Conservation officers hit North Okanagan lakes to ensure boaters are following the rules.

Conservation officers hit North Okanagan lakes to ensure boaters are following the rules.

Officers enforce the rules on lakes

The B.C. Conservation Office Service has released details on its 2015 boat patrol program

Boaters are making waves with law enforcement.

The B.C. Conservation Office Service has released details on its 2015 boat patrol program on Sugar, Mabel and Kalamalka lakes, as well as the Shuswap River.

“We’re not here to spoil your fun. Only you can do that,” said Josh Lockwood, officer, of boaters not following the rules.

Seventy-one tickets were issued while 229 warning tickets were handed out. Twenty-six boats were removed from the water.

There was a non-compliance rate of 74 per cent, including everything from not having life jackets to an operator’s license not being present.

Some of the situations could have been potentially dangerous.

“There was a canoe that was overloaded and there was no competency card for the electric motor. There were also no lifejackets,” said Lockwood.

Another issue of concern was individuals consuming alcohol while operating vessels.

The number of total violation tickets dropped from 17 to 15 per cent.

“It’s not a big reduction but any reduction we’re happy with,” said Lockwood, adding that compliance comes from a combination of education and enforcement.

The seasonal boat patrols on Sugar, Mabel and Kalamalka lakes, and the Shuswap River, are funded by the Electoral Area Advisory Committee of the Regional District of North Okanagan.

The District of Coldstream is expected to assist with funding boat patrols in 2016.