August 23, 2012


Halibut 2012

The Labour Day long weekend is nearly upon us, and unfortunately we must report that DFO will soon be announcing the closure of the recreational halibut fishery in BC. After some discussion, DFO has concluded that recreational anglers will have caught their 15% allocation effective September 9th, 2012. While we can't disagree with their catch projections, and are disappointed that the management measure utilized to slow harvest, the one normal size one under 83cm experiment, was not nearly successful as hoped, we can only interpret the closure as further evidence of the failure of the allocation model.

Sadly, the decision will have a significant impact on hundreds of charter boat operators in coastal communities who will sacrifice significant economic opportunities for a modest catch reduction.

Last year's closure announcement came days before the long weekend and resulted in a spike in catch effort that created an unanticipated catch overage for the recreational sector. This was to be expected when one considers that anglers legitimately wanted to get one last chance at fishing before the season was closed. Unfortunately DFO seems poised to repeat this mistake.

We will undoubtedly spend much of the winter working to find new approaches to dealing with halibut allocation.

For more information contact:

Sport Fishing Institute of BC

t: 604.946.0734


The SFI Team,
Sport Fishing Institute of British Columbia


OK Centre Boat Launch Update


Dave has been keeping updates on the current work on the breakwater, here's the latest:

Hi Sherm , I am still trying to get them to put in another ramp on the North side of the new courtesy dock.  I won't be happy until they see the light. I am hoping in next years budget.......Dave

Thanks Dave, I appreciate the updates.  I still am bewildered as to why this project was not done properly right from the get go.  Had they replaced the old breakwater with a new one that was constructed the same, they would not have encountered any of these problems.  As well, if they had gone with a floating dock system as we have in Sicamous, you would not have that "diving platform" that will be useless in low water.  To bad they don't take our input into such matters seriously, not only would they have a proper breakwater but they'd also save the tax payer a forutne!  Here's the update from Bruce Smith...

Subject: RDCO - Okanagan Centre Safe Harbour Regional Park Update
Date: Wed, 11 Jul 2012 23:25:40 +0000

Good afternoon


Earlier this week, as planned, we achieved substantial completion of the construction of the new south breakwater at Okanagan Centre Safe Harbour Regional Park. (see two attached photos)


Some minor work remains such as installing a cable along the top of the new breakwater and once the lake water level drops, crews will complete some welding that is still required.


We anticipate this new structure will assist in providing calming waters inside the harbour along the south side of the viewing platform and in particular for those using the main boat launch.


At this time, no further work is planned for the park facilities. As was outlined to the Regional Board in May with the awarding of the south breakwater construction contract, later this year Regional District Parks Services staff will be reviewing the future capital requirements for repairs and/or replacement of the north breakwater along with any associated approvals that might be required. This additional information will be presented for Regional Board consideration during its discussion of the 2013 – 2017 Five Year Financial Plan.


Finally, a reminder that Okanagan Centre Safe Harbour Regional Park will be closed from its usual time this Friday night, July 13th until approximately 9:00 am on Saturday the 14th to facilitate the GranFondo cycling event. Once riders have passed through this area, the gates to the park will be open for use.


Thanks again for your ongoing support and patience as we brought construction of the new south breakwater to a successful conclusion.




Bruce Smith

Communications & Intergovernmental Affairs Officer

Regional District of Central Okanagan

1450 KLO Road

Kelowna, BC

V1W 3Z4


Phone: 250-469-6339

Fax: 250-763-0606





Subject: RDCO Release - Okanagan Centre Safe Harbour Regional Park
Date: Mon, 4 Jun 2012 22:26:51 +0000

Good afternoon


We’ve now had an opportunity to confirm with our contractor the plan for construction of the new south breakwater. Attached and below please find a RDCO news release regarding upcoming work building a new south breakwater at Okanagan Centre Safe Harbour Regional Park. Also attached is a map showing the area of the new breakwater.


Work will begin this Friday with mobilization of equipment and construction will begin on Monday, June 11th continuing through June 30th. Some clean-up will take place the first week of July.


For the most part we anticipate the main boat launch will be accessible during construction, although some temporary intermittent closures will be required as equipment is repositioned and during delivery or off-loading of materials. We appreciate ongoing patience and understanding of these temporary park/boat launch closures so that we can get this important work completed by the end of the month.




