More than 700 people have signed a petition requesting tighter regulations on cigarette boats on Shuswap Lake. (Pixabay photo)

More than 700 people have signed a petition requesting tighter regulations on cigarette boats on Shuswap Lake. (Pixabay photo)

Shuswap group plans to monitor speed boat noise

Shuswap and Mara Lakes Decibel Coalition pursuing new regulations for Shuswap and Mara lakes

A group of residents of the shores of Shuswap and Mara lakes are renewing efforts to restrict the noise created by boats on the lakes.

The Shuswap and Mara Lakes Decibel Coalition (SMLDC) formed officially on March 1, 2021, but opposition to boat noise, particularly from large speed boats, also referred to as cigarette boats, has been ongoing.

According to their spring 2021 newsletter, the SMLDC plans to outfit their members with portable decibel meters in order to collect noise readings from boats this summer. It says they will focus on boats they believe to have illegal exhaust systems.

Gary Milne, who now sits on the SMLDC board, started a petition in 2019 which has now received 743 signatures. The petition requests the regulation of noisy boats on Shuswap Lake and mentions high performance speed boats in particular. The petition complains of the boats’ high-speed capabilities and the large wakes they leave behind at slower speeds. The petition also mentions the 2019 fatality on Shuswap Lake which followed a collision between two speed boats.

Read More: Man’s death in 2019 Shuswap Lake speed boat crash ruled accidental

Read More: B.C. applying for stay in court after court rules ICBC tribunal partly unconstitutional

“These high performance, ear-piercing boats must be regulated,” the petition reads.

The petition is being made to Transport Canada and the Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD). The CSRD has documented frustration with the difficulty of enforcing their Shuswap Marine Noise Control Program bylaw which has been in place since 1982. The program prohibits boats without conventional wet exhaust systems or suitable mufflers.

“The enforcement of this bylaw has proven to be very difficult since the CSRD lacks the required technical capability, enforcement capacity, and most importantly, the jurisdictional authority,” an Aug. 2015 CSRD document reads.

Read More: City boundary expansion sought for land behind Salmon Arm shopping centre

Read More: B.C. beware: bandit babies may be moving in

The 2015 board report notes that CSRD bylaw officers do not have a boat capable of intercepting the speed boats and also no authority to board vessels in order to inspect them. The report states that RCMP or Transport Canada boating safety officers would be better suited to the task and there are Transport Canada regulations governing boat noise.

There is a speed limit of 10 km/h within 30 metres of shore on all B.C. waterways and Transport Canada can impose additional speed limits through vessel operating restriction regulations (VORR).

Currently, the Sicamous narrows between Shuswap and Mara Lakes is the only portion of the waterway subject to a Transport Canada VORR speed limit.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Machinery could be seen working to clear land behind a pair of houses on Main Street for the future site of the Shuswap and Secwepmc Healing Centre, a medical facility on Friday, April 9. The Sicamous Fire Department has been using the buildings for training exercises ahead of their demolition. (Jim Elliot/Eagle Valley News)
Snapshot: Clearing space

Land is being cleared for a new medical centre on Sicamous’ Main Street.

Winter driving conditions returned to the Coquihalla Highway on April 10. (ICBC image)
Coquihalla motorists warned of fresh snow

Five to 10 cm of snow is expected today for the mountain highway.

B.C's COVID-19 dashboard shows the peaks and valleys of cases prior to the record daily report of 132 on April 9, 2021. (Dashboard image)
Interior Health has record day of COVID-19 cases

132 cases reported Friday, April 9, more deaths in Vernon hospital outbreak

School District 83 trustees are leaning towards an option in the school district’s Long Range Facilities Plan that favours making Salmon Arm Secondary’s Sullivan campus and Jackson campus (pictured) both Grade 9-12 schools. (Google maps image)
Letter: Two high school option for Salmon Arm will create ‘have, have not’ situation

Writer concerned with E5 option, says transparent talk about implications needed

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod, seen here on April 9, 2021 with four-year-old sister Elena and mom Vanessa, was born with limb differences. The family, including husband/dad Sean McLeod, is looking for a family puppy that also has a limb difference. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. family looking for puppy with limb difference, just like 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy McLeod born as bilateral amputee, now her family wants to find ‘companion’ puppy for her

This illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in January 2020 shows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus.[CDC]
More COVID-19 exposures reported at schools in Kelowna

Interior Health added additional schools and dates to their list of exposures

A vehicle that was driven through the wall of a parkade at Uptown Shopping Centre and into the nearby Walmart on April 9 was removed through another hole in the wall later that night. (Photo via Saanich Police Department and Ayush Kakkar)
Vehicle launched into B.C. Walmart removed following rescue of trapped workers

Crews cut new hole in parkade wall to remove vehicle safely

Four members with Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans were out at Cultus Lake on March 28 and 29 hauling trash out of the waters. (Henry Wang)
PHOTOS: Out-of-town divers remove 100s of pounds of trash from Cultus Lake

Members of Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans hauled out 470 pounds of trash over two days

As of Saturday, April 10, people born in 1961 are the latest to be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. (Black Press files)
B.C. residents age 60+ can now register to get their COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccine registration is now open to people born in 1961 or earlier

A new saline gargle test, made in B.C., will soon be replacing COVID-19 nasal swab tests for kids. (PHSA screenshot)
Take-home COVID-19 tests available for some B.C. students who fall ill at school

BC Children’s Hospital plans to provide 1,200 kits to Vancouver district schools this April

Sun Peaks is tracking rising COVID-19 cases. (Kamloops This Week Photo)
Sun Peaks sees spike in COVID-19 cases at end of ski season

On April 9, there were 15 positive cases confirmed.

Ruming Jiang and his dog Chiu Chiu are doing fine following a brush with hypothermia that saw several people work together to get them out of the Fraser River near Langley’s Derby Reach Park on March 25, 2021 (Special to the Advance Times)
Man finds men who rescued him from drowning in B.C.’s Fraser River

A grateful Ruming Jiang says he will thank them again, this time in person when the pandemic ends

Most Read