Dam repairs prompt relocation of Cranbrook’s painted turtles

Idlewild Lake’s colourful painted turtles are being moved to another nearby lake in advance of dam repair work later this summer. (Featured Photo: Leigh Anne Isaac/VAST)

It’s moving day in Cranbrook — if you’re a turtle.

The southern B.C. city’s dam on Idlewild Lake is scheduled to undergo repairs beginning in August. But the lake is prime habitat for the western painted turtle — a species the province deems to be at risk — so the city of Cranbrook is paying a local natural resource management company to move them to a new home

Leigh Anne Isaac, senior wildlife biologist with VAST, has spent the last few weeks cruising around the lake in a canoe with her two-person crew, scooping up turtles and then measuring them, marking them and moving them to the relocation site, a lake located in a nearby forest.

“It’s actually a really fun job,” Isaac told CBC Daybreak South host Chris Walker. “We snag turtles of all sizes.”.