One summer without mosquito control was one too many for communities in the North Shuswap.
Along with Shuswap Lake’s extended period of high water that occurred over summer 2020, areas of the North Shuswap, including Scotch Creek and Lee Creek, saw an abundance of mosquitoes which, according to the Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD), prompted a large number of complaints to the CSRD, BC Parks and the Little Shuswap Lake Indian Band (LSLIB).
The uptick in nuisance mosquitoes followed an October 2019 decision by the regional district to halt its mosquito control program in the North Shuswap. This was in response to direction from LSLIB to not allow mosquito control on their lands in the Hilliam Road area, and to BC Parks not permitting mosquito control in Shuswap Lake and Tsútswecw provincial parks.
According to the CSRD, not being able to treat these areas rendered its mosquito control program ineffective.
“Without the inclusion of these areas, the CSRD’s contractor recommended that the mosquito treatment program be abandoned for 2020. This will be the first season in 16 years that nuisance mosquito treatment has not been in place for the Scotch Creek area,” stated the CSRD in a May 2020 news release – a public reminder that the program had been disbanded.
Now the CSRD is looking to bring the program back.
According to a staff report coming before the CSRD’s board of directors during their regular meeting of Nov. 19, recent discussions with BC Parks and the LSLIB have indicated there is support for the return of mosquito control, which requires an update of the regional district’s pest management plan (PMP).
“During a meeting on Nov. 9, 2020, the parties involved agreed that the CSRD should proceed with conducting a PMP review for the area,” reads the report.
The CSRD board is being asked to authorize the spending of up to $2,500, plus taxes, from the operating reserve of the Scotch Creek/Lee Creek Mosquito Control Program Budget to complete the pest management update. If supported by the board, and approved by BC Parks and LSLIB, staff believe the Scotch Creek/Lee Creek PMP review can be completed in time to restart the program for summer 2021.