Silt-Covered Boat Launch

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Photo: Contributed

Posted March 25, 2019

It's become a yearly problem at Kelowna's Cook Road boat launch.

Silt and debris from the mouth of Mission Creek has drifted north, covering the boat launch, and making it virtually unusable, forcing the city to again dredge the area.

Parks and building planning manager Robert Parlane says the city is in the process of trying to get a permit from the province to do the work.

"We're working with them, and local land owners to see if we can expedite that as soon as possible," he said, adding there is no time commitment from the province as to when a permit will be issued.

While the city waits for approval, Parlane says they are trying to line up a contractor ahead of time so they can get to work as soon as the province says go.

Parlane expects the launch will be closed for two to three weeks while the work is done.

This is the fifth straight year the boat launch has been affected by a build-up of silt, and boaters are wondering why the city doesn't find a permanent fix.

"We are working on that," Parlane told Castanet News.

"We are doing a long-term shoreline plan for that stretch, in partnership with the land owners to try and come up with a plan that the province will accept.

"There is a lot of modeling being done as to how the sand moves along the shoreline. Different land owners have different aspirations, and the province does have final jurisdiction."

Parlane claims the problem being experienced today began in the mid to late '90s when a large volume of sand came down Mission Creek during one particularly bad freshet.

That build-up slowly moved north, a few metres each year.

"That big lump of sand has now come to the boat launch, and that's why it's giving us problems now.

"If left to its own devices, it would move on through the Eldorado and their marina, and keep going up the shoreline."