Milfoil Control Permits and Okanagan Lake
On April 24th, OBWB received a formal response from B.C. FLNRORD to our notification (permit) for the
milfoil control program. The letter authorizes OBWB to continue with milfoil control for the next five years, with a number of terms and conditions, including new restrictions around any site with known Rocky
Mountain Ridged Mussel (RMRM) occurrences – as expected.
Working with our Qualified Environmental Professionals – Ecoscape Environmental – we will be seeking clarity on a number of the conditions in the next few weeks. We are also awaiting feedback from Fisheries and Oceans Canada on a similar notification that was submitted on April 10th at the request of FLNRORD staff.
Milfoil rototilling is now complete for the winter, and the operators are preparing for the harvesting season in July and August.
Due to the new mussel restrictions, no rototilling was able to occur this winter in the Vernon arm of Okanagan Lake, including at Kin beach, in the north end of Osoyoos Lake and in the Casa Loma area of West Kelowna. These areas are in addition to areas that had previously been restricted due to known occurrences of RMRM.
We will conduct on-the-water surveys of milfoil growth starting in mid-June to determine which areas require the most attention during summer harvesting. It is likely that many areas adjacent to private property throughout the valley will not receive summer treatment as we prioritize public beach areas.
Anna Warwick Sears
Okanagan Basin Water Board