The Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD), BC Parks and the Skw'lax te Secwepemcúl̓ecw (Little Shuswap Lake Band) are moving forward with a plan to restart the mosquito control program in the Scotch Creek area in 2023.
The Skw'lax te Secwepemcúl̓ecw Chief and Council were concerned about potential environmental impacts resulting from the mosquito larvicide treatments. As they are committed to the protection of all living species and preserving the ecology of the area, they wanted more information before agreeing to continue the program.
This resulted in the suspension of the program in 2022 because the mosquito control program would not be effective without including the areas of significant mosquito breeding habitat on the Skw'lax te Secwepemcúl̓ecw lands and Shuswap Lake Provincial Park.
All CSRD mosquito control programs use a product called Aquabac (BTI), which is a soil-borne bacterial product that specifically targets mosquitoes in their larval growth stage before they hatch. The use of Aquabac is regulated by the Federal Government.
The CSRD and Skw'lax te Secwepemcúl̓ecw partnered to cover the cost of an independent study conducted by Simon Fraser University, led by the Skw'lax te Secwepemcúl̓ecw. The study concluded there were no adverse impacts of Aquabac on fish or their habitat.
“Based on the conclusions of the independent research, the Skw'lax te Secwepemcúl̓ecw, who are the original land title holders and stewards of our land, are pleased that the Aquabac treatments are not harming fish, or their habitat, and we are now willing to move forward with the nuisance mosquito program on a one-year basis,” said Kukpi7 James Tomma.
The purpose of the one-year basis is to allow for testing on amphibians during the 2023 season. Based on test results, the program will be re-evaluated and long-term agreements may be negotiated.
BC Parks is also on board with the mosquito control plan and issued a letter of authorization for the treatment of habitat in Shuswap Lake Provincial Park between April and August 2023.
Electoral Area F Director Jay Simpson is thrilled to be moving forward with bringing back mosquito control to the area and greatly reducing the nuisance to residents and visitors in Scotch Creek.
“The mosquito issue can make it almost unbearable to enjoy this beautiful area of the Shuswap,” says Electoral Area F Director Jay Simpson. “By working together with the Skw'lax te Secwepemcúl̓ecw, we will have a program for the coming year that is safe, effective and we hope to be sustainable into the future.”
The CSRD will provide an update on the resumption of the mosquito control program once further details are available.
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For more information, connect with the CSRD by email at email@example.com or contact Sylvia Andrews, Lands and Estates Director, Skw'lax te Secwepemcúl̓ecw, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org