Lake Country residents are hoping district council will come up with a way to improve the aging Oyama Boat Launch off Oyama Road. (Google Maps/Matt Funk photo)

Lake Country residents are hoping district council will come up with a way to improve the aging Oyama Boat Launch off Oyama Road. (Google Maps/Matt Funk photo)

Lake Country residents float boat launch improvements

Petition/letter to district council addresses concerns, safety issues at Oyama Boat Launch

Some Lake Country residents are calling on district council to address the aging boat launch on Wood Lake.

Located at the northern end of the lake on the northeast corner of the isthmus on Oyama Road, the boat launch has many safety issues according to a petition signed by more than 50 people that will be given to council for perusal.

“Most Lake Country residents are aware that our district is growing and expanding very quickly. The district mayor and council have a great deal of challenges to deal with as a result of this growth,” said Phyllis Goss, petition spokesperson. “We would appreciate some thought from council in regards to our concerns about the present state of the Oyama boat launch area. It is in dire need of improvements in the very near future.”

The accompanying letter to the petition states the slope of the shore at the launch is at a very low angle, resulting in many powerboats needing to power onto to trailers which creates a large gravel berm offshore. This berm, says the letter, “is a very large impediment when trying to launch or retrieve a boat. Depending on the time of year, and water level, it is often impossible.”

Residents have made some suggestions for council to ponder.

Increase the slope and install a cement ramp which would enhance the ability and safety of launching and retrieving boats.

Adding a turning radius at the launch area which could be accomplished by moving the large boulders in the turning area toward the Okanagan Rail Trail.

Consider a pay-for-parking pass machine. Revenue generated could help with future launch improvements and/or maintenance.

“We understand that the funds are not available at the moment for a complete make-over, but a cement ramp into the lake would be a great place to start, as a first step,” said Goss. “We are hoping this area could be a priority and not completed in year 20 of the District 20-year plan for the area. This is the only public boat launch in Oyama for larger boats.

“Lake Country residents paying taxes in this community should not have to go to Vernon in order to launch their boats.”

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