Owners and captains of Prairie Lily are expected to start welcoming limited people by the end of June, based on COVID-19 public health restrictions.
Prairie Lily owners urge protection on South Saskatchewan River
“At this point, our best estimate and our expectations are set for the start of the sailing season, in late June,” Mike Stecken said.
Stacken said that if groups are limited to two to four people, they will not be able to work.
“Right now, for example, we can’t operate because we simply can’t put enough people on the boat to make it proper” Stecken said.
The water level of the river is also very low at this time, something that Stecken says is almost normal for this time.
They reported that there is two congestion of water in the basin of the South Saskatchewan River.
The first spring comes in the spring when the snow of the farmers and fields melt and move south. Stacken said there was not as much water this year, and much of it went into filling Denibenbaker Lake, so it did not extend beyond that point.
The melting of snow in the Rocky Mountains brings a second rush of water in early July to mid-June.
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“A lot of that moisture comes down, and if it melts quickly in Rocky it can come off really quickly,” Steakhan said.
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Stacken explained that the water congestion would end up filling Lake Dambenecker by the end of July, with the possibility that the Gardiner dam would be open not only to full power generation, but possibly even to the point where the dam was for additional water. Will open its spillway.
“This is usually when we get our highest water in Saskatoon – usually in late June, early July, for a few weeks.”
Stacken said that once the Rockies run out of water, the water level goes below normal for the rest of the year.
He stated that the prairie lily is capable of operating at the lowest level rates because bathing mapping is used in the crew.
“We actually make a topographic map of the river two or three times as the sandbars move and change, because the currents change and the flow changes, so we can actually follow a channel.”
Sketchon’s advice to other power-boat users is not to float on the river when the water is so low until they use and experience the same mapping technique.
“You’ll just spend half your day on the sandbar or do a huge amount of damage to your engine,” Stechan warned.
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Stacken said that in that case it is better to sail on a lake with a higher water level.
– With files from Brady Ratzluff
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