Kelowna's ponds and marshes enjoying the end of drought | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kelowna's ponds and marshes enjoying the end of drought

Hall Road fishing participants in 2016.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED

KELOWNA - The water levels in many of Kelowna’s ponds, marshes and low spots have started rising and that’s a good thing.

City forester Andrew Hunsberger said the last two years have been very wet with rising groundwater feeding increased water levels, effectively ending very dry conditions seen throughout the Central Okanagan for the last several years.

“We’ve been noticing that all over the city,” he added. “I think it’s a very good thing for riparian areas. Wildlife uses all these little ponds."

Both Kathleen Lake and Hepner's Pond on top of Knox Mountain have seen rising water levels, Hunsberger said, fuelling speculation about Kathleen Lake as the source for groundwater that is destabilizing the slope along the Knox Mountain Bench.

“Kathleen Lake has that big bowl there and it's holding more water,” he said.

Other ponds and marshes have also been undergoing a revival of sorts with the rising ground water and an increase in precipitation.

“We had significant drought over the last few years. Crosby Pond (in Glenmore) went almost completely dry but the water levels have come back,” he added.

Hunsberger said the city has also become better at protecting ponds and marshes, knowing their value as riparian areas and wildlife habitat.

Comparisons of recent aerial photographs with archival photos has also confirmed the increases seen in local ponds and wetlands, Hunsberger added.

“It’s cyclical. When you look back you will find sometimes they dried up but they always come back,” he said.

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