake Country is not locked. Between May 1st and September 30th, the gate is locked daily from 10:00 pm to 5:00 am.

(January 28, 2010)

Source Regional District of Central Okanagan "What's New"

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Boater wants action at launch
Vernon Morning Star -  By Richard Rolke - February 13, 2010

A Coldstream resident is accusing government of leaving boaters high and dry.

Brent Vinoly is concerned the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee spent considerable money on upgrades to the Kalavista Drive boat launch but those have been reversed by the District of Coldstream.

“We want government to recognize the need to maximize the existing facility at the Kalavista launch,” he told GVAC Thursday.

“It’s the only functional launch on the north end of Kalamalka Lake and it plays a vital role for residents throughout the North Okanagan.”

Vigoly, who said he represented lake users, says expanded parking was reduced because of complaints from a few immediate neighbours. He also questions the Kalavista committee set up by Coldstream.

“It appears to be a special interest group.”

Vinoly asked GVAC for co-ordination between agencies on the launch, a study to determine long-term launch needs on the lake and for posts to be removed so the parking lot can be expanded again.

He also believes there is a need for more security and a user fee to help manage parking.

Director Jim Garlick, who is also Coldstream’s mayor, points out that the parking lot is municipal property and vehicles were removed from the grass for a reason.

“It made a mess. There was mud in there,” he said, adding that it wasn’t appropriate to have vehicles right against the tennis court.

Garlick also raised concerns about Vinoly’s suggestion that launch use be maximized.

“The more draw you have, the more problems you’ll have,” he said of traffic and safety issues.

Director Gyula Kiss believes boaters should use the Kekuli Bay launch on Highway 97 and he defended Kalavista Drive residents.

“If you can’t access your own property because of boat trailers, you wouldn’t be very happy,” he said.

But Vinoly refuted that argument.

“The boat launch has been in existence for decades and and people who purchased property there knew the boat launch was there,” he said.

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Okanagan Lake plays host to visiting tundra swans
Kelowna Capital News - By Judie Steeves - January 21, 2010

Don’t you wish you could scratch your rump with the back of your head? It takes a long neck, such as this tundra swan’s. She is overwintering from Alaska here on Okanagan Lake, adorned with a neck band (see photo) she received at King Salmon, Alaska, in July last year. Tundra swans mate for life and usually migrate with family members. Sean Connor/Capital News

A group of tundra swans from Alaska have made their home here on Okanagan Lake this winter, including one young female who was banded in King Salmon, Alaska last summer.

Banding birds helps in monitoring migration habits, but it’s only useful as long as someone spots the band and reports it.

Capital News photographer Sean Connor’s image of this one has established that there is a group over-wintering here in the Okanagan this year instead of flying all the way south to California where most of the western population of tundra swans migrate.

The eastern population travels from Alaska to the Atlantic coast to overwinter.

Biologist Rick Howie, who has been involved in gathering data on B.C. birds for 45 years or so, confirms that there are usually some tundra swans that winter in the Kelowna area.

It has become a traditional wintering area for a group of them.

With their long necks, tundra swans gather submerged aquatic vegetation along the shoreline, along with some insect larva and snails, he said.

They can eat 15 to 20 pounds of wet vegetation a day—even more if it’s colder, although they are well-insulated with their feathers.

However, if ice forms along the lakeshore where the water is shallow, it blocks their feeding areas and forces them to move on.

They do require open water that’s about a metre deep in order to feed, and it needs to have aquatic vegetation on which they can feed.

Howie pointed out that no inventory has been done on that type of aquatic vegetation and where it’s available.

Naturalists’ clubs in the interior do a mid-January count of swans and eagles and two tundra swans were recorded by the Kelowna group this year, said Howie.

Although their numbers have remained pretty stable in the past 30 years, the growth in the trumpeter swan population overwintering in the Kamloops area has grown so much the smaller tundra swans have been pushed out, he noted.

He said there were 400 counted on the Thompson River, but said in some peak years, there have been 1,000 tundra swans in the Kamloops area over winter.

The banded one spotted by Connor will likely head back up to Alaska in the spring to build a nest and lay her eggs in a nest on the tundra.

Howie says often the family stays together, even while migrating, and during the migration they will be joined by other birds enroute to the nesting grounds in Alaska.

Little is done to protect the wintering spots of these large and dramatic white birds with their long, graceful necks, he commented.

Bird Studies Canada and Nature Canada maintain a website with details of sites designated as sensitive, called Important Bird Areas or IBAs, but Howie said that designation has no legal status.

“It doesn’t actually protect them for birds,” he commented.

However, it is an opportunity for volunteers to get involved in bird surveys across Canada, and to learn more about what is being done.

Go to: www.ibacanada.com

jsteeves "at" kelownacapnews.com

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Safe-boating gear for Christmas
Kelowna Capital News - By Kevin Parnell -December 18, 2009

With the majority of Central Okanagan boaters still not complying with proper safety regulations, this area’s boating safety officer says Christmas is the perfect time to start.

Transport Canada’s Chris Marrie says friends and family members of people who use area waterways for fishing and hunting should think about proper safety gear when Christmas shopping.

“Friends and family members can encourage their family to be safe by purchasing a comfortable lifejacket as a Christmas gift, that the person is guaranteed to wear,” said Marrie.

“The fact is the majority of boaters in the Okanagan are non-compliant. One of the biggest non compliant issues is having an approved lifejacket on board.

“A lifejacket is of little use in an emergency unless it is being worn.”

Marrie has completed his first year as Transport Canada’s boating safety officer and his position has now been made full-time, meaning he will be back next year trying to educate boaters about proper safety gear.

This summer he spent plenty of time meeting boaters at area lakes and said the majority of people are not taking boating safety seriously.

Buying the outdoors-person in your life a safety item for the backcountry is a perfect way to point them in the right direction, said Marrie.

“If you buy a lifejacket as a gift it’s really important to choose one that will suit the activity they are using it for,” he said.

“Buy something that is not restrictive. Lifejackets today are not the big bulky orange life preservers. There are lifejackets made for every sport out there.”

Marrie also warned that users of area lakes in the winter, spring and fall are at an increased risk of drowning if they end up in the water.

Cold water temperatures at those times hamper the body’s way of being able to survive.