Bruce Smith

Communications & Intergovernmental Affairs Officer

Regional District of Central Okanagan

1450 KLO Road

Kelowna, BC

V1W 3Z4


Phone: 250-469-6339

Fax: 250-763-0606




 June 4, 2011

Safe Harbour Regional Park Breakwater Construction


Construction of a new south breakwater is expected to begin in Okanagan Centre Safe Harbour Regional Park on Monday, June 11th.


In advance of this work, crews for the contractor (Burton Marine Pile Driving Inc.) will begin moving a barge and other equipment into place on Friday.


It’s anticipated the breakwater construction will be substantially complete by June 30th and some minor clean-up of the park will take place during the first week of July. The park and its main boat launch are located on Okanagan Centre Road in Lake Country.


Communications Officer Bruce Smith says, “At this point, we don’t anticipate any lengthy closure of the park and its main boat launch. However, a portion of the parking area south of the main launch will be cordoned off during construction for storage of equipment and materials and staging.”


He adds, “Safe Harbour users should be aware that temporary, intermittent closures may be required during construction to adjust or reposition equipment and for the delivery or off-loading of construction materials. We hope these closures will be minimal and ask for the patience and cooperation of park users, boaters and other visitors to ensure their safety and that of construction workers.”


The new steel pile supported breakwater will be constructed parallel to the viewing platform/fishing pier, south of the main boat launch area at a cost of just over $124,000. It will replace the aging wood pile structure that was removed last fall.


While construction is underway, as an alternate launch/trailering facility, boaters may wish to consider using the District of Lake Country Coral Beach Park on Terrace View Road in Carrs Landing. Please note there is limited parking available at this location.



Bruce Smith

Communications Officer


 May 10th Regional Board Report – Safe Harbour South Breakwater Contract


Arrow Lake Derby

Dave & I host a Spring Fish Derby at Shelter Bay every year and we were wondering if you could post some info on your Not for Profit Section.


Dates – May 26th & 27th

Place – Shelter Bay Campsite

Fee - $50.00 per Boat (all proceeds go back to Derby Winners)

Winners – 1st, 2nd & 3rd Place in both the Rainbow & Dolly categories and a separate award for the Daily Largest Fish.

Entry Place – Rough Country Marine

Thanks Deenie


Chantilly Kitchen Bed n Bath

PO Box 1590

Revelstoke, BC V0E 2S0

Ph 250-837-7005

Fax 250-837-6610

Mabel Lake Fishing Derby

Here's some info from Jim Summerfelt concerning the upcoming derby on Mabel Lake:

Just a short note to explain our derby. Lumby & District Wildlife Association holds the derby each year, generally in early May. My wife, Gail Summerfelt, is the main Coordinator. Since she took it over approx. 10 years ago, she has developed it into a very family type derby. Last year we had 270 entries, about a third of these were kids. All prizes are from the generous donations of different businesses from all over the Okanagan......last year we had approx 15,000 dollars in prizes. In the adult category there is a first overall for the largest fish, then there are approx. 10 additional prizes for rainbows and another 10 for lakers. Kids catagory usually goes to about 30th place depending on the donations. This year the derby is May 4,5,and 6th and it is held at the south end of Mabel at the Provincial Park. If you need any further information give Gail a call at 250-547-6939 or her cell at 250-308-6866. Thanks, Jim Summerfelt (husband of the coordinator)

Thanks for the info Jim..

OK Centre Boat Launch Information

12-01-13      Meeting Results from Dave Ulvaan

Hi Sherm ,

The meeting was not as '' spirited " as I expected due to Mayor Baker has chaired many a meeting and kept a lid on proceedings. Lots of speakers ,including Ron Taylor assured the panel that the Kokanee don't spawn in the safe harbour and I think they all knew that anyway. There was lots of dialog regarding the fact that the South breakwater has to be replaced and that it more than likely will be , one way or another . Mr. Baker also mentioned the video I sent in has been distributed to the various Ministries.
Regarding the North breakwater , the powers that be have been made aware that it cannot be removed. To that they agreed that the best way to handle it is to simply get in there and replace the rotted timbers , like they should have done on the Southside.
I'm glad I attended. I would guess there were about 50 to 60 people in all and the best part was not one person in attendance or on the panel was pro the project. One of my questions was why was the work done and then a public meeting held instead of the other way around. The response was , our intentions were to rebuild it the same as it was but regulations kept us from doing so. Our reply to that was , there is more regard given to fish than there is to human life. One speaker even noted that fisheries had issued a press release recently stating the Kokanee population is at a healthy level , not seen since the 50s !

