Boats are tied up outside of the Riverfront Pub on the Shuswap River in Grindrod.

Boats are tied up outside of the Riverfront Pub on the Shuswap River in Grindrod.

Ban may leave pub treading water

A Grindrod business says a motorized boat ban on the Shuswap River could leave it high and dry.

A Grindrod business says a motorized boat ban on the Shuswap River could leave it high and dry.

Chance Temple, owner of the Riverfront Pub, is concerned the Regional District of North Okanagan’s plans for boat restrictions could turn customers away if they can’t access the restaurant by boat.

“It’s extremely important to us. It’s a big chunk of business in the summer,” he said.

“There are some days when the majority of the business comes from the river.”

The proposed regulations for the river include no motorized vessels from south Mabel Lake upstream to Shuswap Falls and from Trinity Valley Road upstream to the eastern end of Skookumchuck Rapids Park.

It’s also suggested that there be a vessel engine size limit of 10 horsepower from Mara Lake upstream to Trinity Valley Road.

“There’s been no direct consultation with stakeholders, including businesses, and no economic impact study done,” said Temple, who says he observes boat activity on the river closely.

“There’s the whole perception that boaters are tearing up the river but I see boaters floating up and then down. In the 10 years I’ve been here, I haven’t seen any enforcement so why don’t we enforce the existing rules?”

One of the individuals involved in the process believes it’s important to keep the discussion civil and not divisive.

“We’re trying not to get into an argument. We’re not trying to convince people either way,” said Jean Clark, with the Lower Shuswap Stewardship Society.

“We are in the consultation process and it will play itself out. We are directing people to the information so they understand the reasons behind the proposed regulations.”

Clark admits there is a lot of discussion around the potential motorized boat ban.

“It’s certainly a conversation I’m having with people and I’m asking if they are aware of the survey and if they have participated.”

The survey can be filled out until Aug. 28 at http://www.rdno.ca/index.php/services/planning-building/planning-projects/shuswap-river-vessel-operating-restriction-regulations.