Province gives CORD green light to build new breakwater

South breakwater wall will be built first, this spring, at Safe Harbour.

The Central Okanagan Regional District has received written approval from the B.C. Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources Operations to construct a new breakwater at Safe Harbour this summer.

RDCO received written approval from the ministry on March 28.

The work will include a new solid wall on the south side of the harbour and refurbishment of the north wall.

The south wall will be constructed south of the existing recreational fishing pier. The new wall will be constructed on steel piles, but will not have decking.

The public will not be able to access this wall.

The south break water wall will be constructed first between the months of late April to June 21, while water levels are still relatively low. Full pool of Okanagan Lake usually occurs around late June.

The refurbishment of the north breakwater will take place later in the season, between Aug. 1 and Sept. 30.

Those dates are between the fisheries in-stream work window.

The north break water will be getting an extensive face lift that should improve both the look and functionality of Safe Harbour.

Rotten wood piles, decking and batter boards will be replaced with new wood piles and treated wood timbers.

The design of the breakwater, recreational fishing pier and courtesy dock were based upon the design criteria set out by the province. There is a red zone designation over the harbour.

The red zone areas on Okanagan Lake are very important to Kokanee productivity, for habitat and spawning.

Red zone criteria for construction include the elevation of docks must be a half meter above high water mark, no batter boards on docks, no floating structures, and no piles within the foreshore spawning area.

The regional district has sent out the request for proposals and it is hoped the work can be get under way as soon as possible.

Safe Harbour is the destination of choice for boater on Okanagan Lake in the Lake Country area when unexpected severe weather comes up the lake.

There are few other points on the lake to safely tie up during a squall and Safe Harbour has proved to be a refuge for boaters on many an occasion.

It is also a popular boat launch site with locals sometimes taking the chance to drop a line in the lake from the public fishing pier.