Water quality testing
We have been measuring water clarity, temperature and oxygen levels, as well as collecting water samples for analysis, in partnership with the BC Ministry of Environment and the BC Lake Stewardship Society (BCLSS) since the early 1990’s. Analysis of the collected data is ongoing.
BCLSS and Monitoring Program Gardom Lake 2010-2012
Review of water quality data from Gardom Lake and Mallory Creek - M. Sokal 2017
Invasive plant control
For a number of years we've partnered with the Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society (CSISS) to monitor the spread of Yellow Flag Iris, an invasive plant that has been growing around the shoreline. CSISS does an annual evaluation of the Yellow Flag Iris eradication progress at Gardom Lake.
Yellow Flag Iris
The Yellow Flag Iris crowd out native shoreline plants like cattails and bulrushes and impact the habitat for wildlife. See photo. Our volunteers have put in many hours in boats and hip waders cutting down the foliage of these plants, and disposing it at the dump.
Another invasive plant which is of concern is Woody Nightshade, which takes over wetland and upland areas, choking out other native plants. It has a purple flower in spring, and red berries that appear in summer. See photo.
We hold an Annual Canada Day - Canadian Thistle Pull at the wetland each year. The thistles crowd out the indigenous plants. Our volunteers put in many hours each summer pulling the thistles.
Education has been a big part of our mandate since our early days as Friends of Gardom Lake.
We have produced newsletters with information about the lake and its habitat, history, and things that we as residents can do to help protect the lake.
For visitors to the lake we produced the first-ever brochure about Gardom Lake and its habitat, and installed educational signage at various lake access points.
We have been gifted with several microscopes and once we can gather together again we have plans to use them to help educate young people about the importance of wetland habitats.
We are very pleased to be able to accompany and provide information to students to enhance their outdoor educational field trips. Our last excursion was with Vernon Community School in School District #22. Academy of Inquiry and Adventure
Gardom Lake is home to many species of birds, amphibians and mammals such as: loons, eagles, coots, red necked grebes, mallard ducks, wood ducks, kingfishers, ospreys, moose, deer, muskrat, etc.
Gardom Lake Stewards works with volunteers to place buoys with signs around the loon nest to encourage boaters to give them space during their nesting season.
Educational workshops and lake access signs to educate people about how to enjoy wildlife without disturbing them are in the planning stage.
Turtle nesting site construction
Gardom Lake is home to many western painted turtles. Gardom Lake Stewards have for the past twenty years managed the "turtle crossing" sign which warns drivers of areas where turtles may be crossing the road to lay their eggs. In 2021, thanks to AIM Roads and their Community Improvement Project, we will have additional signs going up during turtle nesting season.
Unfortunately, the signs do not protect the newly hatched turtles as they leave their nests in search of water. In order to ,mitigate the damage done to our turtle population by traffic on our local roads GLSS is working with lakeside private landowners to create dedicated turtle nesting sites.
The Western Painted Turtles that can be seen basking on logs around the lake on sunny days are protected by government. Please do not disturb or interact with the turtles you see on the lake. This includes those turtles you see on the roadways unless they are in danger or being run over. Disturbing turtles may jeopardize their egg laying.
There are informational signs about the turtles available at the Musgrave Road Hand Launch site and at the Gardom Lake Community Park information Kiosk.
Gardom Lake Management Plan
Gardom Lake Stewardship Society was instrumental in bringing together various government agencies and groups of lake users to create a Lake Management Plan, completed in 2015.
The Plan includes a number of goals:
1) Maintain or improve water quality for Gardom Lake
2) Establish baseline water quantity data for Gardom Lake
3) Educate Gardom Lake residents and visitors about water quality
4) Maintain or improve the riparian zone of Gardom Lake
5) Maintain or improve the upland areas of Gardom Lake
6) Improve septic system health around Gardom Lake
7) Establish baseline recreation data for Gardom Lake
8) Restore Mallory Creek
LINK to document
Participants of the LMP process will continue to meet at least once a year to review the progress of the LMP.
Our accomplishments as Friends of Gardom Lake (FoGL) Prior to July 2015
Hosted the BC Lake Stewardship Society (BCLSS) Annual conference in 2011
Brought stakeholders together toward the creation of the Gardom Lake Management Plan in 2013
Voiced our concerns about changes to boat launch access on the Lake in 2013
Helped to move ahead the "electric motors only" status of Gardom Lake in 2014
Active participants of the Lake Management Planning Committee in 2014-2015
Coordinated annual control efforts for reducing Yellow Flag Iris around the lake since mid 1990's to 2015
Participated in summer water sampling on the lake since the mid 1990's to 2015
Our accomplishments as Gardom Lake Stewardship Society (GLSS) Incorporated July 2015
Coordinate events with the Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society (CSISS)
Organize annual control efforts for reducing Yellow Flag Iris around the lake since 2015 and ongoing
Participate as volunteers in conjunction with BC Lake Stewardship Society (BCLSS) for the summer water sampling on the lake since 2015 and ongoing, and on Upper Gardom Creek during 2015, 2016 and 2017.
- Working toward LMP goals since 2015
Organized review of LMP 2016 and 2017
Facilitated a 4H TrashBash garbage scavenger hunt at Gardom Lake in 2018
Adopt-A-Highway program participants - organizing volunteer clean ups annually since 2015
Wetland construction Phase 1 wetland constructed in 2018
Wetland planting, maintenance, improvements and monitoring since 2019
Annual Canada day - Canadian Thistle Pull at The Wetland since 2019
Turtle Nesting site #1 completed in 2020
Turtle Nesting Site #2 completed in 2021