FAQ Friday: Does the District take care of obstructions in lakes and rivers?

Posted On: Aug 11, 2023

Tags: Featured , Live Here , Your Municipality

Does the District take care of obstructions in lakes and rivers?

According to the Canadian Navigable Waters Act, the federal government has jurisdiction over navigation on all navigable waters in Canada, including rivers and lakes. This means that the federal government is responsible for approving and regulating any works that may affect navigation, such as signage or obstruction.

Provincial governments do have some jurisdiction over certain smaller bodies of water that are entirely within their borders. The protection of navigable waters in Canada involves collaboration between all levels of government.

All that being said - the District does not have the jurisdiction, vessel or resources to fix signage or remove obstructions from lakes and rivers.

An obstruction is any human-made thing that prevents or slows navigation, or makes it more difficult or dangerous. A thing of natural origin isn't an obstruction, unless someone causes it to affect navigation.

Report an Obstruction to Navigation

If you are responsible for the obstruction...

  1. Immediately notify a regional office of the Navigation Protection Program (NPP) about the obstruction.
  2. Place a signal by day and a light by night to show the obstruction's location.
  3. Immediately begin to remove the obstruction.

If you are not responsible for the obstruction...

Navigable Waters include any body of water that is used (or is reasonably likely to be used) by vessels:

  • as a means of travel or transport, either commercial or recreational;
  • as a means of travel or transport by Indigenous peoples to exercise their rights; and
  • where there is public access, two or more waterfront owners, or where the Crown is the sole waterfront owner.

Mara Lake, Shuswap Lake and the Eagle River are all considered Navigable Waters under the Canadian Navigable Waters Act.

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