An increasing amount of weeds on Langford Lake is a growing concern.
Sandy Thomsen, an avid kayaker and Langford resident for the past eight years, said that although the weed problem was bad last year, “It’s beyond belief this year.”
Thomsen sent a letter to the City of Langford’s parks department at the end of July outlining her concerns. “The weeds have severely limited safe use of the lake for summer paddlers, kayakers and small boat engines,” she said. “The state of the lake is so bad that I don’t feel comfortable or safe going out anymore.”
Whether they are plants or weeds, she said they have left “very few places to swim or boat safely. It’s like the Amazon rain forest underwater.”
Thomsen also inquired about the status of the weed harvester volunteers used in the past to deal with weeds.
Coun. Lanny Seaton, chair of Langford’s parks and recreation committee, said that the clearing of weeds from Langford Lake falls under provincial jurisdiction.
“We aren’t allowed to cut certain weeds, and we’re not allowed to clear in certain areas,” Seaton explained.
“We have to get permission to cut in front of the beaches.”
Langford had ordered a new harvesting machine to replace the old one which was 25 years old. The new machine was supposed to arrive in May, but that was then delayed until July, and then delayed again. “We can’t control the cause of the delay,” Seaton said.
A call he made this week indicated the new machine would arrive by the beginning of next week. That will enable Langford’s lakes committee, which is made up of volunteers, to remove weeds where permitted by the province. “The volunteers do an amazing job when they have the equipment,” Seaton noted.
A new aerator installed in 2012 has made an improvement in the overall health of the lake and quality of the water, he added.