Lower lake level lets OLWQS put testing boat back into the water

By on June 20, 2017

The Osoyoos Lake Water Quality Society (OLWQS) was able to launch its boat on Thursday and get it under the bridge to its dock space at Walnut Beach Resort. The operation was delayed by the high water levels this year. The group is still looking for volunteers to go out on the boat Wednesday mornings to record water quality data at various points on Osoyoos Lake. Pictured are Gary Moffatt, who helped launch the boat, Birgit Arnstein, OLWQS president, and Stu Wells, an OLWQS member who is involved with the boat’s operation. (Richard McGuire photo)

The high water level on Osoyoos Lake in recent weeks delayed the launch of the Osoyoos Lake Water Quality Society’s (OLWQS) testing boat, but on Thursday volunteers were able to get the boat back into the water.

Birgit Arnstein, OLWQS president, said the group would have liked to launch the boat at the end of May to begin its weekly water testing throughout the summer, but the water levels were too high for the boat to make it under the bridge.

By Thursday, the water had dropped two feet since the start of June and was now below 913 feet above sea level, allowing the boat to make it under the bridge, though it was a tight squeeze, according to Stu Wells, the former Osoyoos mayor and a member of the OLWQS who helps keep the boat running.

The boat was launched at Desert Sunrise Marina with help from Roger Agostinho of Collision Craft and Gary Moffatt, who were joined by Arnstein and Wells. Wells then took the boat under the bridge to its new tie-up home at the Walnut Beach Resort. Don Brogan, general manager of the resort, was on the dock to greet Wells.

Arnstein said OLWQS is still looking for volunteers to go out on the boat Wednesday mornings throughout the summer to conduct water quality tests. Volunteers are needed to conduct the tests as well as volunteers with power boat certificates to drive the boat.

“It’s a wonderful experience to get out on the lake,” said Arnstein.

The group has been doing tests on the lake since it was formed in 1991 to respond to concerns of some about lake water quality and after the provincial government stopped doing its own tests.

“It’s so important to keep this going,” said Wells.

Anyone wishing to volunteer can contact Colin MacCrimmon at Colin_Maccrimmon@msn.com or email the OLWQS at olwqs4info@gmail.com.

RICHARD McGUIRE

Osoyoos Times

Stu Wells, a member of the Osoyoos Lake Water Quality Society, docks the group’s boat at the Walnut Beach Resort, where he was met by General Manager Don Brogan. The OLWQS was grateful when Walnut Beach Resort stepped forward last year to offer dock space for the boat, which is used to conduct testing on Osoyoos Lake. (Contributed photo)

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