When Souris residents, Caleigh Walker and Cassie Quadrelli started their canoe and kayak rental business on the Souris River last year, they weren't quite sure what to expect.

But the duo and their families have brought more attention and recreation to the Souris River through their River Rat Rentals.  You might say it's been a stellar summer for riding the Souris!

Co-owner Caleigh Walker, says this is their second year, and 2022 was a fantastic summer for the water craft rentals.

"We are really fortunate that we have an amazing group of renters that love to support us, we have a community that loves what we're doing," shares Walker.  "We just loving doing this! This is an awesome side-gig that we've set up for ourselves!"

Water sports on the Souris started later in the spring season as the water levels were high and the river current was strong. So, the paddling got started on the July Long Weekend.  "We thought that was going to be a big set back because we had a lot of renters inquiring in May and June and we had to turn them away.  But, it turned out to be amazing anyway!"

"We were constantly busy, almost every single day," she laughs. "We only took 2 weekends off the whole summer because it was just Cassie and I and our kiddos and our husbands running the show.  So, it was kind of crazy!  We were constantly shuffling boats! It was awesome!"

The team started a 'wild women paddle night' last summer and it has remained strong this summer as well.  "We are just really passionate about people getting outside and being active and just embracing our community of amazing women that we have around Westman!"

River Rat Rentals cater to a variety of water lovers.  "There are a lot of out-of-towners," explains Walker.  "We have a booming campground in Souris and so that has been a really awesome stimulant for our little business.  We have a sign and our business cards up at the rec office at the pool so we have a lot of people coming who are camping, or who are coming from Brandon looking for something to do, and we have many repeat customers.  So, we've decided we're going to get a punch-pass put into place, that for every 5 rentals you get the 6th one for free."

Listen to more of the interview with Caleigh Walker and CJRB's Barry Lamb below: