Floating carcass spotted on lake

An unidentified floating object is bobbing around Williams Lake.

An unidentified floating object is bobbing around Williams Lake.

Since at least Thursday the animal — described as likely domestic as it has an ear tag and either of the goat, sheep or llama variety — has been circulating the lake, according to Helmut Strohschein, who approached the dead animal in his aluminum boat last Thursday.

“I didn’t touch it too much,” Strohschein said. “I have a really small aluminum boat and I didn’t want to be floating beside it.”

When Strohschein, who owns a bed and breakfast on Borland Road, was contacted Monday by the Tribune  about the carcass he said it was still afloat in the lake near Scout Island. He confirmed that as the public drives to the island they can see it in the quiet water on the left-hand side.

Strohschein said on Friday his wife made some calls inquiring about removing the animal; he did the same on Monday but neither received a conclusive answer or response as to which agency might take responsibility for it.

“We just really want it moved out of there,” he said.

“It’s just kind of gross for one and number two it’s near Scout Island for tourism.”

Strohschein further expected it could be a health hazard and a deterrent for beach goers.

Interior Health medical health officer Dr. Paul Hasselback characterized the situation as a concern as “most people don’t like dead animals floating around in water.”

Hasselback said Interior Health is responsible for ensuring drinking water is safe and says removal of the animal is indeed a jurisdictional issue.

He says in previous situations agencies — despite jurisdiction — have gotten together to deal with problems and hoped this would be the case here.

He pointed out it was not within the jurisdiction of the health authority; however, he said he has alerted the health authority’s environmental health officer with the hope some action could be taken.

As for causing a public health concern Hasselback said Williams Lake’s drinking water taken out of underground wells deep beneath the lake is treated for any such eventuality; concerns of swimmers are unfounded as he suggested a dead carcass doesn’t bring any more bacteria to a lake than the unseen amount that is already present.

“The bacteria that comes off our own skin that comes off in the water is probably more of a risk to people around us in the water,” he said.

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