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Province Invests over $7.5 Million for Improvements in Whiteshell Provincial Park

Posted on: June 7, 2019  |  

Family Fishing Weekend, Free Access to
Provincial Parks This Weekend:  Squires

As part of Budget 2019 capital investments, the Manitoba government is providing over $7.5 million for improvements in Whiteshell Provincial Park including new washroom and shower facilities, a water treatment plant and road upgrades, Sustainable Development Minister Rochelle Squires announced today.

“From fishing to camping, to canoeing and hiking, there is so much to do and enjoy in the Whiteshell Provincial Park,” Squires said.  “Our government is committed to maintaining and enhancing our provincial park system so that Manitobans and visitors can enjoy a wide array of natural beauty and recreational opportunities for years to come.  While some projects are complete and ready to greet outdoor enthusiasts, others will start soon or be underway as part of our commitment to commemorate Manitoba’s 150th anniversary.”

In addition to upgrades already announced for Grand Beach, Winnipeg Beach, Asessippi and Spruce Woods provincial parks, significant upgrades are underway in the Whiteshell Provincial Park.  A new water treatment plant will include green-sand filtration and additional chlorination to ensure better water quality based on local conditions.  At Big Whiteshell Lake Campground, a new modern and accessible washroom and shower facility has been built.  It includes many environmentally friendly features such as low-flow plumbing fixtures and sensor-activated LED lighting.  Later this year, the campground office will be moved to a new foundation because the current site is shifting.  The office will be refurbished and will include accessibility improvements.  The new office is expected to be ready to greet campers when the campground opens in 2020, Squires said, adding the total budget for the water treatment plant, new washroom and shower facility and moving the campground office is approximately $1.65 million.

Two larger projects in the park involve asphalt and gravel road improvements in the Big Whiteshell campground and cottage areas, and asphalt resurfacing along Falcon South Shore Road.  The Falcon project will be phased over two years and include widening the road shoulder to accommodate cycling where space permits.  These projects total $6 million and are scheduled to start later this year, to be completed as part of the province’s commemoration of MB150.

In addition, the province is offering free access to provincial parks this weekend.  Visitors will not require park vehicle permits from June 7 to 9 but nightly camping fees and fees in national parks still apply.  This is also Family Fishing Weekend, meaning anglers will be able to fish without a licence provincewide on June 8 and 9.  The minister noted that conservation limits will apply and a federal licence will still be required to fish in national parks.

Water users such as boaters and anglers are reminded of the requirements to stop the spread of zebra mussels and other aquatic invasive species (AIS).  Before leaving any body of water, remove aquatic plants and aquatic invasive species, drain all water from watercraft and water-related equipment, and remove drain plugs before transporting watercraft over land.  Dry or decontaminate all water-related equipment before placing it in another water body.  When boating or angling in an AIS control zone, there are additional requirements.  Bait must be properly disposed of prior to leaving the shore and anything used in the water must be decontaminated before it can be placed into another water body.

The province has instituted a series of set fines under the AIS legislation that are in effect year-round and carry a range of penalties, depending on the offence.  Fines range from $174 to $2,542.  The 2019 Watercraft Inspection program is also in full swing.  All stations are operating in Selkirk, Headingley, Mulvihill (north of Eriksdale), Swan River, The Pas and Grand Rapids.  Anyone transporting a boat, canoe, Jet Ski or other type of watercraft over land, must stop at the inspection stations when they are open.  The set fine for failing to stop at a watercraft inspection station is $672.

For more information on AIS, the watercraft inspection program schedule and the latest anglers guide go to www.gov.mb.ca/sd/fish_and_wildlife/fish/index.html