All and all it was a good meeting and everyone is on the same page. It's wrong the way it is and the south breakwater needs to be reinstalled and some suggested that another ramp be installed on the North side of the new dock.


Thanks Dave, appreciate the effort you've put into all of this and the feedback.......Sherm

Big Meeting Regarding the OK Centre Boat Launch!!

Good afternoon  Here’s an update regarding work on the courtesy boat launch dock and the viewing platform at the Okanagan Centre Safe Harbour Regional Park.  The viewing platform has been completed and inspected and will be open for use next week once the fence restricting access is removed.

 The courtesy dock on the north side of the boat launch has been lowered to the amended approved height and we expect the final section (approximately 10 feet) of decking will be finished by Friday, January 13th. At that time we also expect wood ladders will be installed down to the water from the deck on the end 10 foot section of the courtesy dock.

On behalf of the District of Lake Country, we have attached a news release regarding a public forum it is hosting on Friday, January 13th at the Okanagan Centre Community Hall from 7-9pm on the work at the regional park. 

Bruce Smith

Communications & Intergovernmental Affairs Officer  Regional District of Central Okanagan  1450 KLO Road  Kelowna, BC V1W 3Z4  Email:  Website:


OK Centre Boat Launch Closure: (photo)

December 19 2011
Over the past couple of weeks Dave and I have received various correspondence from different agencies regarding the status of the OK Centre Boat Launch.  The letter I received back was from Bruce Smith at CORD and in all honesty there's no point in even posting it.  It says nothing that indicates the launch will be put back to the way it was, and what we have is the best we'll get. 
Dave has sent and received emails from Mayor Baker of Lake Country and his reply also dosen't give much hope as to any changes being made.  Kokanee spawning seems to be the biggest hurdle in all of this and those in power that look after these fish stocks just don't seem to get it.  Dave even sent in a great video of how crappy this new launch is working out, it is attached along with Dave's emails and that from Mayor Baker:
Attn: Mayor Baker ,
I have just finished reading a report on the ongoing " destruction " of our Safe Harbour and contained within was the quote " the Regional Board required that no further work would be done to the North breakwater area , pending further consultation with the District of Lake Country." end quote. That implies the District of Lake Country had consultation with CORD prior to the removal of the South breakwater. Correct ? If so, that decision is unacceptable ! A South breakwater is absolutely necessary. Also mentioned in the report , quote " current standards do not allow in-water batter boards in areas of fish habitat." end quote. Here are some simple suggestions to keep the pressure treated lumber from coming in contact with the water.... Don't use pressure treated lumber. Instead, use timbers similar the ones they used 50 years ago . OR Construct the breakwater of steel. Steel has been used in many breakwaters throughout the province. OR rock. Fill rock between the pylons of the new viewing platform.
I wanted to launch my boat and go fishing today but as you can see from the attached video , the very unsafe conditions , due to the removal of the South breakwater , kept me from entering and risking my life and the destruction of my boat . I am not one who would consider suing my own Government , but there are a lot of people from out of Province with different attitudes and resources that would , after their $300,000 pleasure boat is demolished.
Thank you for your concerns to this very important issue.
Regards Dave Ulvaan

And the Mayor's reply back:


Hello Dave,


Thank you for your letter and excellent video. I have seen the same conditions myself at the safe harbour since work started on the south side. The Regional Board did approve work to repair the south side and construct a courtesy dock within. There was a limited window to do the work and RD Parks worked with Provincial fish and environment staff to try to have the work done in the proscribed time but discovered the large lake protocol did not permit batter boards nor a floating courtesy dock. The area is rendered useless as a boat launch if it does not have the safe harbour component. RD Parks is meeting with fish biologists and environmental staff in order to convince them of the other values to be considered with the upgrade of this essential structure in our part of Okanagan Lake.


Again, thank you for your letter and video, they will be put to good use in our discussions with the Province.