“In water less than 15 C, the body has an automatic gasp reflex,” he said.

“Without a life jacket, many victims die because they inhale a litre of water and they can drown within seconds.”

You can see the effects of falling into cold water at www.coldwaterbootcamp.com.

Marrie said next year he will be out again at local lakes performing courtesy safety checks on local boaters as well as providing education on boating safety.

For more information you can e-mail him at chris.marrie "at" tc.gc.ca

kparnell "at" kelownacapnews.com

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Council holds off on boat dock decision
Kelowna Capital News - By Jennifer Smith - November 20, 2009

There is still no decision on whether several Mission homeowners will keep the boat docks and launches built out in front of their homes.

Tuesday evening, council heard the Southbay Landing Strata Corporation, whose 30 multi-million dollar South Mission homes the docks were built for, saw a mix-up when Rykon Construction built their docks.

Where the licence granted by the province gave the strata permission for 28 slips with nine boat lifts, the construction company effectively goofed, building a dock of the same size as the licence allowed, though with two additional slips.

Some 17 extra lifts gradually arrived on scene as individual homeowners installed them, council heard, though there was never a licence to do so.

The matter would likely never have come before council had it not been for complaints from neighbours Ava and Wayne Fipke, who spoke at the hearing as well.

The couple brought the issue to the City of Kelowna four years ago and were sent on to the province as the city has no jurisdiction over the licence to enforce the rules, they were told.

In the four years since, Ava Fipke told the Capital News she’s had little success even getting the ear of any government employee.

The public hearing into the matter ran into the early hours of Nov. 18, at which point council decided to postpone making a decision on the issue.

jsmith "at" kelownacapnews.com

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DWK takes control of Gellatly Bay
Castanet.net by Wayne Moore - Story: 50133 - Oct 14, 2009

Houseboat owners take notice.

The District of West Kelowna has enacted a bylaw giving it control over municipal waterways, including Gellatly Bay which has been home to about a dozen houseboats for the past year.

Many area residents, most living in the Angus Drive area took their complaints to council last year, calling the houseboats an 'aquatic slum' and wondering what the houseboats would do for their property values and standard of living.

Tuesday, council passed the new W1 (Water Use Recreational) Zone, in effect, giving it control over the waterfront.

While supporting the bylaw in principal, Councillor Bryden Winsby says he is a little nervous about the implications.

"My concern is that the whole process is even-handed. I can understand and appreciate that the municipality wants control over the use of the bay," says Winsby.

"It's just that we are looking at a specific kind of vessel. Had complaints not been about the visual impact of people having to look at houseboats everyday, this issue would never have arisen."

Winsby says the real, underlying issue is that of moorage.

"How the municipality chooses to tackle that remains to be seen. Certainly there is no appetite for a municipal marina, so it becomes a matter of how do we encourage the private sector."

Houseboats began popping up in Gellatly Bay at the end of September last year after vessels were forced to leave both the Shelter Bay Marina and Sutherland Bay just north of the Tolko sawmill.

Winsby further wonders how the new bylaw will be enforced.

"Is it going to be complaint driven? Are there regular inspections that are going to take place? I don't know what the process will be."

He adds that the bylaw does not permit permanent moorage, however, it does allow for temporary moorage.

"I can see enforcement issues. Someone comes in, parks for three days, takes off for a day, comes back and parks for three days. Is that going to be allowed?"

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New boating safety officer
Kelowna Capital News - September 01, 2009

Transport Canada’s Office of Boating Safety now has a boating safety officer in the Okanagan region.

Chris Marrie, Boating Safety Officer, will be available to provide information and conduct presentations on safe boating issues such as:

- The September 2009 deadline for getting your Pleasure Craft Operator Card.

- The importance of taking a boating safety course.

- Boating safety equipment demonstrations.

- The most common dangers for Okanagan boaters.

- The role of The Office of Boating Safety in the Okanagan region.

- A chance to participate in boat ramp pleasure craft safety checks.

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Marina, winery plans in the works
By Steve MacNaull - Kelowna Daily Courier - 2009-04-22

A massive 1,350 boat marina is the centrepiece of $175-million marina-hotel-winery development planned for the lakefront in West Kelowna.

“We all know there is a critical shortage of boat moorage in the area,” said developer John Weisbeck, a retired Kelowna dentist and former Kelowna-Lake Country Liberal MLA at a news conference Tuesday.

“The marina is the anchor for this development, but there will also be a floating restaurant, vineyards and winery and 50-room boutique hotel with shops. The goal is to create a global destination utilizing our great assets of the lake, wine, agriculture and tourism.”

The project does not yet have a name, but Weisbeck‘s consortium is called Okanagan Waterfront Development Group.

The 120-acre site is not on Westbank First Nation reserve and is being bought from the Davidson family.

It is located just north of the former Old Ferry Dock, directly across Okanagan Lake from the Delta Grand hotel. Site preparation is set to start this fall with the marina and restaurant slated for June 2011 completion.

The vineyards and winery should be up and running in 2012, with the hotel and shops following in 2013.

“The recession is on everyone‘s mind,” admitted Weisbeck.

“But we think this is the perfect timing to launch. There‘s a desperate need for boat moorage and contractors and labourers are looking for work. We will be able to bring this on stream quickly and do it on budget.”

During the boom years 2003-08, virtually every development in the Okanagan focused on recreational and investment housing to feed the demand for people in wanting a piece of the Valley lifestyle.

The Okanagan Waterfront development deliberately didn‘t include housing because of the change in the market.

Concentrating on boat moorage is expected to create a nice revenue flow and still give people that piece of Okanagan lifestyle they are after.

The marina will be developed in two parts – with 650 berths on the water in a arc formation extending from shore and 700 spaces in an automated underground dry stack storage system.

The underground space will have a green roof because it will have vineyard growing on it.

The automated feature means boat owners will be able to call the system from their cellphone and have their boat automatically moved into the water to be ready and waiting for them.

Boats in the water marina can be stacked and stored off-season in the development‘s underground parking structure.

All moorage will be available on shorter-term rental, longer-term lease or purchase.

There will also be short term and day moorage for people who stay at the hotel or drop in to eat at the restaurant or stroll on the 1,500-foot boardwalk.

