Smoke continues to be visible from the White Rock Lake wildfire, as pictured on the Westside across Okanagan Lake Tuesday, Sept. 7. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)

Vernon Mayor raises concerns over low Okanagan Lake levels

Traditional spawning beds drying out due to low water

A letter from Vernon Mayor Victor Cumming to Forests, Lands and Resources Minister Katrine Conroy says abnormally low Okanagan Lake levels are causing significant issues.

Among those issues are traditional spawning beds left dry in crucial areas of the lakeshore; public access points turned into rock and mudflats; public boat launches becoming unusable and dangerous; many private docks standing a metre or more above the water level effectively making them inaccessible to watercraft; lake water intakes prone to freezing due to exposure as they approach the shoreline.

“I am writing at the direction of my council and on behalf of many Vernon and area residents who are shocked at the current lake levels,” wrote Cumming.

“Residents are watching the fall spawn largely fail…who are likely to be without water as winter sets in.”

Cumming also asked the minister for provincial short- and long-term plans for responsible lake level management.

READ MORE: Trio of Vernon councillors flip for gymnastics club after fire

READ MORE: Projects enhance Okanagan Valley water protection


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