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Home » Lakes of the Atlas » North Saskatchewan Region » North Saskatchewan River Basin » Isle Lake

Isle 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:83G/10
Location:Tp53 R5 W5
Lat/Long:53°38'N 114°44'W

Scenic Isle Lake is located in the counties of Parkland and Lac Ste. Anne. It is situated about 80 km west of the city of Edmonton, immediately north of Highway 16. The hamlet of Gainford is located on the southwestern shore (Fig. 1). Unpaved Secondary Road 633 follows the northern shore of the lake and joins Highway 33 just southeast of Lac Ste. Anne.

The lake's name refers to the presence of several islands. In the past Isle Lake was called Lac des Isles and Lac des Islets (Holmgren and Holmgren 1976); now it is known locally as Lake Isle.

In 1870, the Hudson's Bay Company built a trading post beside Lac Ste. Anne, about 14 km northeast of Isle Lake (Lindsay et al. 1968). The wooded region around Isle Lake was settled after 1905 when lands became available for agriculture. The first subdivision was registered at Gainford in 1942 and the most rapid development of land around the lake occurred between 1955 and 1964. In 1980, there were 18 registered subdivisions with a total of 1 038 lots; 736 lots were developed (Edm. Reg. Plan. Commis. 1983). Several of these subdivisions are incorporated into two summer villages, Silver Sands and South View, on the eastern end of the lake (Fig. 2).

Access to the lake is available at numerous municipal reserves that provide boat launches, parks, access points or walkways (Edm. Reg. Plan. Commis. 1983). Gainford Park day-use area, operated by the County of Parkland, provides picnic tables and a gravel boat launch. As well, there are two public campgrounds (Fig. 2). Gainford Campground, operated by Alberta Transportation and Utilities, is located on Highway 16, about 1 km west of Gainford; it has eight campsites, a picnic shelter, picnic tables and a water pump. The Kokomoko Recreation Area, which is owned by the County of Parkland, is located on the southern shore. Its facilities include 10 campsites, picnic tables and a gravel boat launch. There are also a number of church operated and commercially operated recreational facilities that have campgrounds and trailer parks with boat launching, swimming and picnicking facilities. Camp He-Ho-Ha on the southern shore is operated by the Alberta Rehabilitation Council for the Disabled; it provides outdoor recreation facilities for handicapped children. Swimming, boating and fishing are favoured recreational activities at Isle Lake. In posted areas of the lake boats may be prohibited or subject to a maximum speed of 12 km/hour (Alta. For. Ld. Wild. 1988).

A small proportion of the land adjacent to Isle Lake, and all of the islands in the lake, are Crown land (Fig. 2). Most of it is maintained in its natural state except for the portion containing Camp He-Ho-Ha (Edm. Reg. Plan. Commis. 1983). Two quarter sections south of Camp He-Ho-Ha were established as a Natural Area for recreation in 1971 and some trails have been developed there (Alta. For. Ld. Wild. 1987).

Isle Lake commonly has blooms of blue-green algae during summer, and aquatic vegetation grows extensively throughout much of the lake. Although low levels of dissolved oxygen sometimes cause summer and winter fish kills, northern pike and walleye support a popular sport fishery. All tributary streams to, and the outlet from, the lake are closed to fishing for a period in spring (Alta. For. Ld. Wild. 1989). The actual closing and opening dates may vary from year to year.

Physical Information
Area (km2)23.0
Max. Depth (m)7.5
Mean Depth (m)4.1
Dr. Basin Area (km2)246
Dam, WeirNone
Drainage BasinNorth Saskatchewan River Basin

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

Water Quality Information
Trophic StatusHyper-Eutrophic
TP x (µg/L)101
CHLORO x (µg/L)39.2
TDS x (mg/L)164

2.Drainage Basin Characteristics »

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