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Home » Lakes of the Atlas » Beaver River Region » Beaver River Basin » Beaver Lake

Beaver Lake

    2.Drainage Basin Characteristics
    3.Lake Basin Characteristics
    4.Water Quality
    5.Biological Characteristics

1. Introduction

Map Sheets:73L/12, 13
Location:Tp66 R12, 13 W4
Lat/Long:54°43'N 111°37'W

Beaver lake is a large, attractive recreational lake that is popular for boating and fishing. It is situated in the Lakeland Region of Improvement District No. 18 (South), about 170 km northeast of the city of Edmonton. The closest population centre is the town of Lac La Biche, 5 km to the northwest (Fig. 1). To reach Beaver Lake from Edmonton, take Highway 28 north and east to Highway 36, then drive north to the town of Lac La Biche. From there, a secondary road extends east from Highway 36 to the northwest end of the lake, where Beaver Lake community, Beaver Lake Provincial Recreation Area and an Alberta Forest Service ranger station are located.

The name "Beaver" is probably a translation from the Cree name. The lake is the headwater of the Beaver River, which appeared on the Turnor map of 1790, and both lake and river were named on the Harmon map of 1820 (Chipeniuk 1975; Holmgren and Holmgren 1976).

Members of the Beaver Lake Band, who live on Beaver Lake Indian Reserve 131, are descended from the Woodland Cree who traditionally hunted, fished and trapped in the vicinity of Beaver Lake. Chief Peeaysis signed Treaty No. 6 in 1876 and the present reserve was assigned in 1911. In 1984, the band membership was 319 people (Alta. Native Aff. 1986).

Sometime during the 1860s, two Oblate Fathers from the Lac La Biche Mission established Mission du Lac Castor on the south shore of Beaver Lake. Two log churches were built before the present-day church was constructed in about 1907. When Beaver Lake Reserve was created in 1911, title for the mission's land, which is located at the northern boundary of the reserve, was given to the Oblate Fathers (Chipeniuk 1975).

The history of Beaver Lake community dates back to about 1919, when an extensive fire burned the area. Shortly afterward, a settler named Max Huppie acquired land at the northwest corner of Beaver Lake. The area was named Sampietro Beach, and over the years, Huppie sold a number of small parcels of his land to cottagers before his death in 1959 (Chipeniuk 1975).

Access to the lake is available at the Beaver Lake Provincial Recreation Area, which is operated by Alberta Recreation and Parks (Fig. 2). Facilities include 140 campsites, pump water, several docks and boat launches, and a day-use area with a picnic shelter, tables and fireplaces. There is no sandy beach or designated swimming area, but people swim from the sand and stone shore. Two boat launches are available in Beaver Lake community as well.

Although the water in Beaver Lake is green at times, algal blooms rarely occur, and aquatic vegetation grows in shallow areas. Boating and fishing are the most popular activities at the lake. Boats are prohibited in posted areas and the lake is closed to sport fishing for a period during April and May each year (Alta. For. Ld. Wild. 1988; 1989). The main sport fish species are northern pike, yellow perch and walleye. During the August long weekend each year, the town of Lac La Biche holds the Blue Feather Fish Derby on Beaver Lake. The derby attracts about 2,000 anglers, who compete for major prizes. The lake also supports commercial and domestic fisheries for lake whitefish.

Physical Information
Area (km2)33.1
Max. Depth (m)15.2
Mean Depth (m)7.1
Dr. Basin Area (km2)290
Dam, WeirNone
Drainage BasinBeaver River Basin

Recreational Information
Camp GroundPresent
Boat LaunchPresent
Sport FishWalleye, Yellow Perch, Northern Pike, Lake Whitefish

Water Quality Information
Trophic StatusMesotrophic
TP x (µg/L)33
CHLORO x (µg/L)10.6
TDS x (mg/L)239

2.Drainage Basin Characteristics »

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