PERPETUAL SLIDE Summerland’s perpetual slide area outlined in red, began more than a century ago. Studies are continuing into the slide and how to control it. (District of Summerland map)

Study continues on Summerland’s perpetual slide

Slide in Paradise Flats area has affected Trout Creek for more than 100 years

The municipality of Summerland is continuing to study the perpetual slide area in Trout Creek.

On Feb. 24, an update on the slide area was presented to Summerland council.

The slide in the Paradise Flats area, near the Summerland Golf and Country Club, began more than 100 years ago, between 1914 and 1917, and had continued to deposit debris into Trout Creek.

Prior to this slide, Trout Creek had a significant spawning kokanee population. Today, because of numerous changes including the slide, the kokanee population in the area is negligible.

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“Habitat restoration possibilities exist, however the sediment load from the perpetual slide must be mitigated before moving forward with restoration works,” a report from the Okanagan Nation Alliance states.

Studies of the slide have been conducted since the 1970s.

Golder Associated Ltd. has been monitoring the site with borehole investigation work, beginning in January, 2018. The quarterly readings will continue until May.

Golder estimates an average of 15,700 cubic metres of material has been displaced by the slide each year from 1970 to 2020.

The Penticton Indian Band has also raised its concerns about the slide.

“Introduction of irrigation to Paradise Flats is known to have initiated the perpetual slide in Trout Creek,” a letter from the band to the municipality sates. “The District of Summerland needs to prioritize stabilizing the perpetual slide to allow for kokanee and other native fish to return to this once-abundant tributary.”

Summerland’s 2020 financial plan includes $15,797 that has been carried forward from the original borehole investigation to complete additional monitoring and finalize the geotechnical report.

The operation budget includes $10,000 for additional monitoring at the slide, including a topographical survey scheduled for this fall.

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