Newsletter, November 2019

November 2019 Newsletter

Icing up, Bridge Lake

After a fairly mild and almost snow-free autumn, we are now beginning to see signs of winter. The loons and most other migratory birds are long gone and shallow lakes are beginning to freeze over. We have seen an unusual number of migratory birds passing through the area this year, in contrast to last year, when bird numbers were low. Swans were seen at various locations in October.

This summer’s loon survey results showed in increase in chick numbers. Full details can be found here. This year we erected some new signs around various lake accesses to asking boaters to slow down when near shoreline to keep loon nests from being swamped by boat wash. BC Parks refused us permission to put signs at the Provincial Park boat launch, but we will ask the owners of a private lot near the launch to let us put a sign there. If any members whose own property is lakefront would like a sign to post on the shore, please let us know and we will provide one.

Another initiative started this year was a program to try to eradicate Yellow Flag Iris from Bridge Lake. Once it gets a foothold, this invasive species crowds out native plants and can “take over” a lakeshore very quickly. Several lakes in B.C. now have shorelines ringed with it. As mentioned in our Spring Newsletter, we treated two sites of infestation with the help of a group from the Invasive Species Council of B.C. and the CRD. A follow-up visit to both sites showed some success in keeping the Iris from spreading, but was not yet completely eradicated, so the monitoring will continue. Bridge Lake appears to be relatively free of this troublesome plant so far and we want to keep it so.

We have still not managed to get any advice about the algal “bloom” which has occurred at the south-eastern end of the lake during the two past years, but has since also appeared at other parts of the lake. Government agencies have been playing “musical chairs” with our queries, and offered us no explanation as to the cause of the outbreak and how to control or eradicate it. This subject will continue to be a priority for us next year.

Following the addition of “Heritage/Rainbow” island to the Provincial Park, we approached the Parks Manager for this area to find out what changes, if any, were likely to occur. We were particularly concerned about the fire risk on the islands, and wished to know if there would be any signage forbidding fires. We were told there was a small budget for signage, but have not seen any so far. We have also not received any further information about the name change of the island back to “Rainbow” Island.

We have not yet received any suggestions from any of you for Summer Speakers talks. If you wish this program to continue next year, please send us some ideas for topics of potential interest to other members and the general public.

Thank you for your continuing support of Friends of Bridge Lake.

Chris Lance (President)

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