It's likely there will be unhappy cabin owners on Shuswap Lake this summer if the government makes good on its intention to pull illegal docks from the water and bill owners for the removal.
It seems there are many such docks as well, structures put in by those without lakefront property who thought it OK to drop a dock regardless.
You can't blame property owners for trying. After all, part of the allure of life at the lake is the appeal of a waterskiing, fishing, floating in the hit summer sun and diving into cool water.
Docks make boating easier. It's no fun to have to find a boat launch and haul a boat out of the water all the time.
Some will grumble about the plan, saying they should be entitled to have a dock if they own property, even if it is not connected to the shoreline. Of course, it would be easy, then, for those who rent property to also argue they should have the right to put out a dock.
And really, why do you need to even live out there at all? Why can't just anyone who likes the Shuswap throw in a dock and leave their boat in place?
We all know restrictions are needed, that without regulation, our popular places would soon become overrun.
Docks also take up space and too many of them clog the shoreline, destroying the recreational experience that attracts people in the first place.
When those places are natural environments with sensitive ecosystems to boot, the need for protection is made all the more important.
Many fish - especially salmon - pass through the lake to watershed spawning grounds. Their progeny pass back through the lake en route to saltwater. Biologists fear shoreline docks provide shade and refuge for predators (like trout), putting migratory salmon fry at risk.
The government is right to demand those illegal docks be pulled. Let's hope they follow through with action.
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