The B.C. government will support the Capital Regional District (CRD) in moving ahead with an oxygenation system for Elk and Beaver lakes.
“These lakes are a part of our community, and this effort will help make these waters clean, safe and enjoyable for everyone,” said Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries and MLA for Saanich South. “We are working to ensure there is safe, year-round access to everyone from local families and freshwater fishers, to triathletes and rowers – now and for generations to come.
The Province has contributed $750,000 to help buy an oxygenator. The CRD will be responsible for the system and ongoing maintenance costs.
“Moving forward with in-lake remediation is a huge step for the health of Elk and Beaver lakes,” said Colin Plant, board chair, CRD. “This, in combination with watershed management, can help protect this ecosystem and ensure it continues to be a beloved recreation spot for generations to come. We thank the Province and Minister Popham for awarding this grant and for working together with the CRD in our region.”
In recent years, both lakes have regularly suffered from blue-green algae blooms, which produce toxins harmful to humans and pets when ingested and may lead to lethal liver damage in dogs. The system will help reduce these cyanobacteria blooms and improve the health of fish, water quality and habitats in the lakes and downstream.
These efforts to improve the lakes’ health and function follow through on government mandates to step up protection of fish habitats. Both lakes are being stocked with fish, as they are popular destinations for local and visiting anglers.
“Elk and Beaver lakes are regional assets of the Greater Victoria area, and I appreciate the work by Minister Popham as the local MLA to ensure these waters are as healthy as possible for everyone to enjoy,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development.
More than 1.5 million people visit Elk and Beaver lakes each year.