This June, once again saw paddlers from Cradock and surrounds along with a
good number of farm labourers crack out the gumboots and descend upon the
river to ensure the course is safe and relatively free of branches.
It seems that every year, floods or no floods, at least one or two gigantic
willow trees take it upon themselves to fall across the river, completely
blocking the channel. That along with smaller branches that are constantly
growing into the river and the long wispy tendrils of the willows that
accumulate each year, makes for plenty of work. This year was no exception
with a particularly enormous specimen capsizing into the river just above
Smits Bridge and another below Prospect Bridge.
It is an essential and often quite dangerous task to get the river into a
condition that is safe and enjoyable to paddle, with ropes, ladders and saws
all coming to the tree-cutters aid and the buzz of chainsaws echoing up and
down the river. In the end it was a job well-done and we’re looking forward
to test-running the course on the Pre-Fish.
A BIG thank you to Stihl for making our task a whole lot easier by their
donation of chainsaws and bushcutters.
They’ll be glad to know that along with the brand new equipment recently
donated, some of the paddlers are still using equipment donated years ago
and Stihl going strong!
(Fish River Canoe Club)