Over 80 meet to review status of lake

The Christina Lake Stewardship Society (CLSS) held its annual review on Dec. 4 at the Christina Lake Community Hall.

Barb Stewart

Barb Stewart

The Christina Lake Stewardship Society (CLSS) held its annual review on Dec. 4 at the Christina Lake Community Hall. More than 80 people from around the Boundary and beyond heard from a myriad of different speakers on the health status and future plans for the area.

Introducing the speakers and acting as facilitator was Grace McGregor, RDKB Area C (Christina Lake) director. Speakers included Brenda LaCroix, CLSS stewardship coordinator and project manager; Jolene Raggett, environmental impact biologist for the Ministry of the Environment from Nelson; and Dave Webster, conservation officer for Grand Forks. Also speaking was Graham Watt, project coordinator for the Kettle River Watershed Plan, who launched the official start of the recently completed plan.

LaCroix said the review went very well. She said the turnout was great and it was good to see representation from so many diverse groups and organizations as well as many local residents.

The Christina Lake watershed plan was first adopted in 2005 and the group has met every year since, said LaCroix.

“Everything we talked about (today) runs around the watershed plan and what actions we first put in when we put the plan in,” she said. “This annual review helps us review everything we’ve done, even stuff we haven’t been able to do to date, and where we’re going. So it helps us provide guidance for the next year and what we’re going to do in the watershed plan.”

In her speech, LaCroix talked about the plan and the highlights from the recent year for the stewardship society such as fisheries enumeration, water quality sampling, youth programs and aquatic invasive species monitoring and educational program.

“I also talked about some of our projected projects such as we want to do a wetland and riparian demonstration site which we want to start in 2015,” she said.

LaCroix said the CLSS is also excited about a documentary on zebra and quagga mussels that Christina Lake is a part of. The short documentary film, called The Threat of Zebra Mussels in B.C., is being filmed by Brynne Morrice from Vernon at various lakes in the province.

“The film crew will be coming down here in the beginning of January and will be interviewing key people,” she said. “There will be a welcome event at the welcome centre. They’ll interview us and film the lake and what we’re doing here and what are concerns are.”

The film is being produced with the hopes of getting the provincial and federal governments to take action against the invasive mussels.

Heather Ling, senior stewardship assistant, talked about the different invasive species and their effect on various ecosystems.

“I talked about the different invasive species in Christina Lake including the fish species and the plant species,” she said. “I also talked about our education program which happened at the boat launch at Texas Creek and through our interactive gallery.”

Ling said the students at the boat launch saw 286 watercraft owners this year.

“They were looking to see if they (boats) were coming from areas where zebra and quagga mussels are present,” she said. “Luckily, we only had one scare with a boat from California. It had been out of the water for six months so we weren’t too worried about it, but we still did a report on it.”

At the end of the review, participants broke off into different groups and worked on brainstorming suggestions and ideas for helping protect the watershed.

“It was a great day; very informative,” said LaCroix. “We all broke off and worked on action items for implementation that’ll provide us with guidance moving forward. It was excellent.”