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

Moose Lake

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

1. Introduction

Map Sheets:73L/2, 6, 7
Location:Tp60, 61 R6, 7 W4
Lat/Long:54°14'N 110°55'W

Moose Lake is one of the most popular and scenic lakes in the Lakeland Region of Alberta. Its sandy beaches and good fishing draw hundreds of people to its excellent parks during summer. The lake is situated in the Municipal District of Bonnyville, about 240 km northeast of Edmonton and 3.5 km west of the town of Bonnyville. Access to several points along the north shore, including Moose Lake Provincial Park (Fig. 1), is available from Secondary Road 660. Access to the east and south shores is available from Highway 28 west of Bonnyville and Highway 28A.

The lake's name is a translation of the French name, Lac d'Orignal. Although moose are rarely found in the area now, the former abundance of the animal no doubt inspired the name. In 1789, Angus Shaw of the North West Company built a trading post, Fort Lac d'Orignal (Shaw House), on the northwest shore of Moose Lake (Geog. Bd. Can. 1928). The first settlers, French Canadians from Beaumont, Alberta, began to homestead in the Bonnyville area in 1907 and 1908, and large numbers of settlers began to arrive after 1912 (Alta. Mun. Aff. 1978; Glendon Hist. Soc. 1985). In 1928, the railroad was extended from St. Paul to Bonnyville, thus ensuring the continued growth and settlement of the area. In the early 1900s, commercial fishing was an important area industry, and by 1936, three large fish-packing plants were in operation. Several mink farms were located around Moose Lake, but they are no longer present.

Much of the lake's shoreline is extensively developed, particularly along the east shores of Vezeau Bay and Bonnyville Beach Bay (Fig. 2). The first subdivision of land was at Bonnyville Beach in 1945, and rapid development occurred after 1960 (Runge 1977). At present, two summer villages are located on the east shore (Fig. 2). The summer village of Bonnyville Beach was incorporated in 1958, and the summer village of Pelican Narrows was incorporated in 1979. There were a total of about 130 dwellings in the 2 summer villages in 1988, of which 37% were permanent residences. A number of subdivisions are also situated along the shore. They comprise a total of 794 lots, but not all of these are developed. There are five institutional camps located on Franchere Bay and the west shore of Island Bay and the Bonnyville Golf and Country Club is situated south of Vezeau Bay beside Chatwin Lake.

There are five public campgrounds and day-use areas around the lake, including Moose Lake Provincial Park on the north shore (Fig. 2). The provincial park was opened in 1967; its facilities include 59 campsites, tap water, beaches, a change house, a boat launch and hiking trails. Franchere Bay Provincial Recreation Area on the west end of Franchere Bay is operated by Alberta Recreation and Parks. Its facilities include 200 campsites, a beach, picnic shelters, tap water and a boat launch. Alberta Recreation and Parks also operates Eastbourne Provincial Recreation Area on the south side of the lake. This facility has 13 campsites, pump water, a picnic shelter and a boat launch. Pelican Point Park, situated on the southeast corner of Franchere Bay, is operated by the Municipal District of Bonnyville. It has 40 campsites, picnic tables, pump water and a launch for small boats. The Vezeau Beach Recreation Area on the southeast corner of Vezeau Bay was transferred to the Municipal District in 1988. It is small and has an undefined area for camping, a picnic shelter, a boat launch and a pier (Alta. Hotel Assoc. 1989).

Moose Lake receives intense recreational use during summer, particularly on weekends. In 1983, cottagers accounted for 47 to 67% of the total recreational use (Marshall Macklin Monaghan West. Ltd. 1983). The most popular recreational activities are swimming, fishing, camping and boating. In designated areas, either all vessels are prohibited or power driven vessels are subject to a maximum speed of 12 km/hour (Alta. For. Ld. Wild. 1988).

Moose Lake has dense blooms of blue-green algae during late summer and fall. The lake supports a commercial fishery, primarily for lake whitefish and a popular sport fishery for walleye, northern pike and yellow perch. There are no special sport fishing regulations for Moose Lake, but general provincial limits and regulations apply (Alta. For. Ld. Wild. 1989). The western region of the lake, particularly Island Bay, is important fish spawning and waterfowl habitat. White Pelicans are conspicuous inhabitants of the lake in summer.

Physical Information
Area (km2)40.8
Max. Depth (m)19.8
Mean Depth (m)5.6
Dr. Basin Area (km2)755
Dam, WeirWeir
Drainage BasinBeaver River Basin

Recreational Information
Camp GroundPresent
Boat LaunchPresent
Sport FishNorthern Pike, Lake Whitefish, Walleye, Yellow Perch

Water Quality Information
Trophic StatusEutrophic
TP x (µg/L)41
CHLORO x (µg/L)16.8
TDS x (mg/L)410

2.Drainage Basin Characteristics »

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