There will also be a free water taxi running from the development to the Delta Grand hotel and downtown Kelowna.

Weisbeck‘s investment partners from Vancouver and Calgary are as yet unnamed.

But Weisbeck said they will be introduced at another launch event in August and that they are very recognizable names.

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Marina, winery in the works
by Kelly Hayes & Rachael Kimola - Story: 46465
Apr 21, 2009 / 2:33 pm


It's a project which the developer thinks will bring together all the best aspects of the Okanagan.

Plans for a destination winery resort and marina were unveiled Tuesday by the Okanagan Waterfront Development Group.

Developer John Weisbeck, says the project, to be located on a 100 acre parcel of land on Westside Road in West Kelowna, will include a 650 berth marina, a 600 boat stacking system, a working vineyard and winery and a luxury hotel with spa features and restaurants.

“There are very few locations on Lake Okanagan on which we could do a project of this size, so when this property that available to us, we looked at the best possible project that we could put on that piece of property. The latest study has shown we are thousands of berths short of boat storage and moorage, so what better thing to do than to meld all the components together into a project that will be a wonderful experience for everyone, the public, the tourists. It will be unforgettable,” says Weisbeck.

He says they are in the process of making their applications and are hoping to start some of the ground preparations for the vineyard this fall.

“The first amenity that will be open will be the marina, we are hoping that will be available by June 2011. We are hoping our vineyard will be producing grapes by 2012 and we are hoping the hotel and restaurant complex will be open by 2013.”

Weisbeck says the project will inject more than $175 million into the local economy and employ hundreds of people.

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MLA wades into houseboat moorage controversy
Kelowna Capital News - By Jason Luciw - Published: March 17, 2009

Houseboat opponent Les Holmes had a heart-to-heart discussion with Okanagan-Westside MLA Rick Thorpe, asking the provincial politician to immediately intervene in a growing number of problems associated with vessels moored at Gellatly Bay.

The West Kelowna resident told Thorpe that at least one houseboat has been observed dumping effluent into the bay.

“They do untie once in a while, do a circuit of the lake, loiter out there for a bit and then come back,” said Holmes.

“Meanwhile, a flock of 30 or 40 gulls descends on the spot where he was loitering and they’re not just taking a drink. They’re scavengers.”

Holmes said he’s been boating long enough to know when a vessel is dumping things it shouldn’t be.

“I’ve been on the ocean quite a bit and I know what goes on out there with respect to gulls and garbage.”

One boat has had two residents and a dog living on it all winter, Holmes said. Meanwhile, the pump out station at the nearby Westbank Yacht Club has been closed.

So, one doesn’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out what’s happening with the effluent, according to residents, who added that any dumping of sewage must be stopped before swimmers and divers make their way back to nearby Willow Beach and the Gellatly Wharfs.

Holmes and a handful of other Gellatly Bay residents caught up with Thorpe Monday afternoon, immediately after the MLA made a funding announcement on an unrelated matter.

Thorpe said he needed to see Holmes’ concerns, expressed in writing, as soon as possible, so the issues can be taken immediately to Environment Minister Barry Penner. “Then I can ask the minister to give instructions to his staff to come, go out and investigate and look at these things and see what is going on and what isn’t going on,” stated Thorpe.

While sewage disposal is the immediate concern, Holmes would also like to see longer term issues, like noisy houseboat parties, dealt with.

“There’re going to be party barges in the summertime. We know that for sure,” said Holmes.

The houseboats’ collective appearance is also ruining people’s enjoyment of the area, said another resident, who asked that her name not be used.

“The tourists aren’t going to come when they see this trailer park sitting here in the bay.”

Holmes noted that he’s succeeded in getting a “substantial reduction” in his home’s assessment because of the visual impact. “They didn’t reduce it as much as I thought they would but I got a 10 per cent reduction anyway,” responded Holmes.

Meantime, the District of West Kelowna has applied to the B.C. Environment Ministry, seeking a license of occupation, which would allow the municipality to control moorage and regulate piers, buoys, marinas, wharfs and boat launches along its shores.

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March 5, 2009 Governance & Services Committee Meeting Minutes

5.4 Update - Foreshore Structure Bylaw

As requested by the Regional Board, staff report dated February 26th outlined the background on the Regional District's plan for a Foreshore Structure Bylaw. The bylaw is in draft form now and staff are consulting with other regional districts for consideration on what they would include in such a bylaw. A budget is being developed as well as a foreshore guideline brochure.

#GS19/09 SHEPHERD/GIVEN
THAT the February 26, 2009 staff report update on the Foreshore Structure Bylaw be received.

CARRIED

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Neis: Make a public marina profitable
Kelowna Capital News - Jason Luciw - Published: February 17, 2009

Don’t build a public marina unless it’s a money making venture, says a West Kelowna councillor.

Rosalind Neis said she is concerned about undertones in the Central Okanagan Regional District’s marine facilities study, which suggest another level of bureaucracy could be created to build and manage a moorage facility.

“I was under the impression from their report that they wanted to create another service that will be run and operated through the regional district, kind of like how the Okanagan Basin Water Board exists,” she said.

Neis said she would oppose any new entity which would have authority to further tax Central Okanagan homeowners.

“I really think that it should be looked at as a revenue generating facility for the municipalities that want to consider that,” said Neis.

“Why should (anyone) who has no interest in the lake or boating possibly pay to subsidize a marina?”

Public private partnerships and fees charged for services should be options that are fully explored to ensure any burden stays off taxpayers’ shoulders, said Neis.

The regional district study does recommend fees for service and public private partnerships be considered.

Neis knows a little bit about the marina business because when she was West Kelowna mayor last year, she did some preliminary research on the possibility of her municipality constructing a marina of its own.

However, being a new municipality, West Kelowna lacked the resources to pursue the matter.

Should the regional district decide to proceed with a marina, Neis said she would be interested in seeing a full business plan, detailed studies on the proposed location and buy-in from other government bodies including the B.C. Ministry of Environment and Transport Canada.

Meanwhile, the regional district said it is not prepared to pursue the marina proposal contained in the study at this time.

