The annual Toadfest is set for next Tuesday Aug. 29, between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m., and Wednesday, Aug. 30, between 9 a.m. and noon at Summit Lake Provincial Park, near Nakusp. Submitted photo

Toadfest next week at Summit Lake Provincial Park

The annual Toadfest is set for Aug. 29 at Summit Lake, near Nakusp

You’re invited to Toadfest on Tuesday, Aug. 29, between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m., and Wednesday, Aug. 30, between 9 a.m. and noon at Summit Lake Provincial Park, near Nakusp.

This free, fun, family event, coordinated by the Fish &Wildlife Compensation Program (FWCP), primarily raises awareness about the Western Toad including its life cycle, habitat, and the challenges it faces. It’s also about sharing information about other flora and fauna found locally.

The weather patterns in 2017 have had an affect on the Western Toads at Summit Lake. The long, cold winter and cool spring resulted in their breeding a full month later than 2016. Then, the higher-than-normal temperatures this summer helped speed up tadpole development.

As a result of the hot weather, and rainfall in mid-August that broke the dry-spell, there has already been a mass movement of toadlets from Summit Lake to upland habitat. But biologists anticipate there’ll still be some toadlets present during Toadfest.

“Toadfest is a great opportunity to connect with nature, and learn more about local species and their habitats,” says FWCP’s Columbia Region Manager, Crystal Klym. “While it is timed to coincide with the movement of the toadlets, much of the work at Summit Lake focuses on the adult toads that migrate to the lake in the spring, since one female can carry up to 16,000 eggs.”

Work to date has included the installation of wildlife fencing and toad tunnels to help provide safer passage under the highway.

This year, the public are also invited to participate in planting some native seeds during Toadfest. The Central Kootenay Invasive Species Society has already prepared the ground by clearing out a patch of invasive Burdock from the entrance of the Park.

Toadfest is supported by the FWCP, B.C. Parks, the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, Columbia Basin Trust, and the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. For more information on Toadfest call 250-354-6333 or visit fwcp.ca.

The FWCP is a partnership between BC Hydro, the Province of B.C., Fisheries and Oceans Canada, First Nations and Public Stakeholders, to conserve and enhance fish and wildlife impacted by BC Hydro dams.

The public are reminded not to carry toads across the road, outside of this organized event.

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