A cooler summer might benefit Okanagan lakes this year

February 5, 2020

InfoNews.ca – February 5, 2020

The cool, damp summer of 2019 may not have been great for Okanagan beachgoers but it had one very bright silver lining – milfoil didn’t like it either.

As crews from the Okanagan Basin Water Board rototilled the waters of five Valley lakes over the past few months they found the milfoil growths were much thinner than in recent years.

“It’s not scientific, but operators have been doing this for quite a long of time,” James Littley, the board’s operations and grants manager, told iNFOnews.ca. “In general, if it’s a cool, wet, cloudy kind of summer there’s less light penetration. And then, of course, the rain stirs up some of the sediment and increases the creek flows which, again, creates cloudy water reducing the light penetration.”

While that can make it easier to rototill the milfoil crop over the winter, smaller growth can sometimes make it harder for operators to see the fragments of the weed on the lake bottom. Those small pieces are how the weed regenerates. That may mean, if some are missed, small patches can sprout up.

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