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Thread: Lakes around Edmonton

  1. #1

    Default Lakes around Edmonton

    Just creating general catch all thread for interesting information on lakes around Edmonton (say 1- 1 1/2 hr drives)





    Eg

    2010 article on falling water levels
    This one is on Sandy Lake:

    Excerpt:

    "Water expert David Schindler from the University of Alberta said lakes are drying up across Alberta and Saskatchewan. He said Alberta is experiencing a period of drought, which, combined with warmer temperatures and human activities, has caused water levels to go down.

    Average precipitation has been 20 per cent lower than normal for the past decade, and the destruction of wetlands and forests to create agricultural land causes a two-fold increase in the amount of nutrients in the water.
    He said development around lakes has been a disaster, and that leaking phosphorous from septic tanks and the use of fertilizer on lawns and gardens is responsible for algal blooms across the province.
    “There’s nothing magical about it,” said Schindler. “We’ve seen thousands of cases (algal blooms) over the last 50 years, but developers and people are slow learners.”
    Once phosphorous gets into a lake it recirculates for 20 years before being buried in sediment, said Schindler. He said reversing the situation takes time and patience.

    “It’s much easier to prevent in the first place than to remedy once the problem develops,” he said. “It’s a problem that isn’t going to go away, at least in the short term.”
    Water levels are down in 15 to 20 lakes, he said, the worst being Muriel Lake near Bonnyville, which has fallen four metres since 1974.

    Cara Tobin, a spokesperson for Alberta Environment, said the ministry isn’t aware of this problem. She said lake levels fluctuate based on how what the precipitation is like in a given year.
    “We can’t control Mother Nature,” said Tobin.
    Shores are shrinking at more than 15 lakes, including Lac St. Anne, Isle Lake and Pigeon Lake.

    https://www.pressreader.com/canada/e...82419870528945

    Lac Ste Anne trails (mentions several lakes)

    http://lacsteannecountytrails.com/wp...rt_3Sept09.pdf
    Last edited by KC; 24-07-2017 at 08:03 AM.

  2. #2
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    ...yes, this was a huge issue in 2010.

    With the wet as heck summer of 2016, most of the water bodies out my way are now well above normal. The sloughs that were drying up are now overflowing, and new wetlands appeared this spring.

    I am not sure about some of the harder hit lakes like Lac La Nonne, Lake Isle, South Cooking, etc...but SW of the city has greatly improved.

    From my experience, this area gets 20+ year cycles. Dry followed by wet. We had our 20 ish years of dry...and wet has come back with a vengeance...
    Tired of being taken advantage of .

  3. #3

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    Note the Lac la Nonne water level graph:

    https://exts2.aep.alberta.ca/CR-RecL...EANNEfinal.pdf

    https://exts2.aep.alberta.ca/CR-RecL...NONNEfinal.pdf

    https://exts2.aep.alberta.ca/CR-RecL.../ISLEfinal.pdf

    More including Pigeon, Sylvan etc is Google these search terms:
    alberta "historical water level" (1970-200

  4. #4

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    Great book:

    The Atlas of Alberta Lakes is now online

    "The Atlas, first published as a printed report in 1990, has been digitized and is available here.

    Sylvan Lake is part of the South Saskatchewan Region.

    Maps and data for some lakes monitored by Alberta Environment and Parks may be found here.

    Also refer to the Respect Our Lakes web page

    and the AEP Lake Information page.

    Be sure to visit the Central Alberta Recreational Lakes Initiative website for additional information, data and references."


    https://slwssnews.com/2016/12/18/the...is-now-online/

  5. #5
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    I used this all the time...

    La Nonne is hampered politically and geographically...it was always more of a slough and then they allowed open discharge into it.

    I worked a lot on the Wabamun project. That lake fluctuated a lot, and even though we were pumping a lot into it, Mother Nature took over and really filled it in 2012-2013.

    Our biggest problem in Alberta is that many of the lakes have a 60+ year residence time. Combine that with dirt vs rock bottoms, low runoff periods, and some mismanagement issues...and you get what we have today.
    Tired of being taken advantage of .

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by RichardS View Post
    ...yes, this was a huge issue in 2010.

    With the wet as heck summer of 2016, most of the water bodies out my way are now well above normal. The sloughs that were drying up are now overflowing, and new wetlands appeared this spring.

    I am not sure about some of the harder hit lakes like Lac La Nonne, Lake Isle, South Cooking, etc...but SW of the city has greatly improved.

    From my experience, this area gets 20+ year cycles. Dry followed by wet. We had our 20 ish years of dry...and wet has come back with a vengeance...
    Miquelon lake is still far below what it was in the 70's. So that a lot of infrastructure in the provincial park including boat launches and beaches are mislocated. The beach areas are now much larger. Astotin lake in Elk Island very similar case. The walk from the parking lots to water is a lot farther. Trails and hummocks that used to border the lake shore are farther back now.