Spokesman Bruce Smith said that while the study suggested the regional district take the lead on marine facilities, at this stage it is merely getting input on the plan from Lake Country, Peachland, Kelowna and West Kelowna and the Westbank First Nation.

jluciw [at] kelownacapnews.com

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Boat moorage solution in high demand
Text By Jennifer Smith - Kelowna Capital News - Published: February 17, 2009

Shelter Bay Marina on Okanagan Lake, located along the shoreline of West Kelowna adjacent to the William Bennett Bridge, is one spot for boat moorage.

A recent study and very public consultation process on the state of boat moorage in the Central Okanagan raised the expectations of the public, according to the consultant in charge.

With the release of a new 20-year plan and study on Okanagan boating habits, people are going to expect action, consultant Doris Haas, of GDH Solutions, told Kelowna city council this week.

“The public wants to be kept in the loop,” she said adding: “It’s their hope this is not going to wind up on some shelf.”

The council is just one of many stakeholders expected to adopt the document, dubbed a “blue print” for dealing with valley-wide boating issues.

Moorage space rests around 30 per cent under the current demand level and the problem is expected to multiply if organized government intervention does not occur, Haas said.

Already, one in four Okanagan households claims some form of boat ownership (37 per cent in the City of Kelowna), according to results from an Ipsos Reid Survey conducted as part of the study work.

From mid-May to mid-September an estimated 53,000 boats are launched from Peachland to Lake Country on the 27 public sites and almost three quarters of those boats are local.

“Boating has a large economic impact,” said Haas, adding that it can draw a lot of tourists as well.

Greeted with lineups at the few launches and moorage sites we do have, like those that occur outside the El Dorado Hotel site off Cook Street, those tourists may turn and run.

The Okanagan is also missing out on valuable economic stimulus by failing to provide town-centred temporary moorage, places for locals and tourists to tie up and go exploring in local shops and restaurants, she said.

The report suggests the city take immediate action by adding temporary moorage buoys, potentially with a fee-for-service charge and building more boat launches, as the private sector has little interest in doing so given the costs involved.

She suggested it’s likely possible to pursue deals on developments with applications already in the city’s system to garner more public access to the privately owned pieces of waterfront.

“There was a consensus that government should get involved,” Haas concluded.

“If you just let the private sector do it, then that, at the end of the day, will limit public access to the water.”

Without a concrete recommendation to move on this week, however, Coun. André Blanleil said he wasn’t satisfied with the pace of action.

Haas’ report came with a recommendation the regional district take the lead in forming a multi-government stakeholder committee to start implementing the directions of the blueprint. Blanleil worried aloud the city might be passing the buck. “It’s been two years and we’ve done nothing so far. I guess I’m just a little frustrated,” he said.

Boating is an affordable option for many residents to get to know and enjoy the Okanagan, he said, as everyone from rowboat owners to small powerboat operators should have free access to the lake.

“I think there’s sometimes the perception that we build these facilities for tourists,” he said. “But it’s the local people I’m hearing from.”

“…Today you can’t buy a boat if you live in a multi-family development because there is nowhere to put it.”

City staff member David Graham responded by telling Blanleil he did not understand what was being purposed. The document itself will lead to action if it’s directed through the bureaucracy properly, he suggested.

The blue print is to go on to all city departments before the fall so its recommendations can be reviewed before the 2010 budget; although it may not see movement then either, Graham said.

Anything below the high-water mark will require other jurisdictions, provincial and federal involvement, meaning more negotiations and agreements will need to take place and there are plenty of other budgetary considerations, he noted.

The recommendations from the report include:

• that the regional district establish a coordinating body to deal with the issue

• that all four local governments—Peachland, Kelowna, Lake Country, West Kelowna—adopt the study recommendations as a blueprint for developing recreational marine facilities

• all proposed marine facilities be assessed for potential public-private partnerships

• environmental considerations, particularly with regard to sensitive foreshore development be considered

• foreshore environmental mapping be undertaken for Wood and Kalamalka Lakes

• developing marine facilities, particularly boat launches, marinas and boat channels be given high priority by local government

• a moorage buoy policy be developed.

A complete copy of the study and recommendations can be found on the city’s website, www.kelowna.ca, under the city projects tab.

Kelowna city council has not committed to anything more than participating in the coordinating body and forwarding report to various internal departments at this time.

jsmith [at] kelownacapnews.com

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Kelowna City Council meeting August 18, 2008 audio from Castanet.net on what residents and RDCO feel ... loud boats on Okanagan Lake, boat trailer parking on Okanagan Lake, user pay boat launch system on Okanagan Lake, etc..

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RDCO map of Parks and Marine - Kelowna, Regional, Provincial

RDCO - Foreshore Inventory & Mapping (FIM)

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Highlights of the Regional Board Meeting– October 27, 2008
Recreational Lakes Marine Facilities Study
The Regional Board has received a detailed final report from the consulting team studying recreational marine facilities on Okanagan Lake, Wood Lake and Kalamalka Lake. The study was developed through extensive public and stakeholder consultation and research. The final report makes a number of recommendations regarding present and future amenities for the boating community in the Central Okanagan. The Board also recommends the final report be sent to the municipalities for their consideration and response in light of possible financial implications. Links to the study will soon be available on the Regional District website.

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Regional Board Agenda Nov 19, 2007 - Item 6.1 Board Policy - Central Okanagan Lake Foreshore Plan Update.pdf
The foreshore extends from the high-water mark or upland boundary where Crown Land terminates out into the lake for two hundred metres
The foreshore extends from the high-water mark or upland boundary where Crown Land terminates out into the lake for two hundred metres.  Upland property above the high-water mark is not included in this Plan.  It does, however, play a substantial role in the foreshore's future and, therefore, is considered integral to foreshore planning.

