A picture of the floating bog island that some residents of Lac la Hache spied earlier this week. (Kendall Pratt photo)

Large rogue floating ‘island’ corralled by Lac la Hache residents

At least 60 feet wide, this large mass of plants is free-floating on the lake

A storm in early July birthed a new island on Lac la Hache much to the confusion, delight and concern of residents on the lake.

Covered in grass and bullrushes, a free-floating chunk of vegetation has been seen floating across the lake at Lac la Hache earlier this month until two locals banded together to safely guide it away from the docks that line the shore. While it may look like an island it is, in fact, a large piece of bog that likely broke off during the windstorm the area weathered near the beginning of July.

One of the men who pushed the floating bog away from residents’ homes was Lac la Hache local of 50 years Ross Curry.

“My wife and I have a cabin on Emerald Island on Lac la Hache and after work we got on our barge and went over to the cabin and we just made it there before that major windstorm hit on July 6,” Curry said, adding it was around 9 p.m. that he received a call from a neighbour that a floating bog was outside his home.

Curry figured it was just a small floating chunk of something and went out and got into his barge to check it out. What he found was a huge chunk of floating weed bed complete with four feet high bullrushes, roughly 40 feet by 50 feet in size.

“It even had a wooden walkway, I guess it came out, just North of Fircrest, there’s a peninsula out there that runs to a little island and in between the two people used to walk back and forth. So I guess with that major windstorm it must have broken loose and took that whole section of walkway out into the lake,” Curry said. “It’s something I’ve never seen before in the 50 years I’ve been here and it’s probably something I, hopefully, won’t ever see again.

As daylight was fading, Curry got out behind the island with his barge and with the assistance of neighbour Kendall Pratt in a pontoon boat the two pushed it up the lake and stuffed in behind the island it came from, where he hopes it will stay. It’s still free-floating but Curry hopes behind the island it will have some wind protection. Come winter he hopes it will freeze up and break up into smaller chunks with the ice melt.

“I know if it ever broke loose in a windstorm and went down the lake and got up against somebody’s docks and boats on the edge of the lake it could majorly destroy them,” Curry observed.

If anyone happens to see it moving again, Curry encourages them to contact either himself or someone else capable of redirecting it into a bay. He observed humorously however that, if anyone could figure out how to attach an outboard motor to it, the island would make a cool party barge.

Pratt, for his part, is a new resident of Lac la Hache who is currently building a home with his family in the community. From Grande Prairie, Alta, Pratt said they visited the Cariboo on a whim in the winter and bought a lot on the lake and were pleasantly surprised at how beautiful the place was without snow and ice on the lake.

“It’s just so laid back and the people are good here, it’s a slower pace then we’re used to,” Pratt said. “It will be a few years before we move here permanently, but we are moving down at some point.”

His family first noticed the floating island when they were sitting at the dinner table and he looked out the window and said to his wife “Can you come here because I’m not sure what I’m seeing but I’m pretty sure I’m seeing an island that wasn’t there before.” After she confirmed it was indeed there, Pratt went out to investigate in his boat and did a couple of circles of it and after hooking up with Curry, helped him push the island away from homes.

“I really think we could have gone out and walked on it but it was bigger than I initially thought, it had to be at least 80 feet wide and quite circular,” Pratt mused.

Pratt thinks that, at some point, the community will have to deal with floating bog island again as, if there is another storm, that it could easily break free. He’s not sure how to deal with it but said that, if it does get free again, they should try pushing it to the north side of the peninsula and let the natural current from Kokanee Bay keep it in place. He’d advise people to be aware of their surroundings as you never know what might come floating by.


newsroom@100milefreepress.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

lakes

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

A picture of Ross Curry’s barge as he pushes the free-floating bog island away from civilization. (Ross Curry photo)

A picture of the floating bog island that some residents of Lac la Hache spied earlier this week. (Kendall Pratt photo)

Just Posted

UPDATE: Wildfire northeast of Clinton put out by BC Wildfire Service

Fire at 51 Mile Creek suspected to be lightning-caused

QUIZ: How much do you know about British Columbia?

On this B.C. Day long weekend, put your knowledge of our province to the test

Fishing Highway a ‘land of hidden waters’

Irene Meili has spent the past three years trying to lure more guests to the Fishing Highway.

Bursaries and bake sales at South Green Lake

Drive-thru homemade pie sale a huge success in a trying time

Amidst heatwaves, officials remind public to take water safety seriously

RCMP, Search and Rescue and BC branch of Lifesaving Society offer recommendations to those water-bound

B.C. records 146 new COVID-19 cases through long weekend

More that 28 people tested positive for the virus each day since Friday

Interior Health reports nine new cases of COVID-19, 149 linked to Kelowna

Nine new cases were reported in the Interior Health region over the long weekend’s four reporting periods

Two people die in propane heated outdoor shower near Princeton

Couple was attending a long weekend gathering

Study shines light on what makes LGBTQ+ youth feel safe in a community

The study goes beyond looking at school or family supports

Alberta to require masks at schools this fall, but still no mandate in B.C.

B.C. students are also set to return to classrooms in September

B.C. to allow customers to buy cannabis online for in-store pickup at private shops

Age verification will still be required inside the store

Interior Health expands COVID-19 testing access in Kelowna

First-come, first-serve, no-appointment-needed testing centre opens in downtown Kelowna

30% of British Columbians would ‘wait and see’ before taking COVID vaccine: poll

Some are concerned about side effects, while others don’t think the virus is a big deal

Don’t leave your hand sanitizer in the sun and other tips to stay COVID safe this summer

Being mindful of staying outside and keeping hand sanitizer, sunscreen out of the sun recommended

Most Read