After living on the Shuswap River for the last 32 years, and seeing every attempt at obtaining some form of control on the power boat issues and activities, I suggest, and it seems to me the only answer, is some form of compromise when it comes to the river’s usage.
The residents who live in the Mara Lake to Grindrod area have enjoyed the use of power boats. I understand it would be hard for them to give up their lifestyle based on the years of their boating recreational activities.
Whereas the majority of the river use between Mabel Lake and Tuey Park is increasing yearly as more tourists, local residents and visitors from surrounding communities are using the river for a variety of activities not associated with power equipment.
Recent popularity of tubing, paddleboarding, kayaking and canoeing has exploded in numbers. In addition to swimmers in the river mixed with power watercraft, it makes for a very dangerous situation waiting to happen.
The City of Enderby and the chamber of commerce have big plans to continue promoting the river for floaters, paddleboarders, canoes and kayaks, etc., all of which are aimed at enjoying the peaceful serenity nature provides along the river. This is especially for those who have travelled from outlying cities to enjoy the Shuswap River for a relaxing, safe holiday.
That said, my suggestion is to get something started that would give both parties a fair option to the ongoing problems — to come to a conclusion so to speak.
No power boats from Mabel Lake to Tuey Park. This would be for swimmers, canoeing, kayaking, tubing and paddleboarding. Without power boats, this will provide a safe and peaceful place on the river for everyone to enjoy safely. It will also maintain a quieter environment for the local wildlife that exists and utilizes the river for their existence.
Allow power craft in the area down river from Tuey Park, where the majority of floaters terminate their activities, to Mara Lake. It would still provide boat access to the lakes. Whether there should be a horsepower or speed limit consideration or not?
I would also like to see the city promoting the river for not just floating but for attracting the eco-tourism crowd, along with emphasis on preventing the abusive littering that takes place during the summer months.
Where else is there another pristine river that offers so much and is perfect for family outings as canoeing with the kids? Where can you see salmon swimming by or eagles and bears on the river banks? Our Shuswap River is worth looking after.