Respectful boating during higher lake levels
Most area lakes are now above full pool including Kalamalka, Wood and Okanagan Lakes. Residents choosing to use motorized watercraft at this time are asked to be respectful – slow down and keep away from shore so wakes do not cause damage to lakeshore properties.
“With the warmer temperatures and ‘cabin-fever’ some residents may be experiencing as a result of COVID-19 physical distancing requirements, we are seeing more people out enjoying lake activities,” said Sandra Follack, Central Okanagan Regional Emergency Program Coordinator. “Over the next several weeks during freshet while lake levels are high, boaters and those using personal watercraft are asked to keep their speed down when approaching or travelling near the shore. Please reduce your wake activity in order to prevent shoreline erosion and be on the lookout for floating debris that is carried into area lakes from faster flowing tributaries.”
A reminder to boaters that the Provincial Health Officer’s guidance on physical distancing also applies on boats and boat launches. For more information and details, visit covid-19.bccdc.ca. Note that some boat launches may be closed for safety reasons. Visit municipality websites for more information about boat launch locations, which boat launches are open in the area and for municipal-specific COVID-19 information and measures.
Area lake levels continue to rise, and residents are encouraged to monitor lake levels for areas historically at risk of lake flooding or wake damage. Visit wateroffice.ec.gc.ca for lake level information.
Creek levels are also fluctuating, and sudden creek rises and increases to flow can happen quickly. Those living near creeks, streams and low-lying properties that have experienced flooding and high water in the past are responsible for having an emergency plan as well as the tools and equipment to protect properties from possible damage. People and their pets should stay safety back from creek banks, which may be slippery or subject to erosion throughout freshet season. Find resources and learn more about creating an emergency preparedness plan at cordemergency.ca/beprepared.
In the event of an emergency and activation of the Central Okanagan Emergency Operation Centre, find the latest information at cordemergency.ca, on Facebook (@CORDEmergency), Twitter (@CO_Emerg) and through email updates.