As the warm weather floats into the Okanagan, officials are urging caution when venturing near frozen waters.
“In the interest of public safety, anglers, ice skaters and other members of the public are advised to pay close attention to changing ice conditions and use caution when approaching the shoreline of Swan Lake,” the The Ministry of Forests, Lands Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development said in a release.
The Ministry has begun lowering the level of the lake, as a precautionary measure, to reduce the chance of spring flooding in BX Creek.
The lake’s reservoir, just north of Vernon, is still covered in ice. Lowering the level of the lake may cause ice along the shoreline to become unstable, and a danger to the public.
Lowering the level of Swan Lake happens every year, usually when the lake is free of ice. However, due to an above-average snowpack, the process was started earlier this year.
Lowering the lake’s level happens gradually, and will continue until inflows taper off, post-freshet.
Officials are asking the public to exercise caution when visiting Swan Lake due to ice hazards.
“The ice may crack due to the air gap between the ice and the water level,” the city said of Swan Lake conditions in a release. “Going on the ice is not advised.”
The Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development will be proactively lowering the water level of Swan Lake to address high water concerns during freshet.
Lowering the water level may contribute to unsafe ice conditions.