Lajoie Lake (Little Gun)
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Posted by: GLRA June 18, 2023
The LLRA has now secured all the funds needed to begin the Lajoie Lake aeration project this fall, assuming the building material, construction of the compressor shed and delivery of the aeration equipment are not unduly delayed. The total capital cost of the project is estimated to be $47,000. Operating costs for this year will be approximately $2,500. Annual operating costs will be approximately $5,000.
This project has depended on, and will ultimately depend on, people contributing in whatever way they are able – providing work-in-kind during the capital construction stage, and donating materials, for example. At some future date, we will formally and specifically acknowledge the organizations and people (residents of Lajoie Lake and beyond) who have assisted in getting this project underway.
Posted by: GLRA May 30, 2023
The Lajoie Lake Residents Association (LLRA) was formed out of a deep concern for what was perceived as the biological decline of Lajoie Lake, locally known as Little Gun Lake. As an integral part of the greater Gun Lake watershed, the health of Lajoie Lake is of prime importance. In 2017 the LLRA, at its members’ expense, engaged Cascade Environmental Resource Group Ltd. (Cascade) to review past Lajoie Lake studies and provide an overall assessment of the lake’s health. In 2018, Cascade’s report stated that although the lake was in a state of decline, a definitive conclusion could not be made until a detailed biological study and/or water analysis was completed.
In 2021 the LLRA formalized and was accepted as a committee under the umbrella of the Bridge River Valley Community Association. The LLRA engaged the gratis services of Dr. Ken Ashley, Chair of the Rivers Institute at BCIT and one of BC’s leading limnologists. His study of raw data based on Lajoie water sampling collected by Troy Van Loon revealed that the lake was suffering from a lack of oxygen, the cause of which was the inability of the lake to reoxygenate itself naturally. As a result, Dr. Ashley recommended artificial aeration of Lajoie Lake, a practice successfully employed in over twenty BC lakes. In October 2021, the LLRA engaged Cascade to act on its behalf to apply to various government ministries for permit approval to conduct artificial aeration. The applications submitted in February 2022 were approved in May 2023.
A further study by Sam Pritchard, a BCIT student who formally analyzed Lajoie Lake as his Master of Science thesis, took place in 2022. In his paper, released in April 2023, Mr. Pritchard confirmed Dr. Ashley’s earlier findings that Lajoie Lake suffered from oxygen deprivation and that artificial aeration was a viable solution to prevent further deterioration.
Currently, the LLRA is in the preliminary stage of procuring the equipment and material required for lake aeration. It is anticipated that laying three to four hundred metres of air hose below the lake’s surface will occur between July 22 and August 15, 2023. Commencement of aeration is targeted for October 2023. The aeration period will last approximately five weeks in the fall and five weeks in the spring each year for at least the next five years. Low-decibel air compressors will be housed in a sound-proofed shed on the property of Little Gun Lake Lodge. Funding for this project has come from the SLRD through the unstinting support of Area A representative Sal DeMare.