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Home » Lakes of the Atlas » South Saskatchewan Region » Red Deer River Basin » Blood Indian Creek Reservoir

Blood Indian Creek Reservoir

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

1. Introduction

Map Sheets:72M/3, 6
Location:Tp26 R9 W4
Lat/Long:51°15'N 111°13'W

Blood Indian Creek Reservoir is a long, narrow impoundment that fills a creek valley in the arid, treeless plains of southeastern Alberta. In an area where one can travel through seemingly endless miles of dry grassland, this small reservoir provides a welcome and delightful oasis. To reach the north end of the reservoir from the town of Hanna, take Highway 9 east for 44 km to the village of Youngstown, then travel south on Secondary Road 884 for 29 km (Fig. 1). An alternate route approaches from the south, via the hamlet of Pollockville and Secondary Road 565. The reservoir is located in Special Area No. 3.

Blood Indian Creek Reservoir was named for the creek it impounds. The origin of the name may be for the Blood Indian tribe that travelled the area (Alta. Cult. Multicult. n.d.), or it may be for a battle between Blood and Blackfoot Indians in which the Bloods were defeated and the creek "flowed with their blood" (Holmgren and Holmgren 1976). In 1957, the Special Areas Board asked the Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration to construct a reservoir on Blood Indian Creek to provide water for stock downstream and for future irrigation of small plots adjacent to the creek (Can. Dept. Reg. Econ. Expansion 1978). The reservoir was built by the Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration in 1965 and turned over to the Special Areas Board in 1967.

The area around Blood Indian Creek Reservoir is in one of the driest regions in Canada. Precipitation is light and evaporation rates are double those of precipitation. Creeks run only in spring or after unusually heavy rainfall. Lakes are small and sparsely distributed, so any water body is eagerly sought out by local recreationists. However, Blood Indian Creek Reservoir is not only locally important. In 1982, more than half of the 6,500 people who visited the reservoir travelled more than 200 km to it. Once there, visitors stayed longer (2.7 days) than the average visit to the rest of Alberta's provincial parks (1.8 days) (DGK Plan. Assoc. Ltd. 1983). The main attraction is the remarkable rainbow trout fishery managed by Fish and Wildlife Division. Angler success is high and trout up to 1 kg are not uncommon. Fishing for bait fish and the use of bait fish are not permitted (Alta. For. Ld. Wild. 1989).

The Special Areas Board operates a park that surrounds the reservoir. It includes 150 random campsites, 3 boat launches, picnic tables and pump water (Fig. 2). The operation of power boats to tow persons on anything, including water skis and surf boards, is prohibited on the whole lake (Alta. For. Ld. Wild. 1988). Improvements to the park were made in the mid-1980s, including the addition of a small beach, sewage disposal facilities for recreational vehicles, improved roads, fish-cleaning facilities, and hundreds of newly planted trees.

The water is clear and free of algae but aquatic plants impede angling from the shore in some areas. Although Blood Indian Creek Reservoir is best known for its excellent trout fishery, it is also a very pretty place to stay. Visitors can explore an unplowed, arid, short-grass prairie area that is typical of southern Alberta but very different from the foothill and mountain areas that are most often thought of as representative of this province.

Physical Information
Area (km2)1.03
Max. Depth (m)13.3
Mean Depth (m)4.6
Dr. Basin Area (km2)116
Dam, WeirDam
Drainage BasinRed Deer River Basin

Recreational Information
Camp GroundPresent
Boat LaunchPresent
Sport FishRainbow Trout

Water Quality Information
Trophic StatusEutrophic
TP x (µg/L)366
CHLORO x (µg/L)19.8
TDS x (mg/L)1651

2.Drainage Basin Characteristics »

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