A windsurfer enjoys Quamichan Lake. (Cheryl Trudell photo)

A windsurfer enjoys Quamichan Lake. (Cheryl Trudell photo)

National rowing centre may lead to solutions to Duncan-area lake’s algae problem

Officials hope national focus could lead to resources to deal with issue plaguing Quamichan Lake

Hopes are being raised that establishing Quamichan Lake as a national rowing centre could also mean substantial measures may soon be taken to deal with the lake’s blue-green algae problem.

Rowing Canada Aviron announced on Jan. 16 that North Cowichan will host its future national training centre, with team athletes from across the country training at Quamichan Lake.

The RCA said plans are to establish a permanent national training centre in the area by the fall of 2020.

RELATED STORY: NORTH COWICHAN WILL HOST NEW PERMANENT ROWING CENTRE STARTING IN 2020

But there had been at least four reported dog deaths around Quamichan Lake in 2016, with all suspected to be caused by ingesting toxic blue-green algae from the lake, and neighbours of the lake have been advocating for measures to be taken to deal with the problem since then.

RELATED STORY: DOG DIES AFTER INGESTION OF QUAMICHAN LAKE ALGAE

Last March, the Municipality of North Cowichan brought in a former biologist for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, along with a Masters student from the Ecological Restoration Program at the BC Institute of Technology, to undertake research on the lake and come up with a plan to deal with the algae.

A restoration plan is scheduled to be tabled in the spring and expectations are that it will provide options and recommendations for enhancing the health and water quality of Quamichan Lake.

RELATED STORY: NO EASY SOLUTIONS FOR QUAMICHAN LAKE’S DEADLY ALGAE, REPORT STATES

North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring said the designation of the lake as a high-profile national rowing centre could add some increased urgency to deal with the issue.

“Now that the lake is a rowing centre, it should give us more political clout with senior levels of government to assist in its clean up,” he said.

“We’re talking about national teams that head to international competitions like the Olympics, so it’s more than just the municipality’s problem now. We’re hoping both the province and Ottawa will bring some money to the table in our ongoing efforts to deal with the health of the lake.”

Siebring said other communities that made bids to host the national rowing centre, including Saanich, have the same algae issues with their shallow, urban lakes.

“In fact, this algae is showing up in almost every urban lake in Canada,” he said.

“We were successful in our bid for the rowing centre for a whole bunch of other factors.”

A task force set up by North Cowichan soon after the death of the dogs concluded that the nutrients that are causing the algae outbreak in Quamichan Lake are coming from a number of sources, including urban runoff, and runoff from nearby agricultural lands, construction areas and logging sites.

RELATED STORY: STRATEGIES TO FIX TOXIC ALGAE PROBLEM IN QUAMICHAN LAKE TO BE CONSIDERED



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Seiners fill the waters between Comox and Nanoose Bay during roe herring fishery. file photo, Pacific Wild
Quota debate heats up on the eve of Vancouver Island herring fishery

Industry and conservationists weigh in how much catch should be allowed as DFO decision coming soon

Greater Victoria is defying national and provincial employment trends as the unemployment rate in December dropped to 5.8 per cent. (Black Press Media File)
Dropping unemployment rate in Greater Victoria defies national and provincial picture

Broader trends such as high youth unemployment are solidifying

Metchosin Mayor John Ranns (Black Press Media file photo)
Charity’s plan to flip tax-exempt greenspace to development angers Metchosin mayor

Boys and Girls Club of Greater Victoria tight-lipped on land plans

Editorial: We’re on the right path to address homelessness

Housing first model can only help improve the situation

North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring has expressed his frustration with harassment of people who have made racist comments online about Cowichan Tribes in the wake of a COVID-19 outbreak in the First Nation. (Citizen file)
Island mayor calls for de-escalation as social media gets uglier in racism fight

“Racism is wrong. But so is this kind of reaction”:

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
536 COVID cases, 7 deaths reported as B.C. find its first case of South African variant

Henry said 69,746 people have received their first dose of the COVID vaccine.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials says it will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Laurie Arbuthnot, owner of Wild Coast Perfumery in Cowichan Bay, poses with some of her products. (Robert Barron/Citizen)
Opening Wild Coast Perfumery a dream come true for Cowichan Bay owner

Only business of its kind on the Island outside Victoria makes natural, plant-based perfumes

Patty Golumbia and Holly Mair, teacher-librarians at South Island Distance Education, have launched a Read Across Canada challenge for their students. (Courtesy of Holly Mair)
Victoria students gobble up books on virtual trek across Canada

Nearly 40 South Island Distance Education students are participating

The Kerry Park Islanders and Peninsula Panthers battle during a Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League game in November 2020. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League hasn’t given up on season

Games can’t resume until at least February, but league brass still hopeful

The pantomime ‘Snow White and the 5 Dwarfs’ has been cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions. (Submitted)
Pantomime cancelled in Cowichan due to COVID restrictions

A partnership of the Cowichan Musical Society, the Shawnigan Players, and the Mercury Players.

Alan Davidson was sentenced to almost six years for abusing seven boys in the late 1970s and early 1990s. (Canadian Press file)
Full parole granted to former Mountie, sports coach convicted of sex abuse of boys

Alan Davidson convicted of abusing boys in B.C. and Saskatchewan in late ’70s, early ’90s

The first COVID-19 vaccine arrives in B.C. in temperature-controlled containers, Dec. 13, 2020. (B.C. government)
More vaccine arrives as B.C. struggles with remote COVID-19 cases

Long-term care homes remain focus for public health

Most Read