Volunteers needed to help test quality of Osoyoos Lake

By  on April 14, 2019
The Osoyoos Lake Water Quality Society is preparing to start its testing season and looking for new volunteers. (File photo)

By Vanessa Broadbent

Osoyoos Times

The Osoyoos Lake Water Quality Society is getting ready to start its testing season and is looking for a few more volunteers to help out.

Every summer the society tests the quality of Osoyoos Lake, including its levels of dissolved oxygen, pH, specific conductance, water clarity and temperature. The data is given to the provincial Ministry of Environment.

This year will be the second that it’s also conducting testing for veliger, larvae that grow into invasive zebra and quagga mussels.

“We’re testing the health of the lake,” society president Birgit Arnstein said. “It speaks to life forms in the lake.”

In total, the society needs about seven volunteers: two for manning a cable attached to a sonde (a probe that transmits information), a scribe recording info from the sonde, another inputting data into a computer, as well as a captain and two people gathering water samples to test for veliger using a plankton net.

• Read more: OLWQS has new role with mussel patrol

Volunteers work alternating Wednesday mornings for about four hours from the end of May until the end of September. With flooding and high lake levels, testing didn’t start until the beginning of July last year but Arnstein is predicting an earlier start this year.

Training sessions will take place on April 4, May 1 and 8.

“It’s a rare opportunity to participate in something that has a long range of helping protect our lake.”

Anyone interested in volunteering can call Arnstein at 250-408-5460 or email olwqs4info@gmail.com