Summer dog ban lifts on Willows Beach, allowing dogs to play on beach, leashed or unleashed, from Oct.1 to Apr. 30. (Unsplash)

Dogs return to Willows Beach, but rules could change

Bird populations a consideration for Oak Bay council this fall

As the tourists begin to disappear from Greater Victoria beaches, the dogs return.

Willows Park opens back up to on and off-leash dog walking Oct. 1, and remains open to canine beach-goers until April 30, when the beaches get busy again.

READ ALSO: Dog ban starts Tuesday at Willows Beach

“I think there’s an effort through that regulation to limit the potential for kids, or whoever, to deal with dog business on the beach,” said Ray Herman, director of parks, recreation and culture for Oak Bay. “Not everyone is comfortable around dogs.”

And it’s not just people that might be uncomfortable. The entire shoreline falls under Victoria’s Federal Migratory Bird Sanctuary – a busy wildlife corridor established in 1923 to control the hunting of geese and ducks, and the site of ongoing wildlife recovery programs. In the winter, the Oak Bay portion of the sanctuary is home to about 4,200 birds.

In the past, the Friends of the Victoria Harbour Migratory Bird Sanctuary have proposed a bylaw banning dogs from the south end of Willows Beach, from Bowker Avenue to Bowker Creek estuary. No such bylaw has yet been created.

And ecological reserves have their own set of restrictions – including the prohibition of off-leash animals.

This fall, Oak Bay plans to continue to look at a new bylaw that considers federal and local interests – working to have rules that comply with the federal government’s land restrictions and concerns for the beach’s birds.

READ ALSO: Oak Bay considers dog ban on portion of Willows Beach

As for other dog-friendly beach spots, Gonzales Beach has only a two month no-dog-rule. The beach prohibits pups from the sand between June 1 to Aug. 31 and allows them back, on or off-leash from from Sept. 1 – May 31.

And dog owners can again enjoy picnic areas and beaches at Thetis Lake with their pups starting Sept. 15. The park prohibits dogs in those areas starting June 1.



nina.grossman@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Last call for raffle ticket to win $6,900 necklace with 163 diamonds

Oak Bay contest funds patient care for people and families dealing with cancer

More than 30 cars get tires slashed in Oaklands neighbourhood

VicPD are asking for help from witnesses to the incidents

Working with offenders: a look at Correctional Service Canada

CSC is one of many vendors featured at the upcoming Black Press Extreme Education and Career Fair

Guilty verdict for man accused of setting fire to his Esquimalt rental property

Wei Li was arrested at airport with burns to face and hands

Dunsmuir Middle School students head to the polls

Young Canadians take part in ‘mock vote’ across the country

WATCH: Greater Victoria’s top stories of the day

A round-up of the day’s top stories

Alberta man pleads guilty, fined for hunting without a licence in North Island

It’s the responsibility of each hunter or angler to know whether they are considered a B.C. Resident.

Alcohol a possible factor in crash that killed 17-year-old girl near Williams Lake

A pickup truck left the road and rolled over on Highway 20 on the weekend

B.C. woman must pay $1,000 after unleashed dog bites another

Owner should never have left Bibi unattended, tribunal member wrote

Climate activist Greta Thunberg’s mural defaced in Edmonton

The eyes on the portrait were blacked out

App designed to help cut waste and grocery bills

Food security advocates say addressing poverty is ultimate key

Report suggests new BC Ferries terminal near YVR

Metro Vancouver currently has two ferry terminals at northern and southern reaches

B.C. scouting group’s tent destroyed by black bear on Thanksgiving

The Richmond-based Sea Dragon Sea Scouts were camping at Mount Seymour Provincial Park

BC Ferries crew member taken to hospital after getting struck by bow doors

Two sailings between Horseshoe Bay and Departure Bay were cancelled

Most Read