NEWS

Shuswap River motorboat ban proposed by North Okanagan Regional District

06/02/2015 01:29 EDT | Updated 06/02/2016 05:59 EDT
Motorboats could soon be banned from parts of B.C.'s Shuswap River, under new regulations proposed by the North Okanagan Regional District.

The District wants to create three zones on the river 

- Zone 1: vessel engine size limited to 10 horse power from Mara Lake upstream to Baxter Bridge.

- Zone 2: no motorized vessels from Baxter Bridge upstream to the eastern end of Skookumchuck Rapids Park.

- Zone 3: no motorized vessels from South Mabel Lake upstream to the Shuswap Falls.

The district's sustainability coordinator Anna Page says river bank erosion and the risk of motorboats crashing into swimmers and tubers are a concern.

"The decision to consider boating regulations for the Shuswap River has come about due to numerous occasions where community groups and residents have raised concerns with respect to the impacts of motorized vessels on the Shuswap River over the past 20 years" said Page.

"We don't have any known incidents of collisions, but a lot of people talk about near-misses," said Page.

The regional district wants public input on the proposed boating regulations and is hosting public meetings on July 10 and 11. Any restrictions would ultimately have to be approved by Transport Canada.

Homeowner concerned

Riverfront property owner Mike Steiner says he's already concerned how it could affect his access to his dock.

"You know, it would be devastating. I have over $100,000 invested in a dock for mooring my boat. That would be for no value I guess."

Steiner says speed restrictions are a better idea that all out bans on motors.

"It just seems like a very dramatic proposal. I don't see why they haven't consulted anybody. There is a ton of alternative proposals of restrictions that they could do."
    

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