UBC Undergraduate Research

Assessing demand for recreational boat launching on the Fraser River, British Columbia Walton, David

Abstract

Recreational boating is a popular leisure activity among residents of Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley Regional District. Currently, access to the Fraser River varies along its course, which is partially influenced by disproportionate spatial demand. Present knowledge of the regional demand, as well as an understanding of patterns of use is quite limited, preventing the development of effective management strategies. This study aims to improve knowledge on use of recreational boat launching facilities along the Fraser River through a variety of research methods. To gain understanding of this issue, first a literature review was conducted, followed by visits to a number of sites, next an online user survey was administered targeting a diverse array of users, finally two expert interviews were conducted to obtain a broader, more general scale of knowledge. The research concluded that fishing is by far the most popular activity along the Fraser River with highest demand for launching facilities occurring in the summer and fall. Furthermore, parking capacity was identified as a major constraint of a site’s overall capacity, having a large influence on the varying levels of use between sites. A desire from users for greater access to the mid reaches section of the river was identified, supported by the stretch of the river having fewer launch sites than other sections of the river, as well as limited parking at the currently existing sites. Based on the findings of this study, it is recommended that organizations that support recreational boating in the region work together to improve access to the mid reaches section, particularly on the north side. This can effectively be improved simply through increased parking capacity at existing locations.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada

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