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New boat launch opens for the long weekend at Lake Koocanusa

Elk Valley boaters bound for Lake Koocanusa for the long weekend will be able to use the new boat launch.

“It’s beautiful,” said MLA Bill Bennett. “It’s a double width boat launch designed to accommodate the fluctuating water levels at Koocanusa. Boaters will be able to launch their boats even when the water levels are low.”

Construction began on the boat launch in April, and Bennett says that the boat launch itself is complete and finishing touches are being done to the parking lot.

The boat launch was a project that began when Ray Kelly of the Kootenay Power Boat Association approached Bennett explaining the challenges of launching a boat at Lake Koocanusa.

“Boaters were experiencing waits of two to five hours at the other boat launch,” said Bennett.

He also said that the boat launch will not only benefit the quality of life for East Kootenay residence who launch their boats at Lake Koocanusa, but will also help the economy.

“Boaters from Alberta, and the West Kootenays like to come out to use the boat launch, and we want them to spend their money in the East Kootenays,” said Bennett.

For the long weekend the boat launch will be single width only and once the water levels increase the launch will be double width.

Bennett also said that the boat launch would be closed for a few days after the long weekend to finish the washrooms, fences and some other amenities.

“People looking to use the boat launch next week should contact the RDEK to find out their hours,” he said.

The RDEK will take over maintenance and operation of the dock based on a contract with the government.

The boat launch was built with funds from BC Hydro, Teck, and Columbia Basin Trust.

For more information on the boat launch go to the RDEK website at

www.rdek.bc.ca

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