The Boating Focus Group for Wizard Lake, created by Leduc County in 2011, intended to bring forth ideas and recommendations to Leduc County Councillors. The intention was to make Wizard Lake and area a safer and more enjoyable experience for all users.
The results of this focus group were 11 recommendations that in turn were presented to the Councillors for their consideration. Ten recommendations were accepted and adopted for implementation. The highlights are listed below:
implement parking restrictions at the west end boat launch (north side)
ensure enforcement patrols are provided at the west end boat launch (north side)
Leduc County By-Law officers establish relationships with boat users to educate, caution and enforce safe boating regulations that enhance safety and enjoyment for all users
Leduc County apply the same enforcement to the internal boat launch at Jubilee Park Camp ground
the County review the rates currently charged for day and seasonal use of the ‘day use area’ at Jubilee Park
Leduc County provide signage and education to inform boaters of the hazards at the area known as the ‘narrows at sandy point’
that Leduc County continue to engage the County of Wetaskiwin in all areas affecting the protection, sustain-ability and safety of Wizard Lake
Leduc County continues to work to educate and inform residents and users of Wizard Lake on safe boating practices as well and policy changes which may impact boating
The recommendation to close the overflow parking at the West end and Jubilee Campground was defeated.
Leduc County reports that overall they are happy with the improved safety as a result of the increased attention to the lake. They are confident that it is making a difference.
Restricted parking was implemented at the west launch and although improved signage is required in 2013 Leduc County feel this will be successful in controlling the number of boaters at this launch.
Check stops were also conducted on a few occasions leading toward the park and will continue in 2013. Leduc County will work with Peace officers to assist with monitoring licenses and equipment from boaters at the gates. Staff shortages played a role in this not being possible this season.
Efforts were made to increase awareness of the narrows on the lake. This winter Leduc County will consult with local residents to identify ways to improve this. Permanent sign-age at the Jubilee and west launch will be improved to better identify this risk.
Leduc County rates are reviewed annually and rate increases will be presented to Council this fall for boat parking and camping fees. Day use car parking remains the same.
Leduc County has committed to retain this focus group to review the success of and appropriateness of the current measures. It is anticipated that the group will meet before the spring of 2013. This was also one of the recommendations accepted by Council in 2011.
The feedback received to date by WLWLSA from boat owners and residents, as related to safety and responsible usage, ranges from "much improved" to "we still have a way to go."
If you have any comments and/or suggestions the committee would appreciate hearing from you. Your comments should be directed to Chris Daniel, Vice Chair, WLWLSA, at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 780.985.3287.