From: Duncan Wilson, Town Administrator
Trespassing at Trout Lake
Date: July 18, 2014
Trout Lake is an environmentally sensitive
area consisting of approximately 600 acres that supplies the drinking
water for the Town of Friday Harbor. The Town has recently installed
security cameras to monitor activity at the Trout Lake Dam and to
regulate access to the Town’s water shed.
Town officials were greatly disturbed to find
evidence of significant trespassing activity at the lake which was
detected with these security cameras. People have been photographed with
their horses, dogs and apparently have been swimming in the lake; all in
violation of posted NO TRESPASSING signs at the locked gate.
"We understand that Trout Lake is a very
beautiful and pristine area, but has remained so because it is a
protected watershed where access is restricted" said Duncan Wilson, Town
Administrator. "The State Department of Health and the Town are
extremely concerned about this unauthorized intrusion into the
watershed, especially during the summer months when the fire risk is so
Because of the limited access points, the Fire
District has restricted ability to combat a wild land blaze in this
area. A fire in the watershed has the potential to significantly impair
the water system for years and could contaminate the lake with slurry
that would jeopardize the provision of clean water to the entire
community, according to Steve Deem from the Washington State Department
The Town will be requesting that the County
Prosecutor bring charges against all individuals who enter the premises
without official business subsequent to this notice. Trespass in the
Second Degree is a misdemeanor and carries a potential penalty of up to
90 days in jail and/or up to a $1,000 fine.
New, larger warning signs are being posted
near the restricted access points and Town personnel will be doing
inspections throughout the week to ensure compliance. The Town
appreciates everyone’s cooperation in keeping this area free of
unregulated human contact. For those interested in finding appropriate
and beautiful areas of the islands that are open to the public for
hiking please visit
Town Parks Map
Town Time Limit
Parking Map (.pdf)
BE PART OF THE SOLUTION TO
WHAT IS THE PROBLEM? The next time it rains, look
at a street gutter or roadside ditch. The rain, rather than seeping into the
soil, flows quickly off roads and roofs. It picks up detergents, oil,
grease, heavy metals, and trash from roads, sediment from construction sites
and pesticides and fertilizers from lawns. It rushes through storm drains
and, when discharged to the local waterways, erodes the natural eco-system.
Contrary to popular belief, most storm drains are not connected to treatment
systems. Whatever enters the drain is discharged directly, untreated into
local waterways. What started as a friendly rain, is now a serious polluter.
Stormwater pollution is also known as "nonpoint source
pollution," as it comes from many locations that, while each may be very
small, cumulatively have a large impact. Stormwater pollution can make
monitoring and treatment of our drinking water more difficult and costly. In
addition, it can hinder the health of the aquatic ecosystem and eventually
result in the loss of our waterways for recreational purposes.
HOW CAN YOU HELP? Businesses, residents and
visitors can promote the protection of water quality by taking action to
reduce those activities that lead to non-point source water pollution. You
can help by using the following tips below to prevent pollution. More
information is available by contacting the San Juan County Public Works
Department or the Town of Friday Harbor.
Additionally, the Town is in the process of marking storm
drain inlets in private parking areas with decals and distributing
informational handouts to businesses.
TOP TEN THINGS YOU CAN DO TO BE A "SOLUTION TO