Monday, December 14, 2020

BCLSS Loonie News - December 2020

 *Reposted with permission*

BCLSS Holiday Office Closure

The BCLSS office will be operating with limited hours over the holidays starting on December 19th. Regular office hours will resume on Monday, January 4th, 2021. 

The BCLSS Board of Directors and staff wish you
a happy and healthy holiday season!

Help Keep the Ice Clean this Winter

When recreating on lakes this winter, please keep in mind these helpful tips:
Garbage On Ice
To reduce garbage and other debris left behind by visitors from freezing into ice on rivers and lakes, join forces with a few neighbours to create a “Citizen’s Patrol” to monitor ice and speak to visitors about garbage. You can also plan a shoreline clean-up early in the spring to help protect nesting shorebirds.

Winter Recreation
Take care when accessing a frozen lake for skating, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, or tobogganing. Use summer access trails, rather than direct paths over snow. Even through the covering of ice and snow, vegetation and bank structure can be damaged by winter traffic.

Cleaning Up After Your Dog
There are a number of great reasons to pick up after your dog not the least of which is that you, or your closest friends, may be the ones who "discover" the treasure while going for a nice ski/skate. In addition to the aesthetic reasons to clean up behind your pooch, there are very sound health and ecological reasons:

  • Feces contain pathogenic (disease causing) organisms that make people sick. Many of us rely on lakes as our drinking water source and children often ingest water while playing at the lake.
  • Excess nutrient loading, including phosphorous, from more dog traffic causes significant imbalances in a lakes natural ecosystem. This leads to degradation of lake water quality. Nutrients from fecal matter may lead to increased algae growth and can effect oxygen levels and other physical characteristics that fish and other animals need to survive. 
  • As more of us use the lake, and take our dogs with us, the fragile ecological balance and public health are further jeopardized. We need to reduce the risks to ensure the health of our lakes. 
We need to be careful and responsible to ensure that the lakes that we love remain lovely!

Originally printed in BCLSS Newsletter Volume15:3, November 2012. 
Sources: Brian Nickurak and On the Living Edge by Kipp and Callaway

Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society ~ Columbia Shuswap Region is Invasive-Mussel-Free for Another Year!  

Invasive species can be extremely damaging to the health of both the ecosystem and our economy. At the top of the ‘Most Unwanted’ list are two aquatic invasive species: zebra and quagga mussels.  The Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society (CSISS) partners with the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy (ENV), the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (HCTF) and the Shuswap Watershed Council (SWC) to monitor high risk lakes in the upper Columbia and Shuswap watersheds for invasive mussels. 

In a recent statement, ENV reported that 89 waterbodies in BC were monitored throughout the season by 12 grant recipients (including CSISS) and Ministry staff, collecting 954 plankton samples, all of which showed no evidence of invasive mussels. 

Currently there are no known infestations of invasive mussels anywhere in BC, including the Columbia Shuswap. If invasive mussels were to become established in a BC waterbody, it would be extremely difficult to eradicate them and very costly to manage the negative impacts, so preventing establishment is key. Transportation of infested watercraft is a known way in which these species travel between waterbodies, even over large distances. 

To prevent the spread of invasive mussels into our lakes and rivers, all watercraft entering BC. should be inspected by Provincial staff.  Travellers bringing watercraft to BC are encouraged to visit the provincial website

Members of the public are asked to please report any suspected invasive species via the Provincial “Report Invasives BC” smartphone application (available for download from and any suspected invasive zebra or quagga mussels to the Report All Poachers and Polluters hotline 1-877-952-7277.

Read the full press release from the Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society here.

The Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to the prevention, management and reduction of invasive species in the Columbia Shuswap Regional District. 


Announcements and Reminders

Ice On/Off Data
Ice events - the freeze and thaw dates of waterbodies - are easily recorded changes that, with the help of volunteer observers, can help us monitor the effects of climate change on our lakes. The BCLSS submits ice on and ice off data to IceWatch, part of the NatureWatch suite of national volunteer monitoring programs designed to help identify ecological changes that may be affecting our environment. Please submit the ice on and ice off dates of your lake to the BCLSS. A data form can be found here.

Native Trout Stewardship Initiative: 2020 Call for Proposals
The Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC is pleased to announce Year Three of its pilot funding initiative that provides resources to organizations and groups seeking to get involved in native trout conservation activities at the local level. These activities are expected to be collaborative and involve partnerships with community, stewardship and angling groups. The deadline of December 31, 2020 is quickly approaching! Further information can be found here.

Women and Water Lecture Series
Hosted by the Global Institute for Water Security, Global Water Futures - Young Professionals and Global Water Futures. Lectures occur monthly from January to April. The schedule can be found here

BC Water Funders Collaborative
The BC Water Funders Collaborative is a group of funding organizations working together to facilitate the strategic use of collective resources to advance freshwater protection in BC. For more information and a reference guide to water funders, please check out their website.

Okanagan Water Board Opens Grant Program
The Okanagan Basin Water Board (OBWB) is now accepting applications for its Water Conservation and Quality Improvement (WCQI) grant program which will focus on water security. This application deadline is 4:00 p.m. on February 26, 2021. The complete Program Guide, detailed information, and application forms can be found here.

Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation PCAF Grants
The Public Conservation Assistance Fund provides small grants to organizations and individuals who need financial help to implement a conservation project. Approximately $150,000 is provided each year to help implement on-the-ground conservation work, with a particular focus on hands-on, community-based, and public awareness initiatives. Grants will be due in Spring 2021 - now is a good time to start thinking about projects. More information can be found on the HCTF website.
The BCLSS is available to help our members with applying for grants of all types. Please contact the office for assistance.

INVASIVES 2021 - ISCBC's Annual Forum & AGM
February 9-11, 2021. The Invasive Council of BC will be holding their forum virtually. You'll hear from two great keynote presenters, enjoy a variety of plenary session, lighting talks, and have the opportunity to network with others in the invasive species community.
The agenda and registration details can be found here.


News and Information

Holiday glitter in our lakes?

Watershed Security Agenda for British Columbia

'Dramatic changes': Study suggests more lakes fail to freeze over, could harm ice fishing, skating