Cariboo ranchers don hip waders to work in flooded fields

Drone view of Rose Lake Ranch. (Phillip Hartmann photo)
Rose Lake Ranch. (Phillip Hartmann photo)
Drone photo of Rose Lake Ranch. (Phillip Hartmann photo)
A google earth image of the Rose Lake Ranch.
Rose Lake Ranch owner Ingemar Kallman goes out to feed the cattle in flooded fields as unprecedented spring melt continues in the Cariboo region. (Loreen McCarvill photo)
Rose Lake resident Charlotte Morrow has been using her boat to ferry local residents cut off by flooding. Here the boat is in a flooded field Friday. (Charlotte Morrow photo)
Charlotte Morrow has been using an aluminum row boat with an electric motor to ferry neighbours as fields continue to flood. (Charlotte Morrow)
Ingemar Kallman of Rose Lake Ranch dons hip waders to go check his cattle. (Loreen McCarvill photo)
The fields at the Rose Lake Ranch have been flooded. (Loreen McCarvill photo)
Rose Lake resident Charlotte Morrow has been using her boat to ferry local residents cut off by flooding. Here the boat is in a flooded field Friday. (Charlotte Morrow photo)

Some ranchers in the Rose Lake area east of Williams Lake are wearing hip waders and chest waders to check on their cattle as unprecedented flooding continues in the Cariboo region.

Ingemar Kallman at historic Rose Lake Ranch told the Tribune he’s even wondering if his cattle had an inkling of what was to come.

“I was swearing at my replacement yearlings for wasting hay in the winter,” he said. “They would pull it out and eat and the hay would hit all around the feeder, then it would snow and build up. I was annoyed at them, but right now, that’s our saving grace.”

The cattle’s efforts resulted in an island around the feeder where they can eat on somewhat dry area.

“Of course they have all the water they need and they can walk over to another spot that is dry. It was kind of a blessing in disguise,” Kallman added.

He and his wife Loreen are walking around in about knee-deep in water, but when they have to go to the back field they have to walk extremely carefully because it is like a river coming through.

“If you were to lift your foot too fast, you would be gone.”

There are seven different creeks flowing into the lake and the Rose Lake dam is on the corner of their property.

“I know by my own eyes that I have never seen anything like this,” he said noting water started flooding the ranch last Tuesday, April 21.

Read more: MOTI ‘triaging’ more than 100 road washouts in Cariboo region due to recent flooding

They are directly alongside the lake with 220 acres of property.

Calving is almost completed, but they are waiting on six more cows, who are fortunately staying on higher ground.

“If something happens we have heated sheds that they all go into anyways.”

Last week they still had three feet of snow on the ground and no water.

“I’ve been here my whole life and have never seen this amount of water come through. My neighbour is a few years younger and has been there her whole life and says the same.”

Kallman’s great grandfather lived at the ranch and would have put buildings in areas he assumed would be safe and far away from the water. But now they are seeing water close to them.

“A neighbour said some homesteading cabins down by the Horsefly Road are in water now.”

A hydro metre installed in 1972 at the ranch has never seen water come remotely close to the breaker and this week he had to call BC Hydro to come out because the breaker is under water.

“It’s close to the metre now and that sits about six feet up from the service pole. My irrigation motor and pump are 10 feet away.”

Last year his father-in-law, Ken McCarvill, a former woodworking teacher, built him a new box with a table to set it on.

It was about four and a half feet high in the air. They had to use cables and turnbuckles to anchor it from all four directions because of wind.

“He said, ‘we’ll see what happens this spring to see how much we should shorten it,’ and right now it’s possible the motor is in water. I eat humble pie on that one with him. But who could have predicted this?”

When Kallman and Loreen got together, she brought at 28-foot boat with her and parked it in the hay shed. It has a kitchen and sleeps six.

“She always wanted to get it going, so now I teased her that we could go back it up to the field and go for a float, and spend the night.”

In fact, a neighbour Charlotte Morrow has been ferrying others with a small 12-foot row boat with an electric motor because they are stranded.

Worried about what will happen next for everyone below Williams Lake in the next few weeks, Kallman said Hawkes Creek travels from their ranch to the Mountain House Road and then down the hill to Deep Creek.

“It goes underway Highway 97 near the gas station, travels through Springfield Ranch and pours into the Fraser River.”

Read more: State of emergency declared in Williams Lake due to flooding, erosion in River Valley

If you have any comments about this story please contact news@wltribune.com

flooding

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Interior Health reports three additional COVID-19 cases in region

The number of cases in the region since the beginning of the pandemic are now at 492

Kootenay teachers’ union going to labour relations board over COVID-19 related work conditions

Union issues open letter to premier, education minister, health minister and Dr. Bonnie Henry.

Two men killed in Hwy 3 collision west of Castlegar

The single-vehicle incident happened Thursday morning

Rec commission applies for grant for Castlegar Community Complex upgrades

Arena roof repairs and fitness centre expansion included in proposal

Central Mountain Air to offer flights out of Castlegar

The company will be offering Castlegar to Vancouver flights October 1.

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

CHARTS: Beyond Metro Vancouver, COVID-19 cases in B.C. haven’t increased much recently

COVID-19 case counts outside of Metro Vancouver have been level since July

70-year-old punched in the head in dispute over disability parking space in Nanaimo

Senior’s turban knocked off in incident at mall parking lot

Most Read