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Muir Lake - 2004 To 2010


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...I just thought that I would post a couple of pictures of Muir lake from 2004 to 2010...I tried to key in on one piece of landscape item so the lake levels can be used for the comparisons...If any one else has any photos for comparisons, you are more than welcome to post them here...


... this picture was taken in October 2004...the item I focused on is the three stumps sticking out of the water...have a look in the next couple of pictures, you can really see the difference...


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Paul very interesting. It just shows how bad our summers have been and what its doing to our lakes.


Also would be interesting to know what its doing to the fishery in the lake as it wasn't very deep to start with. It looks like its down at least 3 to 4 ft.


Again great reporting Paul in showing the extent of water shortage in Muir


Tight lines Always

Dennis S

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I have to ask where is the water going? I have been in different parts of the Provence where the water level is not down. Are the oil companies pumping down wells? It seems to me that we had lots of rain this year>

My suspicion is that the bulk of the water has not 'gone'. Rather I suspect that none of the water that was entering the lake via drainage is doing so now. Continued development and drainage around the lake has likely diverted the bulk of the water that would have refilled evaporated water into local drains.


Sad in either case.



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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks Paul,

Long time no see at the club (not that I have been that good myself). Now, I do not have pictures or written records, but from memory most of the potholes/lakes I have been fishing at least once a year have been going down significantly over the last years (in some cases ten). Three to four feet seems to be the norm in several places. These include: Hasse, Muir, Cardiff, Mink, East Pit. While for Muir development adds to the problem it is likely not the only culprit. Devil's L. is the only one that comes to mind that has no water level problems because it is part of the Sturgeon R. (I think). Dolberg L. looks pretty steady, again because it is connected. Incidentally, of all these waters, Dolberg has got the most undisturbed land around (except for grazing).

A quick look through the Atlas of Alberta Lakes published by the U of A (I think we have a copy in the library) shows that such variations are not unusual/impossible. Take Hasse L. for example: historical records for 1968-1987 show a variance in water levels of about 1.5m, or close to five feet. Over a similar period, Spring L. shows a variation of about 1m with some high water back in the 1940s. These are the only waters I am somewhat familiar with that are included in the atlas, you guys will probably find much more that overlaps with your own experience.

If you look at what the birding crowd is doing, they seem to be affected similarly by very low water levels and I wonder if they have precise records for their usual spots.

My understanding is that we live in a rather arid part of the world and that recent records that have been used to establish "normal levels" of precipitation are somewhat biased upwards. Thus, the very dry stretch over the last ten years is not that unusual/unexpected. The problem here is that one