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RDNO Seeks Feedback on Proposed Shuswap River Boating Regulations

Posted Tuesday, May 19, 2015

COLDSTREAM, BC – The Regional District of North Okanagan, on behalf of a partnership including Vernon Protective Services – Safe Communities Unit, Lower Shuswap Stewardship Society, Enderby and District Service Commission, Enderby and District Chamber of Commerce and the City of Enderby, is currently seeking feedback on proposed boating regulations for the Shuswap River.

The intent of the Shuswap River Boating Regulations is to improve recreational safety, reduce bank erosion, reduce disturbance to salmon spawning grounds and other fish and wildlife, reduce conflicts between users and improve opportunities for non-motorized recreation.

“The decision to consider boating regulations for the Shuswap River has come about due to numerous occasions where community groups and residents have raised concerns with respect to the impacts of motorized vessels on the Shuswap River over the past 20 years” says Anna Page, Sustainability Coordinator. These concerns were captured and reinforced during the development of the Shuswap River Watershed Sustainability Plan which was endorsed by the RDNO Board of Directors in April 2014.

The Boating Regulations being proposed for the Shuswap River are as follows:

Zone 1 - Lower Shuswap River from Mara Lake upstream to Baxter Bridge (Trinity Valley Rd) – vessel engine size limit of 10 horse power.
Zone 2 – Lower Shuswap River from the Baxter Bridge (Trinity Valley Rd) upstream to the eastern (upstream) end of Skookumchuck Rapids Park – no motorized vessels.
Zone 3 - Mid Shuswap River from South Mabel Lake upstream to the Shuswap Falls – no motorized vessels.

Boating regulations are the responsibility of Transport Canada and any level of government can request the federal government to restrict the use of all vessels on all bodies of water in Canada. Regulations may help achieve safety, environmental or public interest objectives.

Numerous consultation activities will be undertaken over the next four months to obtain feedback on the proposed regulations including open houses and a survey. Two open houses are being held the second week of June; Enderby Drill Hall, June 10th, 5 – 7:30 PM and Mabel Lake Hall (Lumby end), June 11th, 5 – 7:30 PM. Surveys can be completed on-line and will be mailed to all property owners adjoining the river in the affected areas. The surveys, maps of the zones and additional information can be accessed at www.rdno.ca/boating.

“We really want to gain an understanding of the level of community support for the proposed boating regulations. This is the first step in the process and we are open to hearing from all who would be affected” says Rick Fairbairn, RDNO Board Chairman.

For further information, please call 250-550-3700.