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South Okanagan lake ready for easy use again after 30 years

Milfoil harvesting will resume at Vaseux Lake, south of Okanagan Falls
Vaseux Lake is ready for use again thanks to the return of a milfoil harvester for the first time in 30 years. (Photo- Vaseux Lake Stewardship Association)

It’s been a long time coming but Vaseux Lake is once again a place where people could enjoy swimming and kayaking without having to worry about moving through invasive weeds.

Milfoil harvesting has resumed at the body of water for the first time in 30 years, thanks to the Vaseux Lake Stewardship Association and its five-year-old mission.

“Improve water quality and fish habitat by removing the infestation of milfoil which is an invasive species in lakes throughout North America and contributes to declining water quality and plant diversity,” the association said on their goals upon formation in 2017.

They added that it’s one of the last areas in the South Okanagan to have a wildlife and bird sanctuary along a lake that also allows people to enjoy nature peacefully.

“Vaseux Lake has become a very popular tourist area for those who would enjoy nature without motorized boats and large numbers of cyclists and e-bikes.”

The association thanked James Littley from the Okanagan Basin Water Board and the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen for helping make their dream a reality.

“For now, homeowners and visitors to the lake can once again enjoy swimming, kayaking and other aquatic activities without having to move through a large infestation of milfoil,” they said.

The Vaseux Lake Stewardship Association will continue to work on bringing a rototiller to the water, a more effective way of permanently removing the milfoil by its roots.

Through talks with the Okanagan Nation Alliance, the association hopes to move forward with the project by next year.

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