Cariboo ranchers don hip waders to work in flooded fields

Drone view of Rose Lake Ranch. (Phillip Hartmann photo)Drone view of Rose Lake Ranch. (Phillip Hartmann photo)
Rose Lake Ranch. (Phillip Hartmann photo)Rose Lake Ranch. (Phillip Hartmann photo)
Drone photo of Rose Lake Ranch. (Phillip Hartmann photo)Drone photo of Rose Lake Ranch. (Phillip Hartmann photo)
A google earth image of the Rose Lake Ranch.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 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)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)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)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)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)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

Just Posted

“Skeena,” by John Hudson and Paul Hanslow is one of five fonts in the running to become the default for Microsoft systems and Office programs. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Font named after Skeena River could become the next Microsoft default

One of the five new fonts will replace Calibri, which has been Microsoft’s default since 2007

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

A vial of AstraZeneca vaccine is seen at a mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, April 22, 2021. Dr. Ben Chan remembers hearing the preliminary reports back in March of blood clots appearing in a handful of European recipients of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Science on COVID, VITT constantly changing: A look at how doctors keep up

While VITT can represent challenges as a novel disorder, blood clots themselves are not new

Poached trees that were taken recently on Vancouver Island in the Mount Prevost area near Cowichan, B.C. are shown on Sunday, May 10, 2021. Big trees, small trees, dead trees, softwoods and hardwoods have all become valuable targets of tree poachers in British Columbia as timber prices hit record levels. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne.
Tree poaching from public forests increasing in B.C. as lumber hits record prices

Prices for B.C. softwood lumber reached $1,600 for 1,000 board feet compared with about $300 a year ago

The warm weather means time for a camping trip, or at least an excursion into nature. How much do you know about camps and camping-related facts? (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: Are you ready to go camping?

How many camp and camping-related questions can you answer?

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)
Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

People shop in Chinatown in Vancouver on Friday, February 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Vancouver community leaders call for action following 717% rise in anti-Asian hate crimes

‘The alarming rise of anti-Asian hate in Canada and south of the border shows Asians have not been fully accepted in North America,’ says Carol Lee

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
Body of UBC professor found on Salt Spring Island, no foul play suspected

Sinikka Elliott taught sociology at the university

Most Read