There is a concern in Lake Cowichan about the actions of a few people spoiling the enjoyment for families and others who want to spend a pleasant day floating on tubes down the Cowichan River.

Aaron Frisby of the Tube Shop in Lake Cowichan says there are complaints coming in about people consuming too much alcohol and causing problems.

“We have had a real problem with some of those who bring their own tubes to the river drinking excessively, polluting the river, using foul language, urinating on private homeowners land, and simply ditching their cheap tubes at the end of the ride. It’s a different weekend crowd this summer it seems”.

Frisby wants to get the word out that this activity is unacceptable.

COVID-19 operating restrictions mean that not everyone can rent from the Tube Shack and there are restrictions on how many people they can allow out on the river each half-hour.

He says the problem is not with the responsible tube owners, but with a few people who buy cheap tubes they discard later.

“The solution to all of it is to eliminate the alcohol, and I realize there are responsible people, and there have been for years, going down that river and having a couple of drinks, but now we’ve got that party kind of thing and people are drinking excessively.”

Homeowners along the Cowichan River, the Town of Lake Cowichan, and The Tube Shack are asking would-be tubers planning to party on the river this summer to stay away.

Frisby says, “We have been successful in transforming this activity into a family-friendly pastime and like many things, 2020 has changed that”.

He says most issues were on weekends and perhaps it was simply the result of a ‘summer blow-out’ for people coming out of coronavirus lockdown.

He suspects the closure of the quarry at Shawnigan Lake is also a contributing factor.

Additional RCMP enforcement of public drinking is having some success and is seen as the solution to the problem.