Studies & Reports

  • Riparian Health Assessment of Wabamun Lake 2015

    The North Saskatchewan Watershed Alliance (NSWA) was approached by the Wabamun Watershed Management Council in 2014 to assess the health of the Riparian Management Area of Wabamun Lake. The ensuing project was conducted using new aerial videography methods. These methods included video footage captured by a quad‐copter unmanned air vehicle (UAV‐ commonly known as a drone), high‐definition footage and ortho‐rectified photographs on an ArcGIS platform. The use of this innovative approach was considered to be highly successful and cost‐ effective. Read More
  • Lake Wabamun Boat Launch Study 2013

    Wabamun Lake is a popular summer destination for boaters in the Capital region. An increase in demand by boaters for improved boat launch facilities has warranted an examination of current and future boat launch facilities on the lake. A preliminary assessment needs to be completed of the existing launch facilities, both the water and land based conditions, the demand for launch opportunities and possible alternative launch locations elsewhere, on the lakeshore. The resulting strategy should identify opportunities and constraints for upgrading both existing and alternative launch facilities on the lake including an identification of best practices, estimated capital costs, management approaches and implementation guidelines. Read More
  • Wabamun Lake State of the Watershed 2013

    The purpose of the Wabamun Lake State of the Watershed Report is to summarize the existing current and historical knowledge of the watershed. This includes knowledge in the areas of land use, water quality, water quantity and biological characteristics. Many water quality and other studies exist for Wabamun Lake, as it is a heavily used lake for recreation, has had two major power generation stations on its shores, and was the site of a major oil spill following a CN Rail train derailment in 2005. This report will provide an understanding of how natural features, natural processes, land use and water use influences the watershed. The report will also serve as a point of reference for future management and stewardship activities aimed at improving the Wabamun Lake watershed. This report will also indicate any areas that need to be addressed and the knowledge gaps that are currently present for the Wabamun Lake watershed. Read More
  • Wabamun Lake State of the Watershed 2013 - Executive Summary

    Wabamun Lake, one of Alberta’s most popular recreational lakes, is located entirely in Parkland County within the North Saskatchewan River basin. Due to its large size and proximity to the city of Edmonton, Wabamun Lake is popular for a wide range of recreational activities, including swimming, fishing and sailing. The lake is one of the most studied in the province, yet many knowledge gaps still exist in determining the overall health of the watershed. Read More
  • 2004 Schindler Report

    The 2004 Schindler Report that made many recommendations on how to maintain and improve the quality of Wabamun Lake. One of those recommendations called for the creation of a group to bring all the stakeholders together to discuss and lobby for proper lake and watershed management. The WWMC was created as a result. Read More
  • Stepping Back from the Water: A Beneficial Management Practices Guide for New Development near Water Bodies in Alberta's Settled Region

    The Stepping Back from the Water handbook is designed to assist municipalities, watershed groups, developers and landowners in Alberta’s settled region determine appropriate water body setbacks for development around our lakes, rivers and wetlands. It will also encourage new policies for achieving riparian environmental outcomes. Read More
  • ASVA - Lake Stewardship Reference Guide

    The landscape at our lakes is changing. There are more cottagers, increased pressures from development, and growing concerns about poor land management practices. These all affect the overall water quality and health of our lakes. We all have the responsibility to take positive action towards improving the condition of our lake’s environment. By having a better understanding of lake stewardship issues, involving people at all levels in the Summer Village, and by making better decisions about land use practices, Summer Village councils will be able to lead their community in ensuring their lake ecosystems remain healthy for all users. [link to ASVA site] Read More
  • Water Quality Conditions and Long-term Trends in Alberta Lakes

    Alberta Environment and Water (AEW) monitors the surface water quality of provincial lakes to evaluate short- and long-term environmental conditions, and to inform lake management and policy. Monitoring of Alberta lakes reflects the ongoing demand for knowledge on current conditions, trends, ecology and impacts on lakes. Over time this demand has come from within AEW, partners and other users of lakes. Until now, there has been no statistical evaluation of long-term water quality trends for a comprehensive set of Alberta lakes. Read More
  • Guide to Naturalizing a Lakefront Shoreline Sept 2010

    Retaining walls and non-vegetated shorelines are a very common sight on shore-line properties in Alberta. These urbanized shorelines have a huge impact on the lake and shoreline from impacting aquatic vegetation and fish populations to reducing the stability and diversity of lake shores. There are numerous benefits associated with restoring a more naturalized shoreline. For example naturalization helps protect shorelines, reduces erosion and nutrient loading, re-establishes wildlife habitat, improves fish habitat and water quality, and is visually pleasing. In an effort to improve water quality and to demonstrate that modifying an urbanized shoreline into a more natural habitat is both possible and attractive, naturalization of a shoreline was undertaken at Seba Beach on Lake Wabamun. The following outlines the general steps interested lake residents could take to naturalize their shoreline. Read More
  • Shoreline Naturalization Project Seba Beach 2009-10