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Minutes of the REGULAR MEETING of the Regional District of Central Okanagan Monday, March 8, 2004
3. CORRESPONDENCE
3.1 Bill Valentine, President and CEO, Land and Water BC Inc. re: Dock Licence Fees on Okanagan Lake
The Board discussed Land and Water BC Inc.’s (LWBC) response to the Regional District’s inquiry regarding dock licence fees. It was noted that LWBC does not enforce their mandate to collect the fees, there are illegal docks on Okanagan lake—why are they not removed at the owner’s expense and what is the penalty to an owner who does not comply.
#87/04 NOVAKOWSKI/SHEPHERD
THAT the February 16, 2004 letter from Bill Valentine, President and CEO, Land and Water BC Inc. re: Dock Licence Fees on Okanagan Lake be received.
CARRIED
#88/04 GRAY/HEIN
THAT a follow-up letter be sent to Land and Water BC asking what the consequences are for not conforming, whether all private docks in the province are required to pay, what resources they have for enforcement and which lakes are being targeted and what lakes, if any, are exempt.
CARRIED

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Environment pollution not an issue yet with house boats
By Judie Steeves - Kelowna Capital News - Published: January 10, 2009

As long as there’s no evidence the houseboats moored in Kelowna’s Sutherland Bay area—or those in Gellatly Bay in West Kelowna—are polluting the environment, the provincial environment ministry has no reason to force them out of the area.

All 13 occupants of Gellatly Bay are floating, and most of those in the Sutherland Bay area are either floating or their owners appeared to be working on them this week, according to Bill Michael, environmental emergency response officer for the ministry in this area.

There were no fuel slicks visible in either area, he said, and no reason to believe there was leakage from on-board septic systems.

“Responsible boat owners usually clean out their septic systems in the fall and winterize them so no damage is caused by freezing weather,” he noted.

Although one Poplar Point Drive resident says he believes one floating home has five people living on it, Michael said he didn’t see anyone when he visited the site Thursday.

Anyone who has concerns about a spill should contact the ministry’s emergency line with details, at 1-800-663-3456 or the toll-free Record All Poachers and Polluters line at 1-877-9522-7277(RAPP).

He said the Integrated Land Management Bureau has jurisdiction over Crown land, including foreshore, so if a vessel is mooring permanently in one spot, the owner would be required to get tenure on the shoreline.

The City of Kelowna has a water lot in Sutherland Bay, which is one form of tenure, but at the moment, most of the boats are moored just outside the boundary of that water lot, according to city clerk Stephen Fleming.

“Our first goal is to get people to comply with our bylaws,” noted Fleming, but if they don’t, bylaw enforcement will take action.

Unfortunately, he said there’s quite a network of jurisdictions involved, which can complicate matters. A floating home called Hope She Floats is very close to the city’s water lot, but is currently outside it, he said.

However, when boats are moored to something onshore, the city has some rights, because it’s not their property. Sutherland Bay is surrounded by the city-owned Sutherland Park.

Fleming said council gets letters of concern from the public bit he pointed out that “senior government has the hammer” when it comes to moorage regulations.

The city has concerns about permanent moorage in the Sutherland Bay area because of the potential for environmental damage; because that area is not meant for permanent moorage and the land use doesn’t support people living on boats in that area.

Noise from them and the speed of boats are also issues, he said.

However, he noted that they are aware of the shortage of moorage in the valley.

jsteeves [at] kelownacapnews.com

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Houseboats not welcome in Westside
Castanet.net - by Wayne Moore - Story: 43848 - Dec 17, 2008

Westside Council has made it clear, houseboats moored in Gellatly Bay are not welcome.

The boats began appearing in Gellatly Bay in October after the City of Kelowna forced houseboats out of Sutherland Bay. It was also around the time all houseboats were removed from Shelter Bay Marina.

The municipality was prompted to take action after residents of the Angus Drive area appeared before council at the end of October, concerned about what these boats are doing to their property values and their standard of living, calling it an 'aquatic slum.'

Westside Council unanimously endorsed a plan to pursue a License of Occupation for waters which front publicly owned lands along Okanagan Lake.

These would include Gellatly Bay.

Environmental Planner, Brent Magnan, says it was this Licence of Occupation which the City of Kelowna used successfully to remove the houseboats from Sutherland Bay.

"They(City of Kelowna) do have a Licence of Occupation and they do have a Water Use Zone over that parcel of water and they were able to use both the zone as well as the Licence of Occupation to have the boats removed," says Magnum.

The Licence of Occupation will basically allow the municipality to control most activities on waters within the licence area.

Magnan says it will also require fewer staff resources.

The Licence of Occupation, according to Magnun, will allow the municipality to deal with houseboats currently occupying Gellatly Bay as well as any boats who attempt to tie up to moorage buoys in the future.

"The wording of the Licence of Occupation that Crown Land would put together would allow us the opportunity to enforce moorage regulations or restrictions within the licenced area. The existing ones we would have the ability to enforce or have them removed based on that licence. It's also my understanding that it is largely dependent on the wording that goes into the licence."

Magnan adds the municipality is also in discussions with both WFN and the Regional District regarding lands under their jurisdiction in and around the District of Westside.

It's unclear how long it will take for the Licence of Occupation to be issued.

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New council to put tentative toes into festival waters
Kelowna Capital News - Opinion - By Alistair Waters - Published: December 16, 2008

It looks like Kelowna wants to revive its brief, but thunderous past by allowing the return of hydroplane racing on Okanagan Lake.

The city has been here a few times before.

In the late 1990s, the North American Unlimited Hydroplane Racing Association made the city a stop on its tour. But despite rave reviews from the teams, smaller than expected crowds and a city council concerned about the level of policing required to keep the patrons from getting out of hand scuttled the event just three years into a four-year plan.

Many years earlier, the lake had hosted the forerunner of unlimited hydroplane racing, far less safe vessels that featured their share of spectacular crashes. That was back in the days of the famed Kelowna Regatta.

But the original races were nothing compared to the event that was Thunderfest in the late 1990s.

While the crowds were not as big as organizers had hoped they would be, there were still thousands who wanted to see the drivers strap into fighter plane cockpits and ride humungous engine at speeds of up to 300 miles per hour across the surface of the lake.

Prior to the races, the deep-pocketed race team owners would pull into town in their huge, chauffeur-driven recreational vehicles—some bigger than many condos now for sale at cut-rate prices in this town. They would hunker down on pit row (Waterfront Park beach) to watch their drivers careen across the lake at speeds that would make the skin peel back from the faces of mere mortal drivers.

(Actually, the rich owners would stay at the Grand Hotel and the aforementioned recreational vehicles would serve only as the private seating and refreshment stands for them and their bevy of tanned beauties during the races.)

At the time, Kelowna thought its hydroplane event would rival SeaFair in Seattle. There, hydroplane racing has a storied past and each year huge crowds turn out for the annual summer festival on Lake Union.

