Since 1994, the Osoyoos Lake Water Quality Society (OLWQS) and its volunteers have undertaken the testing of lake waters for the BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. From May through October, the organization tests bi-weekly for water turbidity (clarity), dissolved oxygen, temperature, pH, and specific conductivity.

This week, new and returning volunteers received up-to-date training for gathering important scientific data which will begin shortly using the society’s research pontoon boat.

The training at the Desert Sunrise Marina was undertaken buy John Gates who recently received the Volunteer of the Year award from the BC Lake Stewardship Society.

“We are very fortunate to have such dedicated volunteers like John who are a perfect fit for this data driven initiative that is becoming increasing important as we all face the challenges of climate change,” explains Birgit Arnstein.

Arnstein also praised the Town of Osoyoos for their generous support of the OLWQS.  

“We are grateful for the support of Osoyoos Mayor Sue McKortoff and Council members as well as staffers Gerald Davis and Sarah Dynneson who were instrumental in making it possible for us to moor our boat at the Desert Sunrise Marina. The town also allows us to store our research pontoon boat on its property during the winter months. Without the town’s ongoing support, we would not have been able to conduct these important lake monitoring initiatives.”

All photo credits: Neil Bousquet

Osoyoos Lake Water Quality Society’s research pontoon boat with Captain Iain Fraser at Desert Sunrise Marina, Osoyoos BC
PC Neil Bousquet
Training of OLWQS volunteers at Desert Sunrise Marina for gathering water quality data for BC Ministry of Environment.
PC Neil Bousquet
OLWQS’s John Gates (Centre sitting on chair) explaining how data is gathered to volunteers. PC Neil Bousquet

John Gates, (second from left ) helps train new volunteers. Meanwhile, Birgit Arnstein (Pale Blue Jacket) chats with Pontoon Boat Captains Brian Faltinson (red jacket) and Iain Fraser (black jacket/red cap) about crew training at Desert Sunrise Marina.
PC Neil Bousquet

Birgit Arnstein, president of OLWQS (pale blue jacket) shows volunteers where research pontoon boat is located. PC Neil Bousquet