A group of Wasa residents is pushing back against efforts to implement motorized vessel speed restrictions at Wasa Lake. Google Streetview screenshot.

A group of Wasa residents is pushing back against efforts to implement motorized vessel speed restrictions at Wasa Lake. Google Streetview screenshot.

Wasa Lake residents pushing back against efforts to implement boat speed restrictions

A group of Wasa residents is pushing back against a proposal to limit boat speeds to 10 km/h the northern end of Wasa Lake.

Penny Flegel and Ron Gall, two Wasa residents, brought forward a petition in support of the status quo to the Regional District of East Kootenay, pushing back against a separate effort to implement motorized vessel speed restrictions on the north end of the lake.

The petition garnered a response from 460 individuals with a corresponding residential and email address indicating they did not feel boat traffic created an unreasonable safety risk on the north end of Wasa Lake. Further, of approximately 124 direct lakefront stakeholders, 72 per cent agreed that there was not an unreasonable boat safety concern on the north end of the lake.

“We have put a lot of investment and time and energy into our homes and our community to live on the lake,” said Flegel. “We wanted that lifestyle, that’s why we bought there. There’s a lot of people who feel that way. At the end of the day, we don’t want accidents on our lake; we want to keep our lake safe as well.

Flegel’s presentation and petition, Let Wasa Be, served as a response to a different group, Wasa Area Safety Advocates, that had previously appeared before the RDEK board last May, requesting speed restrictions for motorized vessels.

While the RDEK board received Flegel’s presentation as information, Area E director Jane Walter noted a desire to see the issue on the board’s priority list.

“I’m going to be asking for this to still go onto our priority list because I feel that we have to really take a real long look at what is going on out at Wasa,” Walter said. “I’m hoping to actually do a recreation study in this next summer so there probably won’t be any decisions made until after we’ve actually have that study so we know what kind of recreation use is happening at the lake.”