A picture of the floating bog island that some residents of Lac la Hache spied earlier this week. (Kendall Pratt photo)

A picture of the floating bog island that some residents of Lac la Hache spied earlier this week. (Kendall Pratt photo)

Large rogue floating ‘island’ corralled by Lac la Hache residents

At least 60 feet wide, this large mass of plants is free-floating on the lake

A storm in early July birthed a new island on Lac la Hache much to the confusion, delight and concern of residents on the lake.

Covered in grass and bullrushes, a free-floating chunk of vegetation has been seen floating across the lake at Lac la Hache earlier this month until two locals banded together to safely guide it away from the docks that line the shore. While it may look like an island it is, in fact, a large piece of bog that likely broke off during the windstorm the area weathered near the beginning of July.

One of the men who pushed the floating bog away from residents’ homes was Lac la Hache local of 50 years Ross Curry.

“My wife and I have a cabin on Emerald Island on Lac la Hache and after work we got on our barge and went over to the cabin and we just made it there before that major windstorm hit on July 6,” Curry said, adding it was around 9 p.m. that he received a call from a neighbour that a floating bog was outside his home.

Curry figured it was just a small floating chunk of something and went out and got into his barge to check it out. What he found was a huge chunk of floating weed bed complete with four feet high bullrushes, roughly 40 feet by 50 feet in size.

“It even had a wooden walkway, I guess it came out, just North of Fircrest, there’s a peninsula out there that runs to a little island and in between the two people used to walk back and forth. So I guess with that major windstorm it must have broken loose and took that whole section of walkway out into the lake,” Curry said. “It’s something I’ve never seen before in the 50 years I’ve been here and it’s probably something I, hopefully, won’t ever see again.

As daylight was fading, Curry got out behind the island with his barge and with the assistance of neighbour Kendall Pratt in a pontoon boat the two pushed it up the lake and stuffed in behind the island it came from, where he hopes it will stay. It’s still free-floating but Curry hopes behind the island it will have some wind protection. Come winter he hopes it will freeze up and break up into smaller chunks with the ice melt.

“I know if it ever broke loose in a windstorm and went down the lake and got up against somebody’s docks and boats on the edge of the lake it could majorly destroy them,” Curry observed.

If anyone happens to see it moving again, Curry encourages them to contact either himself or someone else capable of redirecting it into a bay. He observed humorously however that, if anyone could figure out how to attach an outboard motor to it, the island would make a cool party barge.

Pratt, for his part, is a new resident of Lac la Hache who is currently building a home with his family in the community. From Grande Prairie, Alta, Pratt said they visited the Cariboo on a whim in the winter and bought a lot on the lake and were pleasantly surprised at how beautiful the place was without snow and ice on the lake.

“It’s just so laid back and the people are good here, it’s a slower pace then we’re used to,” Pratt said. “It will be a few years before we move here permanently, but we are moving down at some point.”

His family first noticed the floating island when they were sitting at the dinner table and he looked out the window and said to his wife “Can you come here because I’m not sure what I’m seeing but I’m pretty sure I’m seeing an island that wasn’t there before.” After she confirmed it was indeed there, Pratt went out to investigate in his boat and did a couple of circles of it and after hooking up with Curry, helped him push the island away from homes.

“I really think we could have gone out and walked on it but it was bigger than I initially thought, it had to be at least 80 feet wide and quite circular,” Pratt mused.

Pratt thinks that, at some point, the community will have to deal with floating bog island again as, if there is another storm, that it could easily break free. He’s not sure how to deal with it but said that, if it does get free again, they should try pushing it to the north side of the peninsula and let the natural current from Kokanee Bay keep it in place. He’d advise people to be aware of their surroundings as you never know what might come floating by.


newsroom@100milefreepress.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

lakes

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

A picture of the floating bog island that some residents of Lac la Hache spied earlier this week. (Kendall Pratt photo)

A picture of the floating bog island that some residents of Lac la Hache spied earlier this week. (Kendall Pratt photo)

A picture of Ross Curry’s barge as he pushes the free-floating bog island away from civilization. (Ross Curry photo)

A picture of Ross Curry’s barge as he pushes the free-floating bog island away from civilization. (Ross Curry photo)

Just Posted

B.C.’s public health restrictions on non-essential travel are reinforced by orders effective April 23, 2021 to stay within your own regional health authority except for essential travel such as work and medical appointmens. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 non-essential travel ban takes effect, $575 fines approved

Checks on highways, ferries between Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island, Interior

(Black Press Media files)
UPDATE: Town of Smithers lifts alert for high levels of chlorine in water

Residents are advised town water is now safe to use

Garry Merkel has been recognized for his work in culturally appropriate Indigenous education with an honourary doctorate from the University of British Columbia.
Tahltan educator recognized with honorary doctorate from UBC

Garry Merkel has dedicated his life to improving Indigenous educational outcomes

Gareth Manderson, general manager BC Works, and Bandstra’s Zach Runions and Steve Collins. Photo supplied
Smithers family-owned business institution sold to publicly-traded company

Bandstra Transportation and Babine Trucking acquired by Mullen Group

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C. deficit to grow by $19 billion for COVID-19 recovery spending

Pandemic-year deficit $5 billion lower than forecast

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

Nic Hume and his fellow paramedic stopped to rescue the victim of an Oak Bay hit-and-run – a duck – at the end of their shift Thursday morning. (Nic Hume/Facebook)
B.C. paramedics don’t duck a chance to help someone in need

Ambulance duo end a long shift by helping a distressed duck in Victoria suburb

As the snow in Manning Park melts, searchers are able to get a little farther each day. Photo submitted
Family resumes search for son missing in B.C.’s Manning park since October

‘This is our child, and we don’t give up on our children,’ said mother of Jordan, Josie Naterer

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Canada buys 65M Pfizer booster shots for protection against COVID-19 variants

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the deal with Pfizer includes options to add 30 million doses in both 2022 and 2023, and an option for 60 million doses in 2024

A plan flew over the Lower Mainland with a sign expressing some Canucks fans’ discontent with the team’s general manager. (Niqhil Velji - Twitter Screenshot)
#FireBenning movement gets off the ground in Metro Vancouver

Canucks fans raise enough money to fly banner over Metro Vancouver asking for team GM to be canned

The freed osprey keeps a wary eye on its rescuers after being deposited on its nest. (Photo credit: Greg Hiltz)
Hydro crew in Ashcroft gets osprey rescue call-out they won’t soon forget

Bird was tangled in baling wire hanging from a hydro pole, necessitating a tricky rescue

Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth speaks to media at the Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday February 5, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to announce travel restrictions today to limit COVID-19 spread

Mike Farnworth is expected to give details of what the government views as essential travel

Richard Desautel with supporters outside the courthouse in Nelson, B.C., in 2016. Photo: Bill Metcalfe
UPDATED: Sinixt, First Nation bordering Canada-U.S., can claim Indigenous rights, top court rules

The decision essentially reverses a 1956 declaration the Sinixt were extinct

Most Read