Low Thompson River levels allow for rare trek to Rabbit Island

Low river exposes island

Low levels in the Thompson River this spring are allowing access by foot to Rabbit Island.

Trekkers are making their way from McArthur Island’s boat launch down to the sandy beach to make the journey over to the island.

“It's probably the first time I've seen the beach this low,” said Kamloops resident Paul Blair, who walked to Rabbit Island on Sunday.

“Not in the 25 years I've been here. It's been low, but never this low.”

While visitors to Rabbit Island typically need to traverse water, the low level of the Thompson River has exposed a sand bar that stretches all the way across from McArthur Island. The river is still flowing along the south side of Rabbit Island.

Jonathan Boyd, a hydrologist with the B.C. River Forecast Centre, told Castanet Kamloops the levels of the North and South Thompson rivers are low, but they aren’t setting any records.

“They're both a little bit below normal. They're not all time record lows or anything like that,” he said.

“March is one of the periods of time where the flows are at their lowest. And that's just because of the effects of the winter time.”

Boyd said it would be more concerning if river levels were higher than usual.

“Because it means that the snow might be melting a little bit earlier, which could have impacts into the summertime with flows being lower,” he said.

Boyd said the Thompson River will replenish once snowmelt begins at higher elevations.

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