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Vernon residents upset about noisy shrimp harvesting on Okanagan Lake

Mysis shrimp were introduced to Okanagan Lake to help feed Kokanee populations, but things didn't work out as planned when the shrimp started competing for food with the fish fry.
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September 29, 2015 - 9:00 PM

VERNON - Noise concerns are being generated by shrimping operations on Okanagan Lake, but it's unclear which level of government complaints should be directed at.

Vernon city councillor Juliette Cunningham raised the issue at a public meeting Monday, saying the noise from a shrimp boat working around Paddlewheel Park is leaving some residents complaining to city hall.

But the city can’t do anything to address the concerns until it determines what level of government oversees the operations — and that remains unclear. Bylaw compliance manager Clint Kanester said the boat is licensed by the provincial fisheries branch, and isn’t sure if the city’s bylaws would apply.

“What we’ve learned from talking to the harvester, who is in the process of moving off the lake because the season is over, they had fisheries conduct an inspection and they haven’t had any problems with what they are doing,” Kanester said.

There are actually two boats running mysis shrimp harvesting operations on the lake, one at night and one during the daytime. Kanester says it’s the daytime operation that’s currently causing issues with locals.

Mysis shrimp were introduced to Okanagan Lake years ago to help feed Kokanee populations, but things didn't work out as planned when the shrimp started eating the same food as the fish fry.

City staff will be clearing up the jurisdictional issue and reporting back to council next month.

“It would be frustrating for somebody like this resident who has concerns and is not getting a response from the appropriate (jurisdiction),” Cunningham said.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at chelston@infonews.ca or call 250-309-5230. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724. 

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
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