Popularity of Gardom Lake comes with set of problems

Gardom Lake is one step closer to getting a lake management plan.

Gardom Lake is one step closer to getting a lake management plan.

Concerned residents of the Gardom Lake area were given the opportunity to provide habitat information at a meeting July 16.

About 15 people showed up for what was a low-key, information-gathering event, said Columbia Shuswap Regional District Parks and recreation manager Marcin Pachcinski, noting Trina Koch of Summit Environmental Consultants took notes on local input related to wildlife.

CSRD directors authorized spending up to $35,000 to retain a consultant to develop a lake management plan at the June board meeting.

Approval came after directors heard that Gardom Lake is experiencing pressures stemming from its popularity as a recreational lake, particularly since the province stocked the lake with trout – trout that are now approaching trophy size.

There is currently one trailer boat launch site at Teal Road, a Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) lake access road, which provides neither parking, washrooms, picnic nor garbage facilities.

CSRD was working last fall with MOTI to develop a boat launch with the above services at Musgrave Road, historically a hand-launch site for kayaks and canoes.

Members of The Friends of Gardom Lake, a local stewardship group, protested the work, which was subsequently halted.

As part of the July 16 meeting, staff and residents visited both sites, said Pachcinski, who noted that when discussion threatened to become debate about boat launch development, he made it very clear the meeting was for information-gathering purposes only.

“We also made note that a lot of these larger issues will be considered through the Gardom Lake Management plan that the board supported funding,” he said. “The main environmental concerns were related to the trucks going into the water, as well as the yearly scouring of the boat launch site that deposits gravel into the water, as well as trash and cigarette butts at  the Teal Road site because of a lack of facilities.”

Overall, Pachcinski believes those who attended were satisfied.

“People did provide a lot of feedback and were satisfied to do so,” he said. “So in that sense, I think it was a positive meeting, because there is a lot of local knowledge of the sites and the lake, and it’s important that the knowledge be captured in the environmental assessment.”

Pachcinski is expecting the consultant’s environmental assessment report in early August.

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