Skeena LakeKeepers Recap

Skeena LakeKeepers Recap

Did you know that there are 386,049 lakes in BC? At the BC Lake Stewardship Society, we believe in providing education and information about lakes to empower more people to steward the lakes in their communities. One of the ways that we do this is through our comprehensive LakeKeepers workshops.

In June, we hosted two 1.5 day LakeKeepers workshops in the Skeena region in partnership with Skeena Knowledge Trust and SkeenaWild Conservation Trust. The course provided participants with a greater understanding of lake ecology and health. With one day in the classroom and a half day in the field, participants gained hands-on experience using water monitoring equipment and skills that increased their ability to monitor and steward lakes. Our regionally-based LakeKeepers courses also create peer-to-peer learning opportunities through networking and can address issues and concerns specific to the location. Participants for these recent Lakekeepers courses included members of the Seymour Lake Society, Tyhee Lake Protection Society, Lake Kathlyn Protection Society, Lakelse Watershed Stewards Society, lakeshore residents, members of the Kitselas Nation, students, and more.

SkeenaWild Conservation Trust partnered with Kitselas Five Tier System and the Lakelse Watershed Stewards Society. The classroom portion was held at the K5T facility and the field portion took place at Lakelse Lake. Kitselas Nation provided their beautiful canoe for the field portion of the workshop (pictured on the left). The Smithers workshop had attendees from Seymour Lake Society, Tyhee Lake Protection Society, and Lake Kathlyn Protection Society. The field portion of this workshop took place at Tyhee Lake Provincial Park. Al Campbell from the Tyhee Lake Protection Society (TLPS) said that “this was a superb workshop. It resolved some questions for TLPS [and] it was exceptionally clear and well organized”. Valerie Joy Wright from the Lakelse session said that she “enjoyed the workshop immensely! Interesting and relevant information!”.

The classroom portion of the workshop included an introduction to lakes, an overview of how to develop a lake sampling program, a summary of water quality parameters, and some hands-on training with lake sampling equipment including zooplankton nets, Secchi disks, water sampling bottles, multi-depth samplers, and more. During the field portion of the workshop, participants learned how to collect water samples, take dissolved oxygen and temperature profile measurements, and sample for aquatic plants and zooplankton. This hands-on experience keeps participants engaged and reinforces the material covered during the classroom session.

Our qualified instructors, Rick Nordin & Norm Zirnhelt, have years of experience studying lakes and watershed management issues to help guide participants to increase their understanding of lakes and the pressures our lakes are facing. Each course is tailored to the group’s current level of understanding so that everyone benefits.

Participating in this training course provides participants with credibility when undertaking a monitoring program. The technical field skills taught in the course ensure that participants are collecting high quality data when conducting monitoring on their own. The data collected can then be used to determine trends in water quality and shared with decision makers.

You can learn more about our LakeKeepers Workshops by visiting our website. We are scheduling more workshops for 2023. If you are interested in a workshop being held in your area, please contact BCLSS at info@bclss.org.

Our recently published LakeKeepers Manual is a great resource for those wanting to learn more about lakes and to get a sneak peek of what is covered in the course. The manual offers a comprehensive guide to lake stewardship in British Columbia. Download the LakeKeepers Manual for free now!

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