Two of the wider “fingers” of the dock structure at Main Beach were closed by the Cultus Lake Parks Board on July 23, 2020, likely for the duration of the summer. The rest of the dock space is open for use. (Cultus Lake Community Association photo)

Two of the wider “fingers” of the dock structure at Main Beach were closed by the Cultus Lake Parks Board on July 23, 2020, likely for the duration of the summer. The rest of the dock space is open for use. (Cultus Lake Community Association photo)

Parks board closes ‘trouble spots’ at Cultus Lake amid concerns of COVID-19 spread

Parks board erects barrier fencing at popular gathering spots, ready to issue to $200 fines

Party’s over.

The two far ends of the dock at Cultus Lake’s Main Beach have been closed — likely for the rest of the summer — in an effort to curb crowding.

On Thursday, July 23, orange security fencing was erected around the two areas, which are popular with younger beach goers. Officials at the Cultus Lake Parks Board are hoping it will cut down on the problematic crowding that’s been happening there recently.

Joe Lamb, CAO for the park, says it was a joint decision between the board and staff, at the staff’s request. They made the decision following “a lot of pressure” over public health and safety this summer.

The two “fingers” that jut out from the dock structure at Main Beach in Cultus Lake have been closed off with orange barrier fencing. The barrier went up on July 23, 2020 to combat crowding, and will likely stay up all summer. (Google Maps image)

“They are trouble spots,” he told The Progress, referring to the two wider “fingers” that jut out from the main dock structure. They are 20 to 25 feet wide, allowing people to lay out in the sun, set up for the day, and create a party atmosphere.

In addition to the physical crowding in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, he says the people who gather are often in the younger demographic and drinking alcohol. They have enacted the closure under safety bylaw that was created last year, and anyone caught disregarding the bylaw will be subject to a $200 fine.

The majority of the dock will remain open, as they are generally used for people who are just sitting along the edge.

Lamb said, in fact, most people who have been visiting the beaches have been physically distancing themselves. Family groups in particular, he said, are finding plenty of space to enjoy the day. With the two far ends of the dock closed off, they’ll be watching to see where people move to, Lamb said.

“They’ll probably be closed off for the summer,” he said. “We will be monitoring whatever issues this creates … the docks seem to be our biggest problem.”

There are bylaw officers and RCMP who monitor Cultus Lake Main Beach on the weekends throughout the summer.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen, but we’re prepared to try this and see.”

There is no provincial enforcement in place on physical distancing, he adds, and the bylaw creates a way to deter crowding through fines. While some provincial parks in the Vancouver area are now subject to day passes, which are limited to decrease traffic, that sort of program would be difficult to install at Cultus Lake, which is a mix of residential, commercial and tourism activity.

“Cultus Lake is about balance,” Lamb says.

He added they will be watching closely this weekend and are prepared to make changes if deemed necessary.

READ MORE: Cultus Lake Park closed to visitors to help stop the spread of COVID-19

READ MORE: Cultus Lake Adventure Park and Cultus Lake Waterpark set to open


@CHWKcommunity
jpeters@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Coronavirus

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

Just Posted

Chris Squires of The Wack Window Cleaning Company has created the #100housechallenge where he’ll be cleaning the exterior windows of 100 homes for free when an interior window cleaning service is purchased and a food item is donated to Wilma’s Transition Society. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack window cleaner ready to donate to Wilma’s through #100housechallenge campaign

Chris Squires enjoys providing service, wants to express it via donations, giving back to community

A cyclist was struck at the intersection of Prest and Bailey roads in Chilliwack on Saturday, March 6, 2021. (Google Maps)
UPDATE: Cyclist struck by SUV in Chilliwack

Incident happened at Prest and Bailey roads around 2:45 p.m. Saturday

Donald Alan Sweet was once an all star CFL kicker who played for the Montreal Alouettes and Montreal Concordes over a 13-year career. Photo courtesy of Mission RCMP.
Retired Mission teacher and star CFL kicker charged for assault, sexual crimes against former students

Donald Alan Sweet taught in school district for 10 years, investigators seeking further witnesses

B.C. RCMP Lower Mainland District officer, Asst. Commissioner Stephen Thatcher presents RCMP blankets to (from left) Chief James Hobart, Chief Maureen Chapman, Chief Derek Epp and Chief Mark Point. (RCMP)
Historic agreement between Fraser Valley FN communities, RCMP to expand Indigenous role in policing

Community Safety Agreement builds relationship of ‘trust, communication and prevention,’ says Chief

Canadian Reformed Church in Chilliwack. (GoogleMaps)
OPINION: Churches that defy the law and public health orders are in the extreme minority

The nature of news coverage means that aberrations from the norm are what make the headlines

The James C Richardson Pipe Band marches in a Remembrance Day parade on Nov. 11, 2019 in Chilliwack. Wednesday, March 10 is International Bagpipe Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of March 7 to 13

International Bagpipe Day, Wash Your Nose Day and Kidney Day are all coming up this week

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

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

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

The family of injured Willoughby resident Ronald Gerald Jesso is hoping someone saw something that will help solve the mystery of how he came to be so badly hurt on the morning of Feb. 22. Jesso is still in hospital. (Jesso family/Special to Langley Advance Times)
An appeal to help solve the mystery of an injured Langley man

Family of Ronald Gerald Jesso asks witnesses to come forward

During a press event on March 6, Const. Alex Berube, media relations officer for the West Shore RCMP, addressed a deadly shooting that occurred in Metchosin the night before. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
VIDEO: One man shot dead on Vancouver Island in ‘targeted incident’

Highway 14 reopens following multi-hour closure for investigation

Personal protective equipment is seen in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
$16.9 million invested to improve worker safety, strengthen B.C.’s food supply chain

Money to be used for social distancing, personal protective equipment, cleaning, and air circulation

Most Read