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Penticton  

Gov to help clean up lake

The provincial government reportedly agreed this week to take measures to protect Vaseux Lake in the South Okanagan.

Norm Gaumont, chair of the Vaseux Lake Stewardship Association, said the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations has agreed to dredge Shuttleworth Creek every one to two years.

Findings from a study, presented last month, revealed that sediment from the creek has likely resulted in heavy siltation in the north end of Vaseux Lake, which has caused parts of the lake to turn into land.

Shuttleworth Creek runs into Okanagan River, which flows into Vaseux Lake. The creek wasn't dredged for a 15-year span until 2014, before being dredged again earlier this year.

The Regional District Okanagan Similkameen also agreed to move forward with planning to improve public access to the lake from Highway 97, Gaumont said, which would allow a rototiller to enter the water.

Gaumont said a study last year revealed that about 25 per cent of Vaseux Lake is covered in milfoil, which limits water circulation and causes algae blooms and other issues.

The Okanagan Basin Water Board said rototilling is the best option to combat the milfoil, but the group is first conducting a study on potential environmental concerns if rototilling were to happen on the small lake.

No one from the RDOS or the province who was involved in this week's negotiation with the VLSA was able to be immediately reached for comment.

The government support comes after a long-proposed wetland project near OK Falls was given the green light by the RDOS last month, which will benefit Vaseux Lake ecologically.



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