    Retaining walls and non-vegetated shorelines are a very common sight on shore-line properties in Alberta. These urbanized shorelines have a huge impact on the lake and shoreline from impacting aquatic vegetation and fish populations to reducing the stability and diversity of lake shores. There are numerous benefits associated with restoring a more naturalized shoreline. For example naturalization helps protect shorelines, reduces erosion and nutrient loading, re-establishes wildlife habitat, improves fish habitat and water quality, and is visually pleasing. In an effort to improve water quality and to demonstrate that modifying an urbanized shoreline into a more natural habitat is both possible and attractive, naturalization of a shoreline was undertaken at Seba Beach on Lake Wabamun. Kelly & Doug Aldridge volunteered to do the work at their family property. They started the process of planning and getting appropriate approvals from the Summer Village and Provincial & Federal departments in the fall of 2009. On the weekend of June 12 and 13, 2010, a dozen volunteers participated on the construction and planting of this unique project. The following provides an overview of the process. Read More
  • A Beginners Guide to Shoreline Ecological Restoration (2009), Points on Soil Stabilization and Native Plant Revegetation (pdf)

    Prepared by Sheldon Helbert, M.Sc., RP Bio. Read More
  • WWMC Shoreline Naturalization Information Session Overview Aug 09

    On August 29, 2009, the Alberta Conservation Team (ACT) in association with the Wabamun Watershed Management Council (WWMC) had a unique opportunity to facilitate a Shoreline Naturalization Info Session at Lake Wabamun. This information session was open to full time and part time residents interested in learning about the benefits of a vegetated shoreline, getting information about the regulatory steps required, and learning about simple actions homeowners can do to get started prior to modifications. A total of 15 residents attended this event, making this first ever naturalization session a success. Read More
  • Wabamun Water Quality Overview

    Each of us has our own ideas of what is “good” or “poor” water qual- ity. It depends on what we want to use the water for. For example, if our primary use of the lake is for swimming, we probably think clear water is the top priority. If we like to fish or watch wildlife, we may be more interested in weed beds and fish habitat, and accept some greener water. If our home is on higher ground, we will likely be more tolerant of high water levels than if it is on lower ground. Read More
  • Wabamun Lake Literature Review

    A review of the scientific literature, mostly from the 1970s and '80s. Read More
  • Wabamun Watershed Bibliography Feb 08 (pdf)

    . Read More
  • Wabamun Lake Phosphorus Budget 2008

    In concert with the initiation of the Wabamun Watershed Management Council (WWMC) and a formal watershed management planning process in 2007, an update of a 1980-82 eutrophication study was undertaken at Wabamun Lake, a large recreational lake approximately 60 km west of Edmonton, Alberta. A nutrient budget was designed to identify the sources of phosphorus in the lake water, the nutrient most responsible for algae growth in temperate freshwaters. Alberta Environment measured surface runoff, atmospheric deposition, and lake water phosphorus concentrations during the 2008 open water season at Wabamun Lake. These data were used in conjunction with extensive historical data at the lake to produce a representative water and total phosphorus budget for the 2008 runoff and open water seasons. Read More
  • Wabamun Nutrient and Bacterial Study Summary 08 (pdf)

    Over-enrichment of nutrients and resulting excessive growth of algae (eutrophication) is a pressing issue in many Alberta lakes and is often a driving factor behind the work of local watershed stewardship groups (e.g. Wabamun Watershed Management Council). It is essential to understand the sources of these nutrients (phosphorus being most important) in order to guide short and long-term stewardship activities. At Wabamun Lake, AB, a sampling program was performed back in the early 1980’s to determine the main sources of phosphorus entering the lake. Results showed that inputs from the lake mud, large streams and precipitation were the most important sources of phosphorus enrichment to the lake. Read More
  • Toxicity Assessment of Wabamun Lake Sediments

    In 2002 Alberta Environment (AENV) initiated several studies on Wabamun Lake in response to public concerns about murky water near the TransAlta Utilities Corporation ash lagoon outfall, and to follow-up on incidences of fish mortality. Although elevated metal levels were found in the water and sediments near the ash lagoon outfall, the cause of fish mortality was unrelated. However, contaminant levels in sediments remained a potential issue for aquatic ecosystem health. Read More
  • Wabamun Lake Water Quality: 1982 to 2001

    Wabamun Lake, approximately 60 km west of Edmonton, is large, shallow, and generally well mixed. Sport fish in the lake include northern pike, yellow perch, and lake whitefish. There are a unique mix of land uses in the lake watershed, which include undisturbed bush and forest, agriculture, two coal mines with active and reclaimed areas, three coal-fired power plants, major transportation (road and rail) corridors, residences, and recreation. The mines supply fuel for the power plants, operated by the TransAlta Utilities Corporation (TAU). Industrial wastewaters, runoff and cooling water from the Whitewood mine and Wabamun power plant are discharged to the lake. Over time, TAU operations associated with the mines and power plants in the watershed have caused cumulative and ongoing impacts on the lake level. Read More
  • Preservation of Water Quality in Lake Wabamun - Eutrophication Study, April 1985.

    The Lake Wabamun Eutrophication Study was initiated to address public concerns that water quality inthis important recreational lake was dete- riorating. The Water Quality Control Branch began the three year study in late 1979; its purpose was to determine sources and quantities of plant nutrients entering the lake, and t o assess the lake's present fertility level. This report deals with the first of these t w o purposes; an additional report will be issued on the lake's present condition. Read More
  • Lake Wabamun Management Plan: 1985 – Lake Wabamun Management Plan Steering Committee

    A plan that was developed in the 1980s but was never implemented. Nevertheless, many of the recommendations have resonance for conditions today. Read More
  • Lake Wabamun Final Report: 1983 – Lake Wabamun Watershed Advisory Committee

    The report of an earlier watershed committee. Read More
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