Members of the Comox Valley Fly Fishers pose for a group photo after cleaning up more than 900 kilograms of garbage beside Echo Lake on Saturday.

Anglers voluntarily clean up lakeside trash

A fun day of fishing was spoiled by the sight of garbage dumped around Echo Lake.

A fun day of fishing was spoiled by the sight of garbage dumped around Echo Lake.

Cecil Henley and a buddy had just arrived at the Highway 28 pull-off beside the picturesque lake when they were confronted by heaps of trash and an abandoned camper.

“We were up there last Thursday and I thought, we have to do something about this!” said the avid angler.

Back home in Oyster Bay, Henley fired off an e-mail to the fellow members of the Comox Valley Fly Fishers, most of whom are also volunteers at the Oyster River Salmon Hatchery.

Henley let them know he would be back at Echo Lake, located 19 kilometres west of the city, on Saturday and anyone who wanted to join him in the clean-up was welcome to tag along.

So on Saturday, eight other club members showed up in their pickups, armed with power tools and garbage bags to tackle the trash.

Here’s a selection of what they found:

  • A three-seat chesterfield.
  • The demolition debris from a corrugated plastic- and wood-framed greenhouse along with assorted gardening/yard waste and plant pots.
  • A commercially-built, eight-foot aluminum clad camper.
  • Some plywood and lumber.
  • Bedding, foam, dishes, bottles, cans, containers, plastic bags, “fully loaded” disposable diapers, vacuum cleaner parts, a portable radio, cords, smashed bits from other electronic gadgets, propane bottles, empty plastic worm containers, and even some condoms and condom wrappers.

“Totally disgusting,” said Henley.

The trash filled five pickup trucks and totaled 910 kilograms. The garbage was then hauled to the Campbell River landfill.

“A prior call to the regional district resulted in their waiving of the dump fees for the material,” said a pleased Henley. “Thanks to all of the regional district staff for their assistance and the positive attitude that we were greeted with.”

While the group would have rather been cleaning fresh trout, Henley said they were all pleased to tidy up the illegally dumped trash.

“We actually had a good time, even though we were cleaning up someone else’s mess,” he said.