Boaters asked to slow down and watch for debris on this Canada Day weekend, the unofficial start to summer
Got a boat?
Then the Regional District of Central Kootenay Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) is hopeful boat operators pay extra attention to cruising Kootenay Lake this Canada Day weekend.
"The RDCK Emergency Operations Centre is advising anyone boating or recreating on Kootenay Lake over the Canada Day long weekend and beyond needs to exercise caution and restraint," Bill Macpherson of the EOC said in a written press release.
Macpherson said the lake is near record levels, and many structures (docks, wharves, retaining walls, etc.) that are ordinarily visible may be partially or fully submerged.
Boaters are urged to be careful, particularly near shorelines. Reduced speeds and the decrease in corresponding wake will minimize wave impacts on the shoreline and prevent the overtopping of sandbags protecting properties in low-lying areas.
The spring freshet season and extremely high lake levels also means large amounts of debris are entering or in the lake Macpherson said.
"Floating or submerged logs, trees, parts of docks and other items are commonplace at this time and Kootenay Lake recreationalists — particularly power boaters not familiar with the lake or from out of the region — need to exercise caution in order to ensure their personal safety and that of others while enjoying the long weekend and vacations," he added.
Debris on the Kootenay River flowing out of Kootenay Lake is also causing intermittent delays at the Glade Ferry at this time.
Currently, Kootenay Lake is holding at 1753.15 feet.
This is the highest level recorded since 1974.