Get to know these challenging waterway locations in Lac du Bonnet, Manitoba!
Being a good boater is being aware of your surroundings and knowing the waterways you are using. Nautical maps are useful for discovering this information, but they may not include everything you need to know. Here are a few areas along the Lee River and Pinawa Channel that you should be aware of and the challenges you may face.
1. The Rock Pile (50° 18′ 41″ N – 95° 51′ 29″ W) – This is a narrow passage on the Lee River that has seen 298+ boats an hour pass through the narrow waterway. As the name would suggest, rock piles surround the passage and make the water shallow, leaving enough room for one boat to pass at a time.
2. Jumping Rocks ( 50° 19′ 08″ N – 95° 49′ 14″ W and 50° 22′ 41″ N – 95° 49′ 57″ W) – These areas see heavy boat traffic as people anchor their boats to climb the rock face and jump into the water. When travelling in these areas, please be thoughtful of swimmers and divers, and anchored boats. Mind your speed and watch your wake.
3. PTH 313 Bridge (50° 16′ 12″ N – 95° 52′ 46″ W) The bridge is where the Pinawa Channel and Lee River meet. This passage can see 197+ vessels cross per hour during peak times. The bridge area has a reduced line of sight, is narrow, has shallow banks, and a strong current. When passing through, please use caution, mind your speed and be aware of your surroundings.
4. Old Pinawa Dam (50° 21′ 55″ N – 95° 92′ 52″ W) – Travelling along the Pinawa Channel to see the decommissioned Pinawa Dam is a favourite pastime for locals and visitors. This area is known for high traffic volumes as people travel to and anchor their boats at the Dam. Be prepared for heavy traffic in this area, as well as swimmers in the water.
5. The Pinawa Channel to the Rock Pile (95° 82′ 73″ N 50° 38′ 53″ W to 50° 18′ 41″ N – 95° 51′ 29″ W) This portion of the waterways is very narrow, with portions no more than 100 meters wide at its most narrow points and 300 meters wide at its most open spaces. This, combined with heavy traffic, means that all users must use caution while enjoying the waterways. Swimmers and paddlers enjoy the banks along these portions of the waterways; it is also a preferred destination for people enjoying leisurely cruises. It is not a great location for tow activities during peak traffic times. We also discourage wake boat activities on this portion of the waterways because it simply isn’t wide enough. Here are some suggestions for how we can work together:
- During heavy traffic times, move your towing activities to a different location where there is less boat traffic and more space to have fun on the water.
- Be courteous. Mind your wake, and keep a safe distance from shorelines to provide a safe place for paddlers and swimmers who are enjoying their time on the water.
- Mind your speed, watch your wake, and keep a safe distance from other vessels.
- Be mindful of what is happening around you and alter your actions accordingly.
- When you’re swimming, wear a bright coloured life jacket, so you are more visible, don’t swim in more advanced conditions for your skill level, and swim close to shore, where there is less boat traffic.
Safety is a shared responsibility of Canadian waterway users and the organizations that govern them. Boaters must operate their boats safely. This means you must learn and follow the rules that apply to your boat and the waters where you will be boating.