Toadfest at Summit Lake Provincial Park, near Nakusp, will be held on Wednesday, July 27 between 4 and 7 p.m., and the following morning on July 28, between 9 a.m. and noon.
The free, fun, family event is primarily to raise awareness about the Western Toad — about its natural history and lifecycle, habitat requirements, and the challenges it faces. One of those challenges for the toadlets is to cross Highway 6 at Summit Lake, where they run the risk of getting squashed as they migrate from the lake’s shoreline to the upland habitat where they mature.
Wildlife fencing, and toad tunnels under the highway, including a new larger one constructed in 2014, have been successful in providing some safe passage but despite the infrastructure improvements, getting safely across the highway remains one of the challenges the toads face. Of special concern are the adult females that migrate in the spring, each of which can carry up to 16,000 eggs.
The dime-size toadlets migrate in the summer and Toadfest provides a unique opportunity to not only learn about the toads, but help carry a few toadlets across the road. There will also be lots of interactive displays, and some other live critters on show during the event.
The public are reminded not to carry toads across the road, outside of this organized event.
With the recent milder winters, and warmer springs and summers, the breeding has started earlier, and so too has the toadlet migration. Now in its seventh year, this will be the first time that Toadfest has been held as early as July.
The event is coordinated each year by the Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program (FWCP), with support from 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 the Fish & Wildlife Compensation’s website at 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.