BCLSS president Dave Zirnhelt (far left) speaks to residents of East Barriere Lake during a BCLSS LakeKeepers Workshop held July 22, on the dock of the Hartl family’s lakeside property. (Submitted photo)

Joining together to keep East Barriere Lake pristine

BCLSS LakeKeepers stewardship emphasis on monitoring lake water quality, and aquatic plant surveying

A group of like-minded residents of East Barriere Lake enjoyed a BCLSS LakeKeepers Workshop on July 22, on the deck and on the dock of the Hartl’s lakeside property, where comprehensive Covid-19 protocol and guidelines were followed by the group of 12 participating.

The course was facilitated by Norm Zirnhelt, President of BCLSS (British Columbia Lake Stewardship Society) and a biologist with the Ministry of Environment for over 20 years. Since 2009, the BCLSS has offered LakeKeepers workshops that provide training and support as it relates to lake stewardship with an emphasis on lake water quality monitoring and aquatic plant surveying.

The enthusiastic group took away a greater understanding of lake management, which will hopefully translate to an increased ability to take care of their lake through better knowledge of watershed and land-use impacts, lake ecology, and limnology (the study of freshwater).

“I learned so much about our lake biology and what ’turning’ actually means, ” shared Richard Paul, a long time lake resident, “Now we know where to catch all the fish too! Really amazed to learn that most lakes take an average of 17 years to ’refresh’. How careful we have to be with this resource. It was a really well-spent day.”

Doug Pratt, keen on tracking lake trends, took home the new equipment to begin collecting and recording the level one lake data.

“We share a common vision for East Barriere Lake – a pristine and safe resource in the North Thompson for everyone to enjoy for generations, ” remarked Linda Hartl, “Next year, when Covid limitations are behind us, we hope to host the next level workshop and a larger group of potential lake stewards.”

The BCLSS mission is to act as a resource, communication, and information network among scientists, environmental professionals, lakeshore residents, the general public, First Nations, and government agencies in order to preserve, protect, and restore lakes in British Columbia. Find out more at: https://www.bclss.org

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