Vandals destroy Saskatoon crop at Lac des Roches

Community news happening around the Lac des Roches area

Shirley and Wayne Marwood of Vernon spent several days enjoying Lac des Roches. Pedal boat

Shirley and Wayne Marwood of Vernon spent several days enjoying Lac des Roches. Pedal boat

During a week-long feeding binge, two hungry black bears have ruined berry picking season for many residents.

Flocks of birds are the usual culprits when it comes to stripping a Saskatoon bush of its perfectly ripe berries, but this year black bears were ruthless, breaking the stalks of dozens of well-established bushes that have provided residents with bushels of delicious late summer juicy gems.

Little could be done to deter the bears, often observed along the roads and in yards in even the hottest times of the warmest days.

They must have provided quite a spectacle for unsuspecting travellers stopping at the McDonald rest stop as significant bear sign was found around the bushes in the fields below the lookout. Although unseen from the road, they are easily observed by those travellers getting out of their vehicles to enjoy the view.  Wild raspberries, maturing at about the same time as the Saskatoons, were untouched by the bears but don’t hold the same appeal to the residents, keen on picking and storing berries for the winter eating.

The bears haven’t been seen in the area for a while, but may be lured back as the delicate thimble berries growing along the roadsides are beginning to ripen.  These sweet and seedy berries are difficult to pick and rarely harvested by residents and the bears are welcome to them.

Warplane performs

On Aug. 12, residents of Lac des Roches and tourists stopping at the rest area got to watch a surprise performance by a vintage aircraft, which had performed at the Vanderhoof International Air Show, on its way back to its home in the Lower Mainland.

In his grandfather’s CJ-6 Nanchang, a Chinese-made plane similar to the Harvard used to train Allied fighter pilots in the Second World War, pilot Curtis Mann made a special flyby for the writer, his proud aunt, who waved enthusiastically at Curtiss and his passenger and dad, Barry.

Welcome relief

While many residents are lamenting about the lack of fishing success this month, the lake is getting a lot of use by recreational users.

The hot weather in August lured many residents to the lake to cool down.  Rarely does the lake remain calm for the entire day and any amount of breeze blowing across the water has a welcome cooling affect.

For the couple of stifling days during which there was little air movement, the welcome cool night temperatures due to our high elevation, were enough to revitalize the warm-blooded humans and their pets for the following hot days.

Shallow bays are choice locations for boatloads of swimmers keen on a refreshing dip. All kinds of new watercraft and flotation devises are appearing around the lake, including paddleboards and convertible kayaks, which allow users to enjoy the cooling effect of the refreshing water.

Lawful lake use

There is noticeable improvement of boating etiquette with respect to shoreline protection laws.

Information distribution may be credited for the improvement, as well as several visits by Conservation Service officers checking for boating and fishing regulation compliance this summer.


Wildlife sightings

Late summer triggers a change in wildlife behaviour.

Hummingbird sightings are rare, as they start their southern migration. Ground squirrels have hibernated, accounting for the infrequency of badger sightings.  Maturing waterfowl, which have survived the many perils of our wilderness, are becoming difficult to distinguish from their parents until they attempt to fly and give themselves away by their awkward takeoffs and landings.