But the RVs, the huge trucks that carried the seafaring monster motors, the scantily clad hangers-on and the gold-dripping, jewelry encrusted team owners were not enough to keep the event going here.

Kelowna’s time in the big leagues of racing was over before it really began.

Phil DuMoulin, the man behind Thunderfest, pulled the plug in 1999 citing rising costs and dwindling crowds. There was even talk by another group of bringing the event back a few years later. That company said it planned to hire the organizers of the then successful Black Mountain Rodeo to run the show. What cowboys knew about boat racing wasn’t evident at the time.

So faster than you could be thrown off a bucking-bronc, the rebirth of unlimited light hydroplanes racing here sunk.

And now we have a new plan.

It doesn’t have quite the support on city council as the first incarnation. But it has enough to get the green light—at least for now.

Next summer’s appearance of hydroplanes here is expected to be a test run.

But if the city’s recent attitude to events that draw large crowds of young people to the city’s lakeshore in the summer is anything to go by, the stay may not be too long. Just ask the organizers of Wakefest.

Alistair Waters is the assistant editor of the Capital News.

awaters "at" kelownacapnews.com

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Fishing in Okanagan Lake ain’t so bad
Vernon Morning Star - News - Published: December 13, 2008

Photo of the fish

As more and more people flock to the Okanagan to vacation or live, there is more activity on

Okanagan Lake by all kinds of sun worshipers. But when it comes to fishing the number of anglers on the lake is drastically down compared to two

decades ago. But the health of the fish are coming back and a trophy fishery sits right on our doorstep, nearly untouched by any kind of pressure. Capital News reporter Kevin Parnell looks into the health of the rainbow trout fishery on Okanagan Lake.

The morning we went out on the big lake it was cool. Radio said minus three. No wind as we launched, saving the chill factor for another day.

The calendar said late November.

We were heading out on Okanagan Lake in search of a monster. No, not Ogopogo. A monster of a different sort. This one seems just as enigmatic. A monster. A lunker. A trophy.

Call it what you want. In the Interior of B.C. the sport fisherman’s dream is to catch a trophy rainbow trout, something with some size. Like those pictured on this page.

No, that’s not me. But those are Okanagan Lake rainbow.

They’re out there, in the lake that is a boater’s paradise, a marketers dream, a sun-seekers salvation.

But is it a fishing destination? I had never thought so. Until this year.

•••

When you look at the gong show that is boating on Okanagan Lake, it’s tough to picture an angler sitting in an aluminum boat, trolling his lure or fly. There’s just not that much room.

But in the shoulder seasons of early spring and late fall, when the cigar boats are locked up for another season, there is some excellent fishing to be had on Okanagan Lake.

Rainbow trout weighing upwards of 10 pounds are not out of the ordinary. Twenty-pounders plus are said to lurk in the clear, cold waters.

“It’s a tough lake to fish but it can be very rewarding,” said Rod Hennig, the owner of Rodney’s Reel Outdoors, a fish guiding service that has been in operation for three years.

“It’s all about getting that chance at the big one. The action might not be as fast and furious as in a mountain lake, but when you do get an Okanagan Lake rainbow they’re a beautiful fish. They’re large and they fight really well.”

Hennig has seen his fair share of big ones come out of the lake. The biggest into his boat touched nearly 18 pounds, a trophy catch. He routinely gets clients into five to 15 pound rainbows out of Okanagan Lake. But sometimes people have a hard time believing it.

“I had some clients fish the lake from Saskatchewan and they took pictures of their fish,” recalled Hennig. “In talking to people in the restaurant and pub that they went to, no one could believe they caught them in Okanagan Lake. It’s that old saying that there are no fish in the lake. As a fishery, Okanagan Lake is nowhere near its potential. How we can get it there is up to the biologists.”

•••

The biologist in charge of Okanagan Lake and this region’s eight other “large” lakes is Paul Askey. The 32-year-old, based at the provincial ministry of environment’s Penticton office, was raised as a sport fisherman in the East Kootenays.

Askey’s job is to figure out how many fish are in a lake, find out why, and figure out how to make the fishery better, making recommendations about things like catch quotas.

Along with Okanagan Lake, he is also in charge of Kalamalka Lake, Wood Lake, Mabel Lake, Christina Lake and

Osoyoos Lake.

“The large lakes are neat because they are wild ecosystems,” said Askey. “We have no stocking of wild lakes. The preferred government policy is not to stock on top of wild populations. If you stock on top of the wild populations, they compete with the wild fish.”

It wasn’t always that way. In fact, once upon a time it seemed like everything under the sun was stocked in Okanagan Lake.

According to environment ministry stocking records, Okanagan Lake was stocked with several species of fish, beginning in 1901—yes over 100 years ago—when 975,000 lake whitefish were dumped into the lake.

Over four million whitefish were again introduced in 1928.

In 1913, 10,000 cutthroat trout were stocked in Okanagan Lake. Even brook trout were tried, just once though, when 5,000 of them were introduced in 1941.

Rainbow trout were stocked in numerous years up until 1960. But since that time, there are no records of any stocking in Okanagan Lake.

The fish are considered native to Okanagan Lake; the fishery’s health dependent on a couple of key factors.

“There are a few strains of rainbows that if we stocked them they would start mixing with the native population,” said Askey.

“Some of these stocks have their own unique genetics and you want to try and maintain that. There is a finite amount of feed in the lake and that is the kokanee population.”

•••

And there’s the biggest factor in the health of the rainbow population: The kokanee.

Once an Okanagan Lake rainbow trout gets past the first few years of feeding on insects, it switches and starts eating kokanee. In the 1980s the booming kokanee population gave rainbows lots of food, allowing them to thrive.

But when kokanee stocks in the lake crashed, it sent a ripple effect onto the rainbow stocks. No kokanee, no trout.

“In the late ’80s and early ’90s, we did really well fishing the lake for rainbows,” said Hennig, then a member of the self-named car-topper club, a bunch of guys who would fish Okanagan Lake in small aluminum boats.

“Then in the late ’90s and early 2000s, we noticed the fish were long and skinny and that was because the kokanee had dropped off.

“In the last three years there has been a lot of change in the thickness of the rainbow. Now just about every one you catch has a kokanee in its stomach.”

