Sugar Lake is just one of the lakes being targeted by conservation officers for boat safety.

Sugar Lake is just one of the lakes being targeted by conservation officers for boat safety.

Summer boat checks keep lakes safe

Officers checked 112 boats on Kalamalka, Sugar, Mabel and Mara lakes, as well as the Shuswap River,

Boaters continue to come under scrutiny.

During July, conservation officers checked 112 boats on Kalamalka, Sugar, Mabel and Mara lakes, as well as the Shuswap River, as part of the Regional District of North Okanagan’s enhanced boat patrol project.

“They are fining people and removing serious offenders,” said Bob Fleming, Electoral Advisory Committee chairperson.

There were 48 total charges, 144 warnings and 24 orders issued in July. Among the offences were safety gear deficiencies, no fishing licence, no lifejackets and failure to produce the vessel registration.

In some cases, boats were ordered off the water.

The most serious incident occurred July 3 when two boats from Ontario were found in Sicamous that did not stop at the mandatory boat mussels inspection station in Golden. The boat owner was charged for not stopping for an inspection and the boats were banned from B.C. lakes until inspections occurred.

The goal of the inspections is to keep quagga and zebra mussels from entering local lakes.

“It’s disturbing that people are driving right by the inspection stations,” said Fleming.