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Past Work: Nicola Lake Planning Process

Here is a summary of work completed between 2012 and 2015 under the Nicola Lake Planning Process.
To learn about new work in 2015-2016, please see the Nicola Watershed Planning Process.


In the Fall of 2012 the Thompson-Nicola Regional District and the City of Merritt began a planning process for Nicola Lake. Thanks to the efforts of a multi-sector Nicola Lake Working Group and public input, a Nicola Lake Action Plan was completed in mid-2013. The Action Plan was aimed at ensuring public enjoyment and sustainability of the lake for the future.

Priority projects for 2013-2014 included a management regime for Eurasian watermilfoil, learning more about nutrients coming into the lake and tributaries, reducing lakeshore erosion and sediment flows, educating the public about key issues, and exploring sustainable lake-based tourism opportunities.

A Nicola Lake Steering Committee took on responsibility for implementing key portions of the plan and to report to the public on its work. The Committee included representatives from the Thomspon-Nicola Regional District, City of Merritt, First Nations (seven First Nations and the Nicola Tribal Association), neighbourhoods, ranching community and non-governmental organizations. FBC provided program secretariat support to the Steering Committee.

Nicola Lake Action Plan — Background

Nicola Lake, a jewel of the Thompson, was recognized to face pressures from many sources. These pressures and their combined effect may impact fish habitat, water quality, and the overall health of Nicola Lake. Pressures include, but are not limited to:

  • increased water use
  • invasive plant infestations
  • competing recreational demands
  • increased waterfront property development and foreshore modification.

Early Steps

The Thompson-Nicola Regional District (TNRD) and the City of Merritt recognized the need to integrate and coordinate decision-making on issues affecting Nicola Lake. In the fall of 2012, they took steps to develop a plan that includes a vision for Nicola Lake and a planning process that balances economic, social, cultural and recreational issues.

The TNRD and City of Merritt hosted an open house and public meeting on September 19, 2012 at the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology. More than 70 people took part. The purpose of the public meeting was to:

  • share information on the state of Nicola Lake
  • gather feedback from participants on issues or concerns about Nicola Lake
  • receive input from participants on the development of a plan and planning process
  • develop relationships and engagement of all orders of government, industry, interested groups and the public.

Participants at the meeting expressed support for a planning process. It was the consensus that a working group should be formed to report back to a larger public audience.

Nicola Lake Working Group

The Fraser Basin Council assisted the TNRD and City of Merritt with formation of the Nicola Lake Working Group, composed of representatives of the four orders of government (federal, provincial, local and First Nations), organizations, ranches, recreation groups and property owners.

The Working Group received input from multiple interests. This input, along with existing plans and procedures, were considered in development of the new plan for Nicola Lake.

With completion of the Nicola Lake Action Plan in June 2013, the Working Group had fulfilled its mandate.

Nicola Lake Plan: Steps in Implementation

Here are the key steps taken between 2013 and 2015 under the Nicola Action Lake Plan:

  • A recreation and tourism survey and report
  • A macrophyte (aquatic plant) inventory of Nicola Lake
  • A fisheries utilization assessment of Nicola Lake
  • Approximately 100 m of shoreline erosion control at Monck Park
  • Public education and outreach by students during the summers of 2013 and 2014
  • A Eurasian watermilfoil (EWM) management plan
  • Diver removal of EWM at the Monck Park and Kamloops Sailing Association boat launches.

Background Documents

Interested in learning more? Here are documents relevant to the former Nicola Lake Working Group and Nicola Lake Steering Committee.

Nicola Lake Action Plan

Nicola Lake Action Plan*

* The plan is being revised in 2015 to create a new Nicola Watershed Plan. Learn more about this new process at Nicola Watershed Planning Process.

Nicola Lake Working Group (November 2012 - May 2013)

For reference, here are materials from the former Nicola Lake Working Group (NLWG).

Nicola Lake Steering Committee (June 2013 - June 2015)

The former Nicola Lake Steering Committee (NLSC) worked on implementation priorities under the Nicola Lake Action Plan in 2013-2014 and 2014-2015. Here are the Committee's Terms of Reference and meeting notes.

Public Meeting Notes (2012 and 2013)

Our Vision

Social well-being supported by a vibrant economy and sustained by a healthy environment.

About the Fraser Basin Council

The Fraser Basin Council (FBC) is a charitable non-profit organization that brings people together to advance sustainability in the Fraser River Basin and throughout BC. Established in 1997, FBC is a collaboration of four orders of government (federal, provincial, local and First Nations) along with those from the private sector and civil society. We work with people in multiple sectors, helping them find collaborative solutions to today’s issues through a commitment to the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainability. Our focus is on healthy water and watersheds, action on climate change and air quality and strong, resilient communities and regions.

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Partner Sites

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Climate Action Toolkit: 

Salmon-Safe BC

Contact Us

FBC has offices in Vancouver, Kamloops, Williams Lake and Prince George. We also have staff located in Abbotsford and Vernon.

To reach us, see FBC Offices and FBC Staff.

Our main office is:

Fraser Basin Council
1st Floor, 470 Granville Street
Vancouver, BC V6C 1V5

T: 604 488-5350
F: 604 488-5351

We are grateful at the Fraser Basin Council Society to live and work on the unceded ancestral
territories of the Indigenous Nations of British Columbia.