Toadfest celebrates a milestone this year — it turns 10. Toadfest 2019 is at Summit Lake Provincial Park, near Nakusp, on Wednesday, Aug. 21 from 4 to 7 p.m., and Thursday, Aug. 22 from 9 a.m. to noon.
Toadfest is a free, fun, family event, coordinated by the Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program and the Province of B.C. It’s about connecting with, and raising awareness about, local flora and fauna including the Western toad. Toadfest is a great opportunity to learn about the toads’ natural history, life cycle and habitat needs and get up close and personal with other local species including amphibians, snakes, lizards and aquatic insects.
The event occurs in late summer, typically when the toadlets emerge from Summit Lake and migrate to higher ground where they take several years to mature.
“We started Toadfest in 2010 to raise awareness about the research and habitat restoration projects we fund to support Western toads in the Summit Lake watershed,” says FWCP’s Columbia Region manager, Crystal Klym. “The event has been embraced by the public, and has proven to be a valuable and fun learning experience that promotes the conservation of fish and wildlife species in Columbia Region watersheds. This event would not be possible without all of our partners, exhibitors and volunteers.”
While the dime-sized toadlets may receive much of the attention during Toadfest, the projects at Summit Lake focus on the adult toads since one female that can carry up to 16,000 eggs. In 2019, new wildlife fencing was installed, and several years ago the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure constructed a toad tunnel to provide safer passage under the highway.
There will be lots of kids’ activities, a 10th anniversary cake, and exhibitors including the Slocan River Streamkeepers, Wildsafe BC, Yellowstone to Yukon, FireSmart Canada, Slocan Lake Stewardship Society, Arrow Lakes Environmental Stewardship Society, Kootenay Community Bat Project, Grizzly Bear Coexistence Solutions, and Central Kootenay Invasive Species Society. It’s the only place where you can buy Toadfest T shirts, with all proceeds going to local conservation projects. And a friendly reminder to everyone: please do not carry toadlets across the road outside of this organized event.
Nakusp Taxi is offering free shuttles from Nakusp. Call 250-265-8222 to reserve a seat. Organizers encourage carpooling. Visit Kootenay Rideshare at kootenay.ride-share.or. Parking is limited.
For more information on Toadfest call 250-352-1300 or visit fwcp.ca/toadfest-turns-10-youre-invited.