Proposed boating restrictions for the Shuswap River are making their way through the political process.
The RDNO Board of Directors approved speed limits and towing (water skiing) allowed from Mara Lake up to the Grindrod Bridge.
RDNO Board Chair Bob Fleming says further discussions will be held with First Nations.
“There is another agreement that’s in place where consensus was reached. That’s on the Upper Shuswap. And there’s still consultation going on on that one with both Splatsin and the Okanagan Indian Band because they’re both involved.”
One reason for the restrictions is to protect the environment and salmon spawning grounds.
The Splatsin need to be involved because the restrictions affect their traditional fishing grounds and territory.
“Depends on the response of the Splatsin. If they approve it just the way it is then staff would be authorized to go ahead with developing an application to Transport Canada on this basis.”
Once everything is in place, an application will be made to Transport Canada to have new Vessel Operating Restrictions imposed.
RDNO hopes to share the cost of enforcement with Splatsin.
The restrictions would be as follows:
1. 50 km/hour on the Shuswap River from Mara Lake to Tuey Park; and
2. 10 km/hour in the vicinity of Grindrod Park; and
3. 10 km/hour from Tuey Park to the City of Enderby Bridge; and
4. 15 km/hour from City of Enderby Bridge to Baxter Bridge (Trinity Valley Bridge); and
5. 15 km/hour from Baxter Bridge to Mabel Lake with a Seasonal Closure starting the later of September 15th, or the closure of salmon season, to November 15th annually; and
6. Towing be allowed from Mara Lake up to the Grindrod Bridge in alignment with the Motorized User Groups Code of Conduct which included no flooding of ballast tanks, or deploying “stern sedges” for the purpose of creating a wake; and no towing of tubes in an ‘S’ formation; and
7. That staff be directed to investigate the environmental impacts and costs of developing a new boat launch up river of the Splatsin Reserve; and
8. That the Regional District of North Okanagan include language that they consider this a long term permanent solution for Vessel Operating Restrictions on the Shuswap River.