Regcreek (62K)


     Invasion of the Tubers

Yes, I'm a hopeless romantic. But not in the biblical sense.

I have a notion that the woods, and yes the rivers, are there for me and my ilk to appreciate by canoe. But I realize more all the time that such a mindset is pie-in-the-sky.

I just read that a tubing company will offer rides on the Nepisiguit this summer.

I know, I sound like an elitist, wanting to promote my canoeing on the river, whilst turning my nose up at the folks who just wanna have fun in an inner tube floating down the stream.

But it's a sport that's catching on down more and more rivers in New Brunswick. The Nashwaak, the Restigouche, and now the Nepisiguit all sport tubing companies now.

I love the Nepisiguit. It runs always pristine in my mind's eye.

Granted, they are operating on select stretches only on each river. And sure, the closer you get to a town, the more "trammeled" a natural area is gonna be. I get that.

Still, it irks me a bit to think that I may have to yield the right-o-way to a sunburnt partyer who doesn't appreciate the place the same way I do. It doesn't jibe with my imagined Utopia.

Nashwaak tubers
Tubers assemble to run the Nashwaak.

My buddy has a camp on the Miramichi, on a prime salmon pool. He has the right as a landowner to fish this pool unmolested by the general public, as there are public pools both up- and downstream from his camp.

He complains that the tubers ruin his casting for fish, speak verbal filth that he and his guests have to listen to, and that the tubers leave solid filth in the river and on the banks.

He can't get used to the constant passage of people reclining in rubber as he poles his long canoe from rock to rock.

What's the answer? My friend claims that the law is on his side, and he'll be asking the RCMP to enforce it. Tubers be gone! he says.

I know, this is an editorial, but it's a classic case of two groups seeking to use the same resource in mutually incompatible ways.

And it's another way in which my "wilderness" is ever more pie-in-the-sky.

My friend K.G. feels much the same way.

CBC reports Tubers' trash polluting river.


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