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Home » Lakes of the Atlas » Peace and Athabasca Region » Athabasca River Basin » Calling Lake

Calling Lake

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

1. Introduction

Map Sheets:83P
Location:Tp71-73 R21-23 W4
Lat/Long:55°15'N 113°19'W

Calling Lake is a large, attractive recreational lake noted for its sandy shoreline. It is located in Improvement District No. 17 (East) about 200 km north of the city of Edmonton. The town of Athabasca, 55 km to the south, is the closest large population centre, and the hamlet of Calling Lake is located on the lake's eastern shore. To drive to the lake from Edmonton, take Highway 2 north to Athabasca, then Secondary Road 813 north to the hamlet and Calling Lake Provincial Park (Fig. 1).

The lake's name is a translation of the Cree name, which refers to the loud noises heard when the lake freezes over and the ice breaks up (Geog. Bd. Can. 1928; Alta. Native Aff. 1986). The Calling Lake area has been inhabited for many thousands of years. Archeological digs near the lake have uncovered the tools and weapons of a band of hunter-gatherers who used the area as a relatively permanent base in about 6,000 B.C. (Athabasca Hist. Soc. et al. 1986). More recent inhabitants of the area were Woodland Cree, and early fur traders who sometimes caught their winter supply of fish in the lake (Finlay and Finlay 1987).

Members of the Bigstone Cree Indian Band live on St. Jean Baptiste Gambler Indian Reserve No. 183, located on the eastern shore of Calling Lake, and in the hamlet of Calling Lake (Alta. Native Aff. 1986). A 1986 census estimated the hamlet's population to be 408 permanent and 720 seasonal residents and the reserve's population to be 93 people (Calling L. Plan. Commit. et al. 1988).

Calling Lake Provincial Park was established in 1971 on 741 ha of land on the southern shore (Fig. 2). The park is open from May to September and has 25 campsites, flush toilets, tap water, a boat launch, a swimming area and a picnic area. Activities enjoyed by park visitors include swimming, fishing, camping, motor boating and canoeing. There is a narrow beach at the park and the lake bottom near shore is sandy. There are no boating restrictions over most of the lake, but in posted areas, either motor boats are restricted to speeds of 12 km/hour or less, or all boats are prohibited (Alta. For. Ld. Wild. 1988).

Recreational facilities within the hamlet of Calling Lake are limited to an undeveloped public beach near the Calling River (Fig. 2). A private sailing club is located between this beach and the provincial park.

The water in Calling Lake is quite transparent for most of the year, but turns green in midsummer. Aquatic vegetation grows sparsely along the northern shore, and the remainder of the shoreline is mostly unvegetated sand or a mixture of rocks and sand. The lake supports a small commercial fishery for lake whitefish. The main sport fish are northern pike, yellow perch and walleye. Brown trout were stocked from 1985 to 1987, but the success of the program was not known as of 1989. All tributary streams to, and the outlet from, Calling Lake are closed to sport fishing for a designated period during April and May each year (Alta. For. Ld. Wild. 1989).

Physical Information
Area (km2)138
Max. Depth (m)18.3
Mean Depth (m)N/A
Dr. Basin Area (km2)1090
Dam, WeirNone
Drainage BasinAthabasca River Basin

Recreational Information
Camp GroundPresent
Boat LaunchPresent
Sport FishBrown Trout, Walleye, Yellow Perch, Northern Pike, Lake Whitefish

Water Quality Information
Trophic StatusEutrophic
TP x (µg/L)50
CHLORO x (µg/L)19.1
TDS x (mg/L)99

2.Drainage Basin Characteristics »

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