Infestation coming to beach

Castanet – November 13, 2019

Harvesting restrictions means a lot of milfoil at Vernon’s Kin Beach

Swimmers diving into Okanagan Lake at Kin Beach should prepare for a weedy experience.

The small, and rare, Rocky Mountain Ridged Mussel, which is native to the lake has complicated milfoil harvesting.

James Littley, with the Okanagan Basin Water Board, said milfoil rototilling will still take place at the popular Vernon beach, but in a more limited capacity.

Littley said there are new restrictions including not being able to rototil milfoil in depths less than 1.5 metres.

“If you think about the swimming area from the beach down to 1.5 metres at low water in the winter, and of course the water will be higher in the summer, we are probably looking at the first six feet of depth where we probably won’t have been able to prevent the weeds from growing in the winter,” said Littley. “So in the summertime, that area we would expect would eventually become infested in the swimming area.”

Littley said they would be allowed to harvest in that area but “that would mean having our big harvesting machine in that area during the peak of swimming season.”

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