    Miquelon, particularly is an interesting study as it is a shallow lake and so it serves as a beacon. Simply put any deviation in lake levels is going to have considerable consequences for Miquelon and there's park staff there that have commented it for sure is now a mature lake and doesn't have long to get to a slough. Beaverhill Lake also used to be a large lake and not a slough. To give more of an idea on how much Alberta Lakes have receded since the last glaciation all off Miquelon, Beaverhill, Cooking Lake, Wizard lake, Hastings Lake etc were thought to be one huge lake.
    "if god exists and he allowed that to happen, then its better that he doesn't exist"

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Replacement View Post
    (...). To give more of an idea on how much Alberta Lakes have receded since the last glaciation all off Miquelon, Beaverhill, Cooking Lake, Wizard lake, Hastings Lake etc were thought to be one huge lake.
    ...and all of Edmonton, Stony Plain, Spruce Grove, and a vast area post Glaciation was one colossal lake...with the shores still visible today.

    On departure from YEG, if you look down, you will see an abandoned river bed with many small puddles left over in the odd oxbow.

    Alberta is loaded with shallow lakes that will have their water levels vary wildly. I know one set of sloughs near here is now completely gone, thanks to a beaver dam bursting and the resulting flood eroding the small earth dam left behind from the glacial times.

    Wabamun is thought to be the result of a peat moss fire post glaciation. That explains its residence time of 60+ years, with Tomahawk Creek really being its major input.

    Beaverhill was impressive in size even in 1993...but you could walk across the entire thing and for the most part, barely get your knees wet. It was heavy in lime, the water quality was suspect, and it was truly a slough that had decent run off for years.

    This is not to say that lake and water management are not important. They are very important. However, these bodies of water are not Great Slave. Many like Lake Isle and Lac St Anne rely on feeds from things like the Sturgeon River (really a run off creek with its headwaters at a farmer's slough near Drayton). I am sure in glacial times the river flowed well (look at the valley post St Albert)...but these cycles are not surprising given our geography.
    Tired of being taken advantage of .

  8. #8

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    Interesting.

    There’s very little snow coverage so maybe groundwater freezing. If it’s just the expansion of frozen lake water shifting all the land along the shore banks, then that would be pretty amazing. (Interesting that an opening may have appeared out in the lake. Would be really cool if it was a sink hole or something opening up but that’s unlikely. Expanding ice and ground has to push unfrozen water somewhere.)




    Two quakes damage homes, crack ground in Alberta Beach

    http://www.cbc.ca/1.4470929





    Mysterious big bang, possibly an ice quake, shakes Alberta village | CTV News

    https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/myster...lage-1.3743288






    Seismic activity confirmed, consistent with reported earthquake damage in Alberta Beach | Globalnews.ca
    Excerpt:

    “...
    “I tried to open the back door to check outside and I couldn’t open the door to get to the lakefront,” said Sharon Smith. “Then I looked at the wall and there was a gigantic crack.”

    The crack runs the length of the wall, and up onto the ceiling.

    When the family went outside, they discovered much larger cracks in the ground, one large enough to put an entire arm into.

    “It’s been cracking and splitting and heaving all day long. So I followed the crack and the crack went all the way along the lake,” Sharon said. ...”



    “This is Alberta, I never thought there would be an earthquake here. All the people around the lake, when they were coming and talking about all the different damages and what they heard — and everybody being awake in the middle of the night — thought that maybe it was just the ice buckling.”

    There’s also an opening visible on the lake and a one-metre-tall hill of dirt that formed on their neighbour’s normally flat yard overnight.

    The Smiths’ other neighbour’s foundation buckled, and their brand new deck had shifted off its supports.

    A door to one cabin was stuck because the foundation had shifted so much, residents couldn’t get inside....”

    https://globalnews.ca/news/3942731/c...alberta-beach/





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    Last edited by KC; 03-01-2018 at 07:41 AM.

  9. #9

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    This article discusses each lake:


    The Largest Lakes in Alberta

    “Four lakes in Alberta, Canada have an area greater than 400 square km: Lake Athabasca, Bistcho Lake, Lake Claire, and Lesser Slave Lake.

    ...”
    https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/...est-lakes.html

  10. #10

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    Our Crowded Lakes | Don Meredith Outdoors

    https://donmeredith.wordpress.com/20...crowded-lakes/


    The Recreation Lakes Dilemma | Don Meredith Outdoors

    https://donmeredith.wordpress.com/20...es-to-death-3/
    Last edited by KC; 17-05-2018 at 09:52 AM.

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