It’s not surprising then that since the kokanee have made a pretty good comeback in Okanagan Lake in the past couple of years, the health of the rainbows has increased as well.

And so once again the search for trophy rainbows is on. But it’s a small portion of people actually fishing the lake. And there is drastically fewer people fishing the big lake than a couple of decades ago.

Askey has studied the numbers.

“I would say there are still people out there fishing but it’s definitely a fraction of what it used to be in the 1980s,” he said. “Angler numbers used to be a lot higher.”

According to the ministry’s own numbers, angler days on Okanagan Lake have drastically declined since the mid-1980s. Angler days—defined as four to five hours a day—on Okanagan Lake totaled 80,000 in 1985 and averaged around the same number throughout the decade.

In 2006-07, the same stat showed an average of 11,000 angler days, a near 90 per cent decline. And it was even worse when the kokanee crashed.

“When the kokanee fishery went down we stopped doing boat counts,” said Askey. “Now that we

re-opened the kokanee fishery, each year there has been an increase in angler effort.”

•••

So, with a healthy kokanee population and a trophy rainbow fishery sitting right outside our front door, why aren’t more people taking advantage, especially when the fishing is said to be best from October through December when the lake is relatively quiet?

“There is no exposure, no advertising no one doing a fishing show on the lake,” said Nick Pace, co-owner of Kelowna fishing shop Trout Water Fly and Tackle.

“If you come to the Okanagan to fish you’re likely coming to fish the many mountain lakes and the streams and rivers on the outskirts.

“You don’t fly into the Kelowna to fish the big lake. It’s not marketed that way. But if you were to market the big lake properly, it could become a destination.”

Rod Hennig is certainly hoping that it does. As a fish guide, about three-quarters of his business is people wanting the big lake experience, trolling in comfort and hoping to get a shot at a trophy rainbow.

He has started to partner with some area hotels offering fishing packages in tourism’s shoulder season.

“People come here for wine and skiing and summer fun, let’s add fishing to that,” he said. “If we could somehow get the fishery a little bit better by whatever means I think it could be a huge benefit to the area.”

Hennig suggests several ideas for increasing the performance of the fishery including relaxing some regulations on the lake, maybe selling an extra license to allow anglers to use more than one rod. And to try to find a way to increase rainbow trout numbers.

The introduction of new strains of rainbows, like the fast-growing triploids (a sterile strain) that are being introduced in mountain lakes, doesn’t appear imminent.

“If you put more fish in there you just take the space of the fish that are being reproduced,” said Askey. “The lake has a certain capacity to it. The hard thing with the big lakes is you don’t have as much power to manipulate them. To turn things around it’s more of a long term sustainable thing. All you can do is help the fish along, try to keep the habitat intact and keep the harvest sustainable.”

•••

We fished all day, trolling in the top 40 feet of the water column, using down riggers and plugs that imitated kokanee. It was slow.

But fishermen will tell you to put in your time. That’s how you catch fish.

And wham, there it was, dancing into the air with three jumps just after it hit.

It wasn’t the mythical 20 pounder. But it was a lunker nonetheless.

Five and a half pounds, it’s stomach bulging with a kokanee dinner. Great sport.

“What you have in the Okanagan that you don’t have in other regions is the large lake opportunity,” said Askey.

“That’s what sets it apart. There is a lot of opportunity out there. Ultimately Okanagan Lake has a real good opportunity to produce a satisfied angler.

“You have a chance at a 20 pounder and one of those is worth 20 small fish.”

kparnell "at" kelownacapnews.com

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Recreational Lakes Marine Facilities Study - October 28, 2008

The Regional Board has received a detailed final report from the consulting team that has been studying recreational marine facilities on Okanagan, Kalamalka and Wood lakes within the Central Okanagan.

The study was developed through extensive public and stakeholder consultation and research. The final report makes a number of recommendations regarding present and future amenities for the boating and marine community in the Central Okanagan.

The Board has recommended that the final report be sent to member municipalities for their consideration and response in light of possible financial implications.

Report Links:

Executive Summary (6 pages)
Part A - Understanding the Area and Issues Report (44 pages, 1.1MB)
Part B - Analysis and Synthesis Report (46 pages)
Part C - Environmental Issues/Impacts (102 pages, 6.2 MB)
Part D - Recommendations and Conclusions (10 pages)
Maps (25 pages, 6 MB)
Appendices (8 pages)

http://www.regionaldistrict.com/whatsnew.aspx

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Highlights of the Regional Board Meeting – October 27, 2008

Recreational Lakes Marine Facilities Study
The Regional Board has received a detailed final report from the consulting team studying recreational marine facilities on Okanagan Lake, Wood Lake and Kalamalka Lake. The study was developed through extensive public and stakeholder consultation and research. The final report makes a number of recommendations regarding present and future amenities for the boating community in the Central Okanagan. The Board also recommends the final report be sent to the municipalities for their consideration and response in light of possible financial implications. Links to the study will soon be available on the Regional District website.

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Houseboats leaving for the Shuswap
by Kelly Hayes & Wayne Moore - Story: 41986
From Castanet.net Sep 25, 2008


Jim Wojcicki is leaving the Okanagan for Sicamous and he's not alone.

Wojcicki is one of dozens of houseboaters who have been forced to leave Shelter Bay Marina.

The Westside Marina has evicted all houseboats from its facilities, citing too much partying by some of the approximately 40 houseboat owners at the facility.

Wojcicki says Shelter Bay's argument doesn't hold water.

"There are some houseboaters that party like there are power boaters and sailboaters who party. The majority of house boaters are not that way," says Wojcicki.

"They enjoy the lake, they enjoy the quiet, they enjoy cruising and they enjoy getting together. It's not what a lot of people think. There are some house boaters who take it too far, but there are some boaters who are not house boaters who take it too far too."

Wojcicki, who has resided on his houseboat at Shelter Bay for several years, says he's packing up and moving his home to Sicamous on Shuswap Lake.

"I'm disappointed to be leaving the marina. We've been here about 16 years, there's about three of us that have been here 16 years. We've really enjoyed it."

All houseboats at Shelter Bay must be out by October 31.

Any boats remaining after that date will be seized and auctioned off.

