Lake Country Councilor Owen Dickie followed through with his campaign promise to host a front porch meeting with his constituents.
About 35 people showed up to his event held at the Oyama Community Hall. One of the topics raised was the perception of boat overcrowding and moorage at the north end of Wood Lake.
“People feel it is becoming unsafe to be on the water at the north end of Wood Lake,” says Dickie. “We have two official beaches and the entire area is used by residents and there are an awful lot of boats.”
Safety is the main concern says Dickie but establishing a realistic and enforceable maximum number of boats on the lake is a problematic issue. The answer may lie in shoreline erosion rules.
Wood Lake is subject to speed limit buffers in the BC fishing guide. Dickie says shoreline erosion is a real concern and by having people move more slowly close to shore will not only preserve shoreline, but hopefully improve safety.
After that idea, jurisdiction gets tricky says Dickie. Wood Lake was once about four feet higher, but after the channel was dredged the water level in the Lake dropped. There is an argument that the Lake has federal jurisdiction under the Navigable Waters Act.
“Everything we try to do we are unsure if it is federal, provincial or regional district jurisdiction,” says Dickie. Until the jurisdictional issues are resolved there are a limited number of options for residents.
Part and parcel with the crowding and safety concerns about lake traffic are complaints about noise from boaters.
Ultimately it is the lack of moorage and the perceived lack of respect from boater for residents that had people really concerned says Dickie.
“A lot of these problems are quite new. We want to preserve recreation on the Lake, but also keep it safe.”