SASKATOON – The Saskatoon Fire Department has shut down the public boat launch over safety concerns due to faster flows on the South Saskatchewan River.
The department made the move after the Saskatchewan Water Security Agency (WSA) announced Wednesday it was increasing the outflow from the Gardiner Dam to over 1100 cubic metres per second (m3/s) and rising.
Normal outflow for this time of year is 350 m3/s.
“We understand the desire of the public to use the river, especially during the long weekend,” said assistant fire chief Morgan Hackl in a release.
“However, public safety remains our primary concern. The river becomes unpredictable and dangerous when flows increase. At times like this, water activities are best done in surrounding area lakes rather than the river.”
WSA had increased the flow on Monday to lower the level in Lake Diefenbaker in response to the recent heavy rainfall in Alberta.
The agency said flooding could happen in some low-lying agriculture land located in the flood plain below the dam.