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Hello WCA, Here are the new items for today. It’s a short update for today.- TransCanada Trail at Penniac Bay has reopened with wet spots existing on trail.Whiteshell Provincial Park: May 28, 2022 A local state of emergency has been declared for Whiteshell Provincial Park on May 20, 2022 due to rising water levels within the park. Developed areas at Betula Lake were closed on May 21, 2022. This closure area was expanded (May 24) to include Sylvia Lake, Otter Falls, Dorothy Lake, Barrier Bay and Nutimik Lake areas. No person should reside or enter into the closed area. Please visit the Manitoba Parks Website www.gov.mb.ca/sd/parks/ to see a map of the closure. This applies to all cottage subdivisions, commercial areas, campgrounds, group use, day use, recreational and picnic areas, playgrounds, trails, and beaches with within the order area. During the closure no person should reside or enter into the closure area of the park. Manitoba Hydro released information this afternoon regarding the expected continued high water flows on the Winnipeg River. Water continues to rise significantly along the lakes that make up the Winnipeg River system (Nutimik, Dorothy, Margaret, Eleanor, and Sylvia Lakes as well as Pointe du Bois) as water moves downstream from Lake of the Woods. Water levels rise quickly in these areas due to natural restrictions along the river. Please see www.hydro.mb.ca/corporate/facilities/water_levels/ to view the forecast. Manitoba Hydro is predicating an increase of water levels from the current high water over the next 10 to 14 days, as follows: • 6 inches upstream of Eight Foot Falls. • 10 inches in Nutimik Lake. • 9 inches in Dorothy Lake. • 11 inches in Margaret/Eleanor Lake. • 1 foot in Sylvia Lake. • 8 inches upstream of Silver Falls. The Winnipeg River is expected to crest between June 5-10. Rising water levels and rapidly evolving conditions pose a significant risk to public safety. Manitoba Parks continue to monitor safety and water levels inside the closure area, additional safety measures may be applied if required. Manitoba Parks has been contacting all permanent residents in the closure area. If you have not been contacted by Manitoba Parks staff to register, please call the parks line at 204-340-6769 and leave a message with your name, lot, block, subdivision, and ask to be added to the permanent residents list. You will then be called back to register. Water levels improvement are being seen in all areas south of the Winnipeg River. Falcon, West Hawk, Star, Caddy, Brereton, White, and Jessica Lakes are reporting a decrease today.Manitoba Parks staff are working in conjunction with staff from the department of Manitoba Transportation and Infrastructure to monitor lake levels and adjust control structures where possible. This includes monitoring structures for blockages. Crescent Beach seawall at West Hawk is barricaded and closed. Pay attention to signage, and barricades. The travel lane has been moved away from the wall and is narrow in spots, please travel slowly. Cottages in the Crescent Beach, High Rock, McKenzie Beach, and Hunt Lake subdivisions should be aware of the potential for a re-route in the event of further damage to the seawall. Sandbags for filling and sand are available for cottage owners at: the 8 Foot Falls Road in Pointe du Bois, Jessica Lake at the garbage collection site, the parking lot across from Brereton Lake Resort, the West Hawk maintenance yard, and the causeway at Falcon Lake. There are a limited number of pre-filled bags at the Jessica Lake and Pointe du Bois depots. PR 307 from the west park entrance to the PR307/309 junction, and PR 312 near Caddy Lake is closed to all traffic. PR 309 near Meditation Lake is restricted to local traffic only. We encourage everyone to check manitoba511.ca before travelling. You can call 511 anywhere in Manitoba to get updates by phone. Water is present on several block roads throughout the park. White Lake Block 4 is closed to vehicle use. The following block roads should not be crossed in a smaller vehicle until the water recedes: High Rock Road at West Hawk, and Jessica Lake Block 5-6-7-8. Caution should be used when travelling through flooded areas. The following boat launches are closed in addition to those in the park closure area: 8 Foot Falls, Big Creek, White Lake, Jessica Lake, South Shore Big Whiteshell, and Toniata. West Hawk and Falcon Beach Campground Boat launches have been re-opened. Public can expect open launches to be without docks, high water is preventing repair and placement of docks throughout the park. Please use caution and courtesy when boating. All boat traffic should be cautious of debris and items submerged below the surface. Please be advised that you cannot visit the closed area of the park by boat. Access is not allowed to your cottage or recreational areas via the Winnipeg River. No landing in the closed area is allowed. Extreme caution should be used with travelling the upstream portion of the Winnipeg River (Pointe du Bois to Lamprey Falls). To minimize potential erosion caused by boat wakes, recreational motor boat restrictions are in place. Recreational motor boat traffic is prohibited from operating within 100 metres of the shoreline on: West Hawk, Falcon, Caddy, Star, Brereton, Jessica, White, Big Whiteshell, Betula, Nutimik, Dorothy, Margaret, Eleanor Lakes, and the shoreline adjacent to the Pointe du Bois subdivision in Whiteshell Provincial Park. When exiting or approaching the shoreline, boats should move directly out from land and avoid creating a wake. The following hiking trails are closed in addition to those in the park closure area: the Marsh Trail (between Falcon Lake Marina and Beach Campground) and Hunt Lake. TransCanada Trail at Penniac Bay has reopened with wet spots existing on trail. All backcountry campsites in Whiteshell Provincial park are closed due to flooding, high water conditions and frequently changing portage conditions. Campers should check the Manitoba Parks homepage for the status of campgrounds prior to coming to the park. Several campgrounds have full or partial closures. All campground in the closure area will remain closed until this portion of the park reopens (Dorothy Lake, Opapiskaw, Nutimik Lake, and Otter Falls). In addition, White Lake Campground is closed (seasonal and nightly) and nightly camping is closed in Big Whiteshell Campground. Phone Numbers/ Websites:• Parks info line for water, flood and closures: 204-340-6769 between 8am and 6pm daily. • To report an emergency please contact the RCMP via 911 if located in the South Whiteshell, 204-348-7177 in the North Whiteshell, and 204-345-8685 in Pointe du Bois. • Camping Information 1-888-482-2267 for the Parks Reservation Service. • Environment, Climate and Parks General inquiry line 1-800-214-6497. • Highway conditions: Manitoba511.ca • Manitoba Parks: manitobapark.com for a list of other closures.• Manitoba Hydro Water Flow New Release: www.hydro.mb.ca/articles/2022/05/manitoba_hydro_advises_extreme_caution_on_waterways/• DFA Information: www.gov.mb.ca/emo/dfa/residence.html, dfa@gov.mb.ca or by phone at 204-945-3050. ... See MoreSee Less
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Kelly Jones – “Hi. This dock has floated its way over to Moonlight Bay at WestHawk lake. Our neighbor has secured it and we are hoping to find its owner as I’m sure they would like it back! Can you please post?” ... See MoreSee Less
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Confirmed again this morning that the Winnipeg River Forecast from Hydro yesterday HAVE factored in the anticipated rainfall over the next few days. ... See MoreSee Less
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Betula Lake Page ( Ashley Desjardins) –“Another one from Stefanson. (Premiers visit earlier)I think I’ve labeled it correctly. Not sure how that highway is going to survive this. ” ... See MoreSee Less
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Sheila Dancho –“Pictures of Nutimik Island on May 21.” ... See MoreSee Less
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