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Water Today Title October 25, 2021

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Advisory of the Day


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Tchentlo Lake, BC
Photo:Mircea Preoteasa

From Prince George, a four-hour drive will get you to a quiet, mountain wilderness where you can relax in a rustic cabin, cruise the arms of the narrow Tchentlo Lake for legendary size Lake Char and soak in the healing waters of the local hidden hot springs.

Tchentlo Lake Lodge hosts Guy and Nancy offer up genuine down-home hospitality with Guy’s home cooked meals, including the iconic Newfie Jigs Dinner, a favourite of regular visitors that book the camp out every summer long weekend and hunting season.

A Boil Water Notice (BWN) was issued by British Columbia Northern Health in 2009, citing water drawn from “surface lake source with no disinfection” and the camp remains on the active boil water notice list as of the time of our inquiry.

According to Northern Health records published online, the (Tchentlo Lodge) “Operator has submitted construction permit application to Public Health Engineer which is currently under review. Filtration and UV system has been installed, however still needs to be approved. System to remain on BWN until treatment system has been approved by PHE and submit two consecutive satisfactory samples at least 24 hrs apart.”

WaterToday heard from Lodge operator Nancy by telephone from her northern BC home, “the new system has been in for a long time”. Nancy says the three-filter water treatment system with blue light was installed three years ago. Nancy explained to Water Today that the new system is working well, but the final step of submitting water samples to discharge the notice has not been completed. In the meantime, all clients are encouraged to boil the water or to make use of the bottled water provided for drinking and hygiene.

The most unique experience at Tchentlo, apart from Jiggs Dinner, is the size of the fish in Tchentlo Lake. One of the top fish stories to come out of this camp had to do with a 10-year-old girl that caught her first “big fish”, a 9lb Lake Char. According to host Nancy, the fish was hooked, brought in, pictures taken for bragging rights, and then tethered on a stringer, the fish was placed back in the lake to swim along behind the boat. When the stringer broke loose, it seemed this was turning into “the one that got away” story. To the shock and amazement of onlookers, the little fisher gal jumped into the lake to grab her prize, which she did. So, the fish was twice caught. Nice work young lady!

Nancy recalls a time when she had to call in Medi-vac for a client having a seizure. The helicopter was dispatched from Fort St. James, proving that timely medical response is available, even in the remote wilderness. This event gave Tchentlo management much confidence, as they genuinely care for their guests, and need to know that they can keep their charges safe.

Nancy says “Most of our clients drive themselves in. Many fishermen come in from Vancouver. This is really something, considering the whole ocean is there for fishing. It is amazing to me that so many are willing to drive 12 hours to fish in our lake. It’s the peace and quiet here, and the hot springs. We started cleaning up around the lower spring, and planting flowers, but the local Aboriginal people asked us to stop. So the three upper springs are just natural, we left them alone.”

With bear and moose seasons opening next month, the Lodge is setting up for a quiet September long weekend, the calm before the hunting season storm. If you are looking for a quiet getaway in the mountains, you can try to slip in where the regulars might leave a gap. Tchentlo Lodge (604) 629-9862/(250) 961-1133 guyjones31@gmail.com


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