Mild conditions have forced organizers of an ice fishing event to head for the hills.
The drop-in Learn to Fish program was scheduled for Vernon’s Swan Lake Saturday, but it has now been moved to Beaver Lake, near Lake Country, because of concerns about ice integrity and safety on Swan Lake.
“Due to recent weather changes within the Okanagan Valley, the ice quality has rapidly diminished on Swan Lake,” said Danny Coyne, with the B.C. Wildlife Federation.
“The organizing groups agree that family safety is the utmost priority for this event. The ice conditions at the higher altitude lakes, such as Beaver Lake, are still ideal.”
The RCMP and Vernon Search and Rescue were advised recently that three people fell through the ice on Swan Lake while out for a walk.
“This is very concerning as many people are still taking vehicles on to the ice,” said Pete Wise, with Vernon SAR.
“Please keep your vehicles off the ice.”
There were no injuries reported among the three people.
The RCMP are also asking the public to be cautious when engaging in activities around Swan Lake and to remember, that there is no such thing as safe ice as ice conditions are not uniform on any body of water.
The Learn to Fish program at Beaver Lake runs from 10 a.m. top 3 p.m. Saturday.
“We are still expecting an excellent turnout of participants,” said Coyne.
B.C. Fishn Media, the B.C. Wildlife Federation, and multiple Okanagan fish and game clubs are partnering with the Freshwater Fisheries Society of B.C. and the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources during the event.
“Angling techniques, ice safety, ethical angling practices and fish biology — what’s happening under the ice — will be taught to the attending participants,” said Coyne.
“All ice fishing gear and bait is provided to participants along with a barbecue hot dog lunch at no cost.”
For more information, contact Danny@BCFishn.com