Sunday, April 29, 2018

Sturgeon River

Like last year, our first paddle this year was on the Sturgeon River in St Albert. You can look at the older post if you you want details about where to put in. We paddled upstream towards Big Lake.

The river was up a lot this year, having jumped its banks. The cement boat launch in town was pretty flooded, which actually makes it way nicer to get in and out than it can be later in the year. It also made large sections of the flood plain accessible.

We saw a lot of muskrats out eating and dozing on the floating reeds. The picture above is two muskrats having a snooze in the sun.

The bike path along the south bank was flooded out in several places and the river was twice as wide as usual.

There were also a number of ice pats (some sheet up to six-feet across) floating down from Big Lake. These came apart easily enough as the ice was quite rotten.

I manage to cut through one sheet with my kayak (more by accident than design).

The geese were back nesting on the beaver lodge. While i didn't get a picture, there were a ridiculous number of boats out on the water--more than 20.

The float back was uneventful and this was a great start to the season. Despite the higher water levels, the current was entirely manageable (much less than the North Saskatchewan even during the summer low months). Several boats had kids paddling and no one was struggling.

I hope to back one nice day this week for a second paddle in the evening.