Once again, we are experiencing a high-water event on Shuswap Lake. It is important to consider shoreline erosion, dock damage, and home damage from boat wakes but the advice from government so far is less than adequate. Limiting your speed to 10 kmh within 30 m of shore sounds good but in practice is not ideal.
As an example, the optimum speed for wave generation for a wake boat is 16 kmh. Big cruisers are another story. They displace a lot of water and they have 2 best speeds for limiting wake, dead slow or flat out. SWOA does have some specific recommendations that will help.
- If you are boating along the shoreline within 100 m of the shore, go dead slow.
- When you leave or approach the shore, go at right angles to the beach and go dead slow until you are 100 m out.
- If you are wake surfing, wakeboarding, or towing tubes, try to use the centre of the lake.
We have a big lake that can safely accommodate all kinds of boating even during this high-water event without causing any problems. All that is needed is some common sense and consideration of waterfront owners and the environment.
Debris on Shuswap Lake
Water levels in Shuswap Lake and the surrounding area continue to rise and could reach the levels observed in 2012 in the next couple of weeks. These levels are being monitored daily by the Provincial government’s River Forecast Centre (bcrfc.env.gov.bc.ca/warnings/index.htm) and reported widely in print and electronic press. Monitoring the Shuswap Lake Watch website is also a way to track up to date information on rising lake levels (shuswaplakewatch.com).
As lake levels rise, the amount of debris floating on the lakes also increases creating hazards for boaters using the lakes. The situation has been exacerbated this year with the occurrence of a number of mud or debris slides off the surrounding mountains. We urge all our members to use caution when boating on the lake this spring and summer. Finally, with the high water, boat wakes can cause erosion along shorelines so please reduce your speed when approaching or travelling near shore.