By Osoyoos Times on November 29, 2019

Due to the presence of endangered Rocky Mountain Ridged Mussels, rototilling milfoil is limited in some parts of Osoyoos Lake this year. (File photo)

By Vanessa Broadbent

Osoyoos Times

The Okanagan Basin Waterboard (OBWB) is resuming its rototilling of invasive milfoil in some areas after operations were limited this summer due to the presence of Rocky Mountain Ridged Mussels, believed to be endangered.

Osoyoos mayor and chair of the OBWB Sue McKortoff told council about the change in operations at their regular meeting Nov. 18.

With the mussels now considered a species “to watch” instead of “at risk,” water board staff are rototilling in some but not all regular spots on Okanagan lakes.

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However, operations are resuming on the north end of Osoyoos Lake, McKortoff said.

“We are very fortunate to have that,” she said.

The OBWB is requesting a permanent exemption to allow rototilling in high-use public areas, as well as more research on the effects between Rocky Mountain Ridges Mussels and milfoil.

“We felt that especially with tourism being a huge part of why people come and use our water ways that we needed to make sure that beaches particularly are kept free of this,” McKortoff said.