Regards, James


James Baker


District of Lake Country


Keep up the great work Dave, I can only hope that other anglers and even residents in the area are also on the letter/email bandwagon to get this mess changed!

December 3 2011
Here is the latest email that Dave received from CORD, it would appear there are "some" people that have comprehension issues!:

Subject: RDCO Update - Okanagan Centre Safe Harbour Regional Park
Date: Sat, 3 Dec 2011 09:00:59 -0800

Good morning

We are sending you this update as we await information from our construction contractor on its schedule to resume work on the courtesy dock and viewing platform structures at the Okanagan Centre Safe Harbour Regional Park.

The courtesy dock construction has been on hold as the Regional District spent much time and effort to work with the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, to amend the initial construction proposals that had received Ministry approval in late summer. That initial approval was based on the structures being designed and built at a level half a meter above the average high water mark of Okanagan Lake in order to ensure protection of the shore spawning fish in what the Ministry has identified as a ‘red’ zone.* The Ministry’s main mandate is to protect the fisheries habitat.

Basically, once construction was underway it was clear that the courtesy dock located to the north of the main boat launch was too high above the water to assist those launching or loading their vessels.

Last month with a report provided by Ecoscape Environmental Consultants, the Regional District submitted another application for Ministry consideration that would see the height of the dock lowered. We learned on Friday the 25th that the Ministry has reviewed our application to change the previously approved design criteria for the courtesy dock structure and has now approved the dock installation with a top of the steel piling elevation of 342.6-metres above sea level, a reduction of approximately 45-centimetres (1½ feet). Basically, we are now able to proceed by lowering the courtesy dock, dropping it about a foot and a half from its current height. In May, June and July, when the lake is usually at or above full pool, the dock should be much more functional for boaters using the main launch. As the level of the lake drops in subsequent months, and especially during the fall shore spawning fish season, the dock will be higher than the normal level of the lake. We also plan to install some vertical boat bumpers and two wooden ladders along the last 12 feet of the courtesy dock to further assist those using the main boat launch.

With Ministry approval for the new courtesy dock height, we anticipate our contractor will be able to resume construction. The contractor has been able to work around ongoing use of the launch without having any full time closure of the harbour. We trust this arrangement will continue, although fewer boaters are using the facility as we approach the winter months.

We wish to remind everyone that in June, the Regional Board approved the plan to remove the south breakwater structure because it was badly deteriorating, basically rotting and falling apart and it was impossible to repair or salvage it. In addition, as outlined in our approved application by the Ministry, current standards do not allow in-water batter boards in areas of fish habitat. (*see design criteria below).

Also at its June 26th meeting, the Regional Board required that no further work would be done to the north breakwater area, pending further consultation with the District of Lake Country.

We trust this information provides some understanding of the challenges that the Regional District has faced in trying to provide improvements to the Regional Park and boat launch facility. We can assure you that we are continuing to consult with the District of Lake Country on future design and operational management options and capital financing requirements affecting the role that this facility will play.

* Requirements for design by Ministry as outlined in approval August 29, 2011

Bruce Smith

Communications & Intergovernmental Affairs Coordinator

Regional District of Central Okanagan

1450 KLO Road

Kelowna, BC

V1W 3Z4


Phone: 250-469-6339

Fax: 250-763-0606




Your right Dave, they really don't get it!  Nothing will be done with the "safe" aspect of the launch until someone does get hurt.....

November 23 2011

After having the derby on OK Lk and actually seeing the boat launch first hand I now see what Dave was talking about, its a disaster!  Everyone that used it
complained about it, it's no longer a "safe harbour" as it was supposed to be, its more like a "use at your own risk" harbour now.  Dave has done up another letter and I would encourage all of you to do the same, this mess has to be changed.  Here's Dave's letter to the editor:

