2019 River Clean-up Report
For immediate release:
The Shuswap River Cleanup Paddle Event, hosted by the Mabel Lake Community Club and Elements Adventure Company kicked off again on Sept. 29, 2019. This 7th annual event has attracted canoeists and kayakers from all over the North Okanagan and Shuswap areas to experience this scenic waterway and to give back to the community that they live and play in. Volunteers spent time picking up trash at the Meadows campground in Cherryville BC, before launching their watercraft and heading downstream to the take-out at Wilsey Dam/Shuswap Falls, while collecting garbage along the way.
Charles Ruechel from Elements Adventure Company was responsible for making sure all paddlers were safe and prepared for the day on the river, which is not without its hazards. “It’s a fun test of your paddling skill to weave in and around obstacles to collect some of the garbage. It also feels great to do something for the river while meeting other paddlers from the region. My hope is that this event brings awareness to how to care for the river, and inspire other communities to do the same.”
At the end of the long day, the paddlers were treated to a warm meal, served up by local volunteers from the Mabel Lake Community Club at the community hall.
There are a few important messages that the Mabel Lake Community Club and the Cherryville Water Stewards would like to spread in relation to this event.
Although it was the 4th time in 7 years that this section of the river was cleaned up, the crew still managed to easily fill a pickup load of garbage from along the shoreline – most of which came from stuff left behind from people enjoying lazy summer days by the water and sand. Punctured flotation mattresses, fishing tackle, beach toys, cans, bottles, tarps, cigarette butts, lawn chairs – were some of the more common items picked up. We encourage all river users to clean up their toys after each day. Otherwise the high water or winds will pick these items up and deposit them downstream.
Also, in recent years, there are an increasing number of riverside property owners who have cleared or altered the riparian area to make room for gazebos, cabins, trailers, or simply to enjoy the river view. People may be unaware that it is unlawful to remove vegetation or alter the land within 30 m of the high water line without a permit to do so. The fish need that vegetation for shade to keep the water cool and for protection against predators. The Cherryville Water Stewards report that the temperature of the Middle Shuswap River got as high as 18 degrees Celsius this past summer. At this temperature, fish need to begin upstream migration in order to find water that is cool enough for them to survive in.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to participate in this event in 2020, when volunteers will again paddle from Shuswap Falls down to Mabel Lake.