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

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

Just Posted

Sheriff Avory Chapman was last seen Jan. 20 on Wellington Avenue in Chilliwack. (RCMP)
RCMP look for missing man last seen in downtown Chilliwack

21-year-old Sheriff Avory Chapman has been missing since Jan. 20

A worker is seen throwing a chicken in an undercover video in 2017 filmed by California-based animal rights activists Mercy For Animals.
Fraser Valley chicken abuse trial delayed until February

Originally scheduled for a jury trial, Sofina and Chilliwack company now face judge alone

Recently elected NDP MLA Kelli Paddon is funding three $500 scholarships for students demonstrating a commitment to equity and social change. (Black Press file photo)
Chilliwack-Kent MLA Kelli Paddon funding Equity and Social Change Scholarships

One of the scholarships is open to any graduating student in the Chilliwack-Kent electoral district

Crews with Discovery Channel film as an Aggressive Towing driver moves a Grumman S2F Tracker aircraft around a 90-degree turn from its compound and onto the road on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. It was the “most difficult” part of the move for the airplane, one organizer said. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Vintage military plane towed across Chilliwack over weekend

Grumman CP-121 Tracker’s eventual home the British Columbia Aviation Museum on Vancouver Island

The Abbotsford Tulip Festival is permanently closing, with plans to eventually set up in Armstrong, B.C. (Abbotsford News file photo)
Abbotsford Tulip Festival is closing, with plans to rebloom in Armstrong

Event organizer says pandemic and sale of land were factors in decision

Rose Sawka, 91, waves to her son through the window of a care home in Prince Rupert in October. Residents of the care home received their first vaccine dose Jan. 20. (K-J Millar/The Northern View)
B.C. care home visitor access to expand by March, Dix says

Staff, residents, essential visitors top priorities for vaccine

The Independent Investigations Office of BC (IIO) is looking into the death of man discovered Jan. 11 in east Maple Ridge. (Black Press files)
B.C.’s police watchdog investigating man’s death in Maple Ridge

Man was found dead Jan. 11 after recent contact with police

Chilliwack Law Courts. (Black Press file)
Man sentenced to 20 months for sexual offences involving a minor in Mission

Will Laws Clark was 22 and victim was 13 at time offences began

Rolling seven-day average of cases by B.C. health authority to Jan. 21. Fraser Health in purple, Vancouver Coastal red, Interior Health orange, Northern Health green and Vancouver Island blue. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
2nd COVID vaccine doses on hold as B.C. delivery delayed again

New COVID-19 cases slowing in Fraser Health region

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. Two more cases of the COVID-19 strain first identified in South Africa have been diagnosed in British Columbia, bringing the total to three as of Jan. 16.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. now has three cases of South African COVID-19 variant, six of U.K. strain

Both variants are thought to spread faster than earlier strains

Rodney and Ekaterina Baker in an undated photo from social media. The couple has been ticketed and charged under the Yukon’s <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> for breaking isolation requirements in order to sneak into a vaccine clinic and receive Moderna vaccine doses in Beaver Creek. (Facebook/Submitted)
Great Canadian Gaming CEO resigns after being accused of sneaking into Yukon for vaccine

Rod Baker and Ekaterina Baker were charged with two CEMA violations each

Police discovered a makeshift nightclub in a Vancouver apartment on Jan. 23, 2021, and say it wasn’t the first time this month officers have been called to the unit over social gathering concerns. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Doorman of makeshift ‘booze-can’ in Vancouver apartment fined; police look to court order

This marks the fourth complaint about social gatherings inside the apartment in January

A Kelowna couple welcomed their Nooner baby in December. (Flytographer)
Kelowna couple welcomes baby girl from Hotel Zed Nooner campaign

Nicole and Alex will now have 18 years of free stays at the hotel

Kyrell Sopotyk was drafted by the Kamloops Blazers in 2016 and played two seasons with the Western Hockey League club. (Photograph By ALLEN DOUGLAS/KTW)
Kamloops Blazer paralyzed in snowboarding accident sparks fundraiser for family

As of Jan. 24, more than $68,000 had been raised to help Kamloops Blazers’ forward Kyrell Sopotyk

Most Read