Dispute over lake levels in Douglas Lake Ranch civil case

By Chad Klassen
January 26, 2017 - 5:03pm Updated: January 27, 2017 - 10:32am

KAMLOOPS — A professional engineer that has expertise in water resource management testified at B.C. Supreme Court on Thursday afternoon in a civil suit launched by the Douglas Lake Cattle Company against the Nicola Valley Fish and Game Club.

Jeffrey Holm testified as an expert witness, called by the company. His testimony gave historical context of water licenses at the Douglas Lake Ranch that may have impacted the level of Stoney and Minnie Lakes, the two bodies of water at the heart of this court case.

Holm told court that water licenses allowed diversion into Stoney Lake beginning in the 1920s, which is why levels in the lake have increased over the years. The company is arguing Stoney Lake was smaller than aerial photos presented to court from 1948, hoping to prove the lake never touched Stoney Lake Road, and thus there was no public access.

However, the club contends that Stoney Lake Road, what they claim as a 'public' road, leads right into Stoney Lake, and another public road that leads into Minnie Lake.

The club is accused of trespassing onto private property at the ranch to fish at Stoney and Minnie Lakes, which the club argues should be open to public.

Testimony resumes on Friday in B.C. Supreme Court.

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