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

Pinehurst Lake

    1.Introduction
    2.Drainage Basin Characteristics
    3.Lake Basin Characteristics
    4.Water Quality
    5.Biological Characteristics
    6.References
    7.Appendix

1. Introduction

Map Sheets:73L/11
Location:Tp65, 66 R9, 10 W4
Lat/Long:59°39'N 111°26'W

Pinehurst Lake is a popular destination for anglers, hunters and campers who visit Alberta's Lakeland Region. It is valued for its beautiful beaches and natural shoreline. The lake is located in Improvement District No. 18 (South), about 245 km northeast of the city of Edmonton. The town of Lac La Biche, which is the nearest large population centre, is about 60 km to the northwest. To reach the lake from Edmonton, take Highway 28 north and east to the village of Vilna, then Highway 36 north to Highway 55. Drive east on Highway 55 for 5 km, then turn onto a gravelled local road that runs north for 2.5 km and then west for 30 km. The road ends at the Pinehurst Lake Forest Recreation Area on the western shore of the lake (Fig. 1).

The name Pinehurst is derived from the jack pine tree and from the English word "hurst", which means "a wooded hillock". This term refers to the long ridge that runs along the northwest shore of the lake. At one time, jack pine may have grown along the ridge, but forest fires have removed most of this species. The name of Pinehurst Lake's outlet, Punk Creek, is a translation of the Cree word pusakan. Punk referred to poplar or birch wood that was used to start a fire with flint and steel (Chipeniuk 1975).

A number of trappers and fishermen lived around the lake and on the islands during the first half of the twentieth century. The commercial fishery began around 1909, when two Norwegian brothers began fishing the lake. They transported their catch to the town of Vegreville by horse-drawn sleigh. A trading post, store and post office were built on the eastern shore at Snug Cove in the late 1940s. The post office closed in 1951 for lack of business. In 1947, the cisco population at nearby Lac La Biche declined drastically, leaving area mink ranchers without a convenient source of mink food. The ranchers decided to transport cisco from Pinehurst Lake, so they built an airstrip on land just east of Snug Cove. The airstrip is now unused and overgrown by trembling aspen (Chipeniuk 1975).

Pinehurst Lake Forest Recreation Area is the only developed recreational facility at the lake (Fig. 2). It is operated by the Alberta Forest Service and is open from May to September. There are 65 campsites, pump water, a beach and a boat launch. There are no boating restrictions specific to Pinehurst Lake, but general federal regulations apply (Alta. For. Ld. Wild. 1988). The two islands on the east side of the lake were reserved for recreation in 1969, and at present, they have the status of Protective Notation. This means that they have recognized potential as natural areas but they have not been formally established as such (Alta. For. Ld. Wild. 1987). About 98% of the shoreline is Crown land; the only 2 parcels of private land are located on the eastern shore south of the outlet. The management intent for the Pinehurst Lake area, as cited in the Lakeland Sub-Regional Integrated Resource Plan, is for its development as a major recreation destination area (Alta. En. Nat. Resour. 1985). Future developments could include both public and commercially operated facilities.

The water in Pinehurst Lake turns green during the open-water season. The density of aquatic vegetation is generally low to moderate except in several bays and around the islands, where density is high. Sport fishing for walleye, northern pike and yellow perch is one of the most popular activities at the lake. There are no sport fishing regulations specific to Pinehurst Lake, but provincial limits and regulations apply (Alta. For. Ld. Wild. 1989). The lake has not been fished commercially since the 1976/77 season because of the high density of parasites in the lake whitefish and cisco.

Physical Information
Area (km2)40.7
Max. Depth (m)21.3
Mean Depth (m)12.2
Dr. Basin Area (km2)285
Dam, WeirNone
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)46
CHLORO x (µg/L)14.6
TDS x (mg/L)160

2.Drainage Basin Characteristics »

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