THE 'PURGATORY ROCK' in the middle of the Spider Lake boat launch.

Recreational gem tarnished by obstructive boulder

Impediment on boat ramp should be removed with all due haste

Over the past couple of decades I have had an intimate relationship with Spider Lake, a many-faceted, medium-sized body of water just off the road to Horn Lake.

My primary interest is fly fishing, but that is just the beginning. I also enjoy bird watching and get much pleasure from sharing the lake with fellow anglers and other recreational outdoor people such as kayakers and canoeists.

In the provincial 2011-13 Freshwater Fishing Regulations Synopsis there is the following specific regulation that applies to Spider Lake – “No Power Boats.”

In all the years I have fished the lake I have yet to see a boat powered by an outboard motor on the lake. I have on a few occasions seen a boat powered by a electric motor and when the rule is pointed out to the boater they invariably change to rowing, paddling or go off the lake – with one exception who seems to own a cottage on the lake and they are frequently shamed into using oars.

Further to the “No Power Boats” rule, I have yet to hear a complaint from an angler about the condition that they must navigate under their own power – be it oars, paddles or flippers.

The one complaint I have heard over the years is the dangerous boat launching situation in the park where most anglers launch their boats. We were forced to park our vehicles just on the edge of the traffic lane on the road and put our boats into the water on a seriously hazardous, sloping launch ramp that was a disgrace to the park.

Over the years groups of anglers have tried to fix the sad situation but it was never satisfactory. As a side comment, it is a real tribute to the driving skill of the truck drivers from the quarry who carefully threaded their way through the congestion from boaters trying to get their boat into or out of the lake that we have never had a serious accident that I am aware of.

All of this changed about a month ago when the ministry of the environment came up with some money from the Habitat Conservation Fund (HCF) to improve the situation. What was planned was a proper sloping ramp into the little bay where we usually launch our boats. It would be designed so that we had a minimum effect on the parking, road traffic and as little damage as possible to Spider Lake Regional Park.

The bulk of the funding was coming from the HCF which was carrying out a series of upgrades to recreational ramps on several lakes on the south island. Fly fishing clubs, fish and game clubs and municipalities were also helping with funding and work where appropriate. It was a conscious effort by the provincial government to enhance recreational fishing opportunities in urban and regional freshwater lakes on Vancouver Island.

Pictured with this column is the ramp sloping into the little bay just off the road. Every person I have talked to is thrilled with the quality and location of the ramp, but shocked to see there is a large boulder in the middle of the ramp, just above the water line where you would normally slide your boat into the water.

I have a personal friend who has severe arthritis and in spite of major challenges he has ingeniously rigged a system of pulleys assisted with a small electric motor to load and offload his boat into the lake.

He was devastated when he went down to try the new ramp and saw the big boulder in the middle of the ramp effectively shutting him off from access to the lake. If the intent of this boulder is to inject a purgatory set of mental and physical barriers to the seniors and other challenged users of the ramp in their legitimate use of the ramp, I respectfully suggest is misdirected and the boulder must be removed.

Spider Lake is a precious recreational lake bordered with private homes and a significant regional park. We live in an age when we are trying to reduce our societal carbon footprints throughout the province and the “No Power Boat” regulation makes a tiny contribution to this important goal in coming to grips with climate change.

Please remove the boulder.

Ralph Shaw is a master fly fisherman who was awarded the Order of Canada in 1984 for his conservation efforts. In 20 years of writing a column in the Comox Valley Record it has won several awards.

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

New Coast Guard radar boosts marine traffic monitoring off B.C. coast

Six radar installations set up for Georgia Strait to Queen Charlotte Strait to Prince Rupert

Liquor store robbery suspect arrested

The Comox Valley RCMP have identified the suspect in relation to the… Continue reading

Everybody Deserves A Smile back for its 15th year

Local students leading the charge of spreading Christmas cheer to the Valley’s most vulnerable

Comox Valley Operation Christmas Child shoebox drive entering final days

Deadline for donations is Saturday, November 17

2019 dog licenses now available for Comox Valley Regional District electoral area residents

The Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) requires all dogs over six months… Continue reading

VIDEO: People with diabetes meet their alert dogs

A diabetic alert dog is trained to detect low blood sugar in people who have Type 1 diabetes

Toronto private school didn’t report alleged sexual assault to police

Police say a sexual assault at an all-boys Catholic institution was not reported to them

Mid Island Farmers Institute discusses fleece at November meeting

Are you a lover of wool and local fibre? Interested in raising… Continue reading

Comox Valley Nature invites the public to learn about nature photography

Comox Valley Nature is hosting a public lecture on photography. Join Terry… Continue reading

China says butt out; Canada calls for release of “arbitrarily” detained Muslims

A Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman accused Canada’s envoy of going beyond their diplomatic roles

Dead Saskatoon tattoo artist’s skin removed and preserved

The skin was removed in honour of the well known artist’s work

North Cowichan is Canada’s hot spot on Wednesday

The Warmland lives up to its name

B.C. Realtor suspended after helping intern forge note about sick grandma

Vancouver real estate agent Jaideep Singh Puri has to pay fine, take ethics course

Offensive Facebook post by Okanagan Conservative riding sparks outrage

Post taken down after Conservative MP in neighbouring riding condemns it and demands removal

Most Read