Penticton river channel will slow to a six-pack for tubers this summer - InfoNews

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Penticton river channel will slow to a six-pack for tubers this summer

FILE PHOTO- Channel floaters enjoy a fine summer day on the Penticton River Channel. Low water levels may mean a more leisurely run down the Penticton river channel this year.
May 27, 2019 - 7:00 AM

PENTICTON - A low snow pack this winter will mean a more leisurely ride down the Penticton River channel this summer.

Flooding the last two years made for a much swifter ride as waters from Okanagan Lake were rushed into Skaha Lake but this year it will not only be slower but safer and warmer especially early in the season.

Shaun Reimer controls dam levels on the lake at the Okanagan River channel outflow. He says the Penticton section of the channel is exceptionally low this year following two years of record outflows from Okanagan Lake.

“It’s not the lowest we’ve ever been, but this week’s flow is more normal for a winter type flow,” he says.

The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources is trying to hold as much water in Okanagan Lake as possible. Reimer says it will be a struggle to reach maximum pool this year.

Reimer says the ministry is taking advantage of the fact channel tributaries in the Oliver area are still producing a moderate flow, allowing them to limit outflow at the dam.

“As those creeks start to dry up and the freshet comes to an end, we will up the outflow in Okanagan Lake,” Reimer says.

Precipitation is key to whether or not the flows through the Penticton portion of the channel remain low into summer. Reimer says the ministry is counting on at least average rainfall.

“We’re hoping for rain,” he says.

The Okanagan River Channel spring freshet, at left, June 27, 2017, and this year, May 24, 2019.
The Okanagan River Channel spring freshet, at left, June 27, 2017, and this year, May 24, 2019.

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News from © Infotel News Ltd, 2019
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