Study eyes boat traffic

Group proposing boat capacity review on Kalamalka and Wood lakes

A proposed study of boat traffic on Kalamalka and Wood lakes could stir up some waves.

The Okanagan Collaborative Conservation Program is seeking grants towards a study of boat capacity on the Coldstream and Lake Country lakes.

“The idea of a boat study has been floating around for several years,” said Michael Reiley, Coldstream’s director of development services.

“How much boat traffic could be on the lake without impacting water quality?”

The need for a study, especially considering the high demand for boating and requests for more marinas, was suggested by staff from Coldstream, Lake Country, Regional District of North Okanagan and Regional District of Central Okanagan.

“What could come out of it could be the basis for limiting development on the lake,” said Reiley. “This could be the basis for refusing applications.

“The biggest impact would be a way to limit boat usage on Kalamalka Lake.”

While the numbers can provide quantitative rationale to the approving body for a limit of boats on the lakes, Reiley admits it could be hard to control.

“It becomes very, very difficult to actually enforce these standards.”

Both the RDCO and RDNO have committed $5,000 each towards the project.

Coldstream is sending its support to the OCCP in applying for a water conservation and quality improvement grant from the Okanagan Basin Water Board. If the grant is successful, Coldstream will also pitch in $1,500 towards the cost of the study.