Local politicians have given preliminary support to proposed boat operating restrictions on the Shuswap River.
Electoral Area Advisory Committee chair Herman Halvorson says six recommendations have been supported, with one significant change.
“The basic one was we allowed no towing or water skiing from Mara Lake to the Grindrod Bridge,” Halvorson told Beach Radio News.
Halvorson originally proposed not to allow any towing on the entire lower river from Mara Lake to Mabel Lake, but says that was changed after a backlash.
“There was a lot of emails back and forth from the boaters, and that was the discussion. They decided they should allow them to have towing on that end of the river.”
Five other recommendations calling for speed limits on boaters were approved, but still need support from First Nations, Transport Canada and the RDNO board.
Halvorson says one reason for the restrictions is to protect salmon spawning grounds and the environment.
He says he’s been pursuing the restrictions since 2011.
“There is always two sides to a story and you’re never going to be please everyone 100 percent. So I think it’s important this discussions was carried forward.”
Halvorson says RDNO staff will also look into establishing a new boat launch towards the fishing grounds above Baxter Bridge near Mabel Lake.
“Due to the speed restriction recommended up there, that was one of the things they’d like, because they can’t zip up there at a high speed, they have to turn around and have a boat launch so they can put a boat in,” adds Halvorson.
The speed restriction motion given support by the EAAC is as follows:
That it be recommended to the Board of Directors staff be directed to make an application to Transport Canada, with Splatsin as co-applicants, for Vessel Operating Restrictions (VORR) on the Shuswap River as follows:
1. 50 km/hour on the Shuswap River from Mara Lake to Tuey Park
2. 10 km/hour in the vicinity of Grindrod Park
3. 10 km/hour from Tuey Park to the City of Enderby Bridge
4. 15 km/hour from City of Enderby Bridge to Baxter Bridge (Trinity Valley Bridge)
5. 15 km/hour from Baxter Bridge to Mabel Lake with a Seasonal Closure from September 15th to November 15th annually