Dear Editor, I have expressed my concerns to the manager of C.O.R.D. regarding the changes being made to the Okanagan Centre Safe Harbour boat launch and to date have fallen on deaf ears. The main concern is the fact that the South breakwater has been completely removed. As our prevailing winds are from the South this was a vital over site. The other issue is the courtesy dock that is currently being built. It is , without a doubt , in the wrong location as well as it’s too high out of the water to be used ,with the exception of approximately one month in the spring when the lake is at full pool. To rectify this major issue the dock must be removed all together or if C.O.R.D. is adamant about spending tax dollars then the dock should be moved to the South side of the ramp which will help to keep boats off the rocks. Where the dock is now it is totally unacceptable. I have voiced my concerns to the workers from Burton Marine, who are doing the construction and they are very aware the the dock is all wrong but apparently no one at C.O.R.D. pays attention to them either.  I was involved in a fishing derby lately and from the twenty or more fishers using this launch, there were no positive comments. As a matter of fact some guys lunched in Kelowna and even Vernon because of the unsafe conditions here. Us fishers , who use this year round, need changes made so we can utilize this facility. Keep in mine fishing adds millions of dollars to the economy annually.  In conclusion , it is my opinion that it is not too late to rectify these issues and return this facility back to what it was...... The best launch in the Okanagan !   Thank you for giving me this space to voice my concerns.  Regards  Dave Ulvaan

Good letter Dave, we can only hope that the rest of the angler fraternity does something similar.....Sherm

Hi Sherm , the safe harbor is temporarily open again. I read on line it will most likely close again Oct. 11 until Oct.21 in order to finish the docks. On a personal note ; I think they have ruined the whole set-up. The new ramp is not as steep , meaning you need to back farther into the water , thus getting the feet wet in the process. Which in the summer is no biggy , but in the winter it sucks. The other bigger issue is the south break water has been removed . Our prevailing wind is from the south . This is no longer a safe harbor.  The so called courtesy dock , for me , is a hindrance because I pulled my boat up to shore and the get out and push the boat back to the end of the trailer. Now the only way that can work is to install another ramp on the other side.   I have written to the manager ,Mr. Bruce Smith, and will let you know if I get a
Sheldon, thank you for allowing me to vent. I do feel better. I need to remember the old saying " You can please some of the people some of the time, but you can't please all the people all the time" Regards , Dave

And, further to Dave's "rant", here is the email he sent and the reply he got back:
Subject: RE: safe harbour
Date: Wed, 12 Oct 2011 11:39:41 -0700

Dear Mr. Ulvaan


Thank you for your email sent via the Regional District website with your thoughts about the current construction at Okanagan Centre Safe Harbour Regional Park.


It’s correct that the old untreated wood infrastructure of the south breakwater has been removed because it was badly deteriorating and could not be salvaged. The current best management environmental practices of the senior governments for in-water structures to protect fish habitat do not allow wood slats such as was permitted when the old south breakwater was installed. That is why the replacement viewing platform/pier is being constructed as it appears. The former rock breakwater on the south side is being left in place to provide some protection and shelter.

The courtesy dock to the north side of the boat launch is designed in keeping with other similar structures that are available at other boat launches throughout the area, such as in Peachland, to assist those launching and loading their vessels. The Regional District is working with our project contractor, experienced in proper dock structures (Burton Marine) to ensure that the appropriate support options are available from the new courtesy dock for those recreational boaters when using the facility.


The new boat launch pad that was installed earlier this year is actually two feet wider and 10 feet longer than the previous concrete ramp, in order to provide more opportunity for using the facility when Okanagan Lake water levels are lower as they have been in recent years.


Again, thank you for sharing your concerns and we hope this information we’ve provided is useful for you.




Bruce Smith

Communications & Intergovernmental Affairs Coordinator

Regional District of Central Okanagan

1450 KLO Road

Kelowna, BC

V1W 3Z4


Phone: 250-469-6339

Fax: 250-763-0606






From: Dave Ulvaan []
Sent: Saturday, October 01, 2011 10:01 AM
To: info-rdco
Subject: safe harbour


Attn.; Bruce Smith , I was just down at the not so safe harbour . The reason it is not safe anymore is the fact the south breakwater has been removed and our prevailing winds are from the south. This is unacceptable as this is to be referred to as safe harbour ! ! The other issue is the so called courtesy dock. It is a hindrance . Us users always pull our boats up on shore there and then push the boat back to the end of the trailer. Now it is impossible. The only way this can possibly be rectified is to install another ramp on the other side of the dock.Is this in the budget ? The other issue is the steepness is gone from the new ramp , now in the winter we have to get wet in order to launch.

You really needed to consult us users before making changes that have quite frankly ruined a good harbour. I have been using that launch since 1967 and now it is useless .

I know you can’t please all the people all the time , so I hope somebody will find the changes to their liking.


Regards Dave