More boat launches could close

Vernon and Lake Country reviewing conditions and boat launch access could become restricted

Vernon’s boat launches on Okanagan Lake may be blocked off for the long weekend.

The city is monitoring lake levels and may close boat launches prior to or during the Victoria Day long weekend.

“Currently, boat launches at City lake access sites are open. However, residents and visitors should be aware that they may close if water levels increase,” said Tanya Laing Gahr, communications officer.

The Regional District of North Okanagan has closd the boat launch at Paddlewheel Park while all boat launches on Kalamalka Lake in Coldstream are closed.

In Lake Country, municipal boat launches on Okanagan and Kalamalka lakes remain open at this time.

“This could change and people need to be aware that they are using them at their own risk,” said Greg Buchholz, director of infrastructure services.

Boat launches at Fintry, Bear Creek and Kekuli Bay provincial parks also remain open at this time.

“B.C. Parks continues to monitor the situation. Public safety will guide any potential decision to close boat launches,” states the Ministry of Environment.

Boaters and personal watercraft users should avoid creating waves near the shoreline that can damage property or contribute to shoreline erosion.

“Transport Canada advises that anyone operating a power-driven boat in B.C. must adhere to a speed limit of 10 kilometres per hour within 30 metres of shore. Slower speeds are encouraged while water levels remain high,” said Laing Gahr.