Boating Season Welcomed Where Water Has Been Low

The first full weekend of boating along the Ottawa River this season has been welcome news to businesses that depend on the river for tourism and recreation, but especially those upstream from Rolphton where the water has been unusually low for the last several weeks.

Jamie Lindsay of the Kingfisher Lodge in Deux Rivieres says it’s a relief to be able to get business going again.

"We didn't understand why it was a blanket ban, and why the ban was in place on our section.  It's good news for us, and hopefully it's good news for everybody else, and hopefully the water is receding", Lindsay added.

She says they've had more than two weeks of cancellations because of the ban.

And, the lifting of the ban late Thursday evening came after cancellations had already been made for this past weekend.

Levels Still Low In Deux Rivieres

Lindsay says the water is still so low they couldn't launch some larger boats yet this past weekend, though they were able to put in some smaller boats.

The unusually low water levels upstream from the Rapides-Des-Joachims generating station have been a topic of frequent questions and criticism on social media.  Ontario Power Generation, which operates the generating station, says a natural restriction in the river at Klock limits when they can hold water at Rapides-Des-Joachims, as they try to protect communities upstream such as Mattawa from being inundated.

Lindsay says they're hoping to get back on track this weekend and heading into the summer, but that will depend on how soon water levels return to normal in their area.

"It was a really hard beginning of the season", she added.

"We're wondering when it's going to come up.  It's kind of scary; our docks are still sitting in mud".