Boat launch closure considered

Two Coldstream launches may not open next year

Boat access could be limited on Kalamalka Lake.

Coldstream is looking at the possibility of keeping two of its boat launches closed, after flood waters caused damage earlier this spring.

Both the Westkal and Kinloch boat launches have been closed all year, and now the district is investigating costs, and necessity, of re-opening the launches for next year.

“When the flooding happened the dock was damaged,” said Mayor Jim Garlick of the Kinloch launch, adding that significant cleanup is needed at the Westkal launch.

Along with costs to repair damage, Coldstream is questioning the need for the launches.

“To what level do we provide the service?” asks Garlick, adding that there are drug use and unlawful activities taking place at Westkal, which has since been blocked with no posts.

“The other thing that will come into the conversation is how we’re going to manage mussels.

“The more launches you have the more inspection places you need,” he said. “What’s happened in some provinces so far is they’ve limited the launch sites to do that.”

But since these smaller launches mainly serve residents, while tourists use Kekuli and Kalavista, there is pressure to keep the two smaller launches on board.

“In my opinion, after living there for a number of years, it’s not a problem the way it is,” said Gerry Malnis. “There’s very little access to the lake as it is.”

Coldstream’s tourism committee has recommended that the Westkal and Kinloch launches be limited to hand launching of watercraft and have asked council to recognize the value of non-motorized watercraft usage on Kal Lake and its growth.

The committee is also seeking further testing at the north end of Kal Lake to determine the impact of motorized watercraft on the environment and water quality.

The district is also considering a speed limit along the shore lines for boats.

Meanwhile Coldstream is still waiting on the Regional District of North Okanagan to bring forward information on the damages to the Kal Beach dock and insurance coverage.

There could be the potential of getting some groups together to help fund repairs, which have made the main portion of the dock unusable. Coldstream also wants to look at bylaw enforcement, following some unlawful and unruly activity on the dock this summer.

“We want to make sure that it’s used appropriately,” said Garlick.