"It's disappointing to leave a place you've lived at for 16 years. I enjoy it. It's a change of life and I'm an older guy, so it's tougher."

Houseboat owner Jim Wojcicki talks to Kelly Hayes about moving his home to Shuswap Lake.

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Loud boats
Vernon Morning Star Letters - Published: September 19, 2008

I agree with G. Smith that it is time for more input on the loud boat issue. I also own a loud boat and have had numerous lakeshore residences and still own recreational lakeshore property. The only way to quiet most of these boats down is by installing mufflers. They are moderately effective and very costly. Most higher horsepower boats can't run much over 3,000 rpm using under-water exhaust as it is too restrictive.

However it is not only the so-called "cigarette" type boats that contribute to the noises on the lake. Most of the high performance boats are simply passing by and usually fairly quickly so their interruptions are brief. Ski/wakeboard boats and many pleasure boats run thru-hull exhausts or at least silent choice which gives them the choice at the flip of a switch. How do you regulate that once they are away from the dock?

There is also float planes that operate from the Grand Hotel and other areas that are much noisier than most boats. The thing a lot of lakeshore people find most annoying is the Sea-Doos as they are also very noisy and lots of them stay in relatively the same spot for extended periods. Powerful stereos on pleasure craft and house boats are also very annoying and sometimes go all night. This is all part of people having fun and enjoying time on a nice lake that none of us have the exclusive use of. Furthermore, the lakes are federal jurisdiction so any regulations concerning noise would have to cover all lakes and waterways and all vessels including commercial. Maybe while they are doing this they can find a way to regulate the air traffic as helicopters and loud airplanes are getting far too common.

As for districts, cities etc applying bylaws saying loud boats can not use boat launches on city property is just annoying and unlikely to change anything. By the way we pay taxes too.

People looking for year-round peace and quiet should perhaps seek more rural residences or on smaller fishing type lakes instead of one of B.C.'s greatest boating lakes.

Jim Hartford

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Locals, not tourists, clogging boat launches
Vernon Morning Star - Published: August 26, 2008

Next time you’re stuck in a line-up at a local boat launch, or you’ve got your boat in the water and have no place to park your trailer, you might want to think twice before you blame out-of-towners for over-crowded launch facilities.

The Central Okanagan Regional District has commissioned a boating study and while the two biggest complaints boaters have are too few launches and no parking for boat trailers, for the most the part it’s locals that are clogging up the launches.

Consulting firm GDH Solutions conducted surveys at 27 boat launches in the Central Okanagan over the past few months, recording trailer license plates and discovering where those plates were issued.

Of all the trailers counted and recorded, 72 per cent of them were from within the Okanagan. Just 11 per cent of the trailers were from Alberta. Other parts of the province made up 15 per cent of the trailers and the remaining two per cent came from the rest of Canada and the United States.

“We are finding out that people want to get onto the lake with their boat but it’s very difficult,” said Doris Haas, of GDH Solutions.

Boaters have told the consultant that boat launches are very crowded, parking trailers is a huge issue and there aren’t enough fuelling stations available.

“They’re irritated with the lack of moorage space,” said Haas.

The study, to eventually provide recommendations for the future to the regional district, will look at problems and solutions on Wood Lake, the south end of Kalamalka Lake and Okanagan Lake from its start in the north to the south side of Peachland.

According to counts done by GDH Solutions, there are 1,500 boats on a peak summer day on area lakes, but Haas said that amounts to just two per cent of the more than 60,000 boats registered to owners in the Central Okanagan.

“Four in 10 households have a boat,” said Haas.

An inventory of marine recreational facilities on the three lakes identified 77 points of interest with 47 of the sites deemed as significant.

Haas said approximately 1,800 new boat slips are scheduled to be added over the next one to five years, with 1,400 of those dedicated for private use.

Ipsos Reid conducted a telephone survey of regional district residents and found that:

• The majority of motor boats and sail boats are over 15 feet in length.

• Six in 10 respondents said there are not enough marine recreational facilities.

• Boaters are dissatisfied with parking facilities, the availability of public mooring facilities, washroom facilities, public boat launches and fuelling facilities.

• More than three-quarters of respondents agree local governments should invest more in marine facilities.

• Residents’ two top priorities over the next five years are to expand parking facilities at boat launches and offer additional boat launch facilities.

“The recommendations are going to be done probably in early September,” said Haas.

A final meeting of the consulting group and a presentation to the public is scheduled for Sept. 18 in Kelowna, where the recommendations will be presented.

The public will have the opportunity to provide input on the recommendations at that time.

Final recommendations will go to the regional district some time after the Sept. 18 meeting.

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Bylaw blues
Vernon Morning Star - Letters - Published: August 15, 2008

I finally feel a response is needed to address this for all other performance boaters like my self and taxpayers in the community that enjoy seadoos (that are commonly known as noisy) and high performance boats that are abundant amidst the whole Okanagan Valley and its lakes. But only really on the lake for a short period in the summer and only when the weather is nice.

I can say this because I've lived on the lake for years and 90 per cent of the time it's very quiet. Why would anyone move to where they knew it was a tourist town if they didn't like noise from the lake for those few months of the summer?

And unless I'm wrong all you have to do is launch from near Kin Beach where the city has no jurisdiction. I agree to ban open pipes and over transum, and dry stack pipes!

But my boat is a 28 eliminator with twin small blocks and thru-transom water-injected pipes with two feet of muffler system in each exhaust.

A system that is passed to run in any waterway in the U.S.A., and might I add that their laws are way more strict than all Canadian noise laws! So I've done my part to make my boat legal and it is! (cost of mufflers $8,500 U.S.)

Maybe some of these people should have moved to maybe a smaller 'On golden pond style' lake instead of a 100-mile long lake that spans three cities!

Well I think my last word here will have to be "bylaw, bylaw and more bylaws."

Lets see if it stops me because I own the boat that your all complaining about!

G. Smith

okanaganlakebc.ca's comment: The people that live along the shores of Okanagan Lake that dislike the boat noise should have moved to Golden Pond instead of vacation paradise for tourists if they wanted their peace and quiet.  Doesn't matter any boat or any seadoo, they all make noise.  Waddaya think, maybe they should ban all motors on boats, and just allow paddles?

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