I would like to respond to Keith MacDonald’s letter in The Morning Star.
Firstly, Swan Lake is large enough (three miles long) to support all forms of recreation and to suggest that water skiing interferes with nesting wildlife is simply not correct. The normal wave action from the boats has been proven, in the past, to not disturb spring nesting waterfowl and, as a matter of fact, the wave action from strong winds can cause greater danger to the nests.
Secondly, I don’t agree that water skiers pose as great a danger to other users of the lake as Mr. MacDonald wants us to believe.
All of the operators are safely conscious and are trying to be considerate of other users of the lake. The calmer water on Swan Lake is an attraction to basically three types of water skiing: slalom skiers, barefoot skiers and wakeboard skiers.
Many of the water skiers on the lake enter competitions, and, in all three disciplines, they need calm, safe water to practice on.
I believe that, on a regular basis, only two barefoot skiers use the lake at all, six or so slalom skiers and two or three boats of wakeboard skiers. A new facet of wakeboarding, called wake skating, is where the skier does not use the conventional binding to hold their feet on the ski (they actually ride the ski like a skateboarder rides his skateboard). The feats of completing turns and flips over the wake yet keeping control of their ski, is phenomenal. These skiers are superb athletes and a pleasure to watch.
I do agree, however, that this group produces the highest wake as they need to get a lot of height off the wake to get sufficient air time to complete their maneuvers. Slalom and barefoot ski boats produce the lowest wakes.
In past years, national and world level barefoot skiers from Vernon have used Swan Lake to train on.
The slalom skiers that often use the lake are higher level skiers as well.
We all love this lake and a little respect for each other’s sport can go a long way to all of us enjoying the lake for years to come, and not to the exclusivity of one group or another.