Cultus Lake Aquatic Stewardship Strategy (CLASS)
For all who live and play in the Fraser Valley, Cultus Lake is a jewel, drawing over three million visits each year. But the lake is also suffering the ill effects of its popularity, and concerned residents are looking for a strategy to keep the lake healthy.
In 2007 some of those people came together to build a multi-interest Cultus Lake Aquatic Stewardship Strategy (CLASS). They wanted to look further into the state of fish and wildlife, water temperature, water quality, nutrient loading and aquatic invasive species ― particularly Eurasian watermilfoil and other milfoil species.
The CLASS Partnership
CLASS is a network of over 60 organizations and individuals, all interested in the future of Cultus Lake. FBC’s Fraser Valley Regional Manager chairs CLASS meetings and supports the participants as they come together to identify key issues, gather information, and support research on the lake. Participants include the Cultus Lake Community Association, BC Parks, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Cultus Lake Park Board, Soowahlie First Nation, Chihlkwayuhk Tribal Society, Sto:lo Tribal Council, Fraser Valley Regional District, Fraser River Salmon Table Society, Fraser Valley Watersheds Coalition, Sport Fishing Advisory Board, and participants from business, industry, education and other sectors.
Cultus: A Lake Under Pressure
The science shows that Cultus Lake is moving towards cultural eutrophication, and this disruption of the natural balance could have severe consequences for the lake’s aquatic inhabitants.
The work of CLASS began in 2007. Since then the partnership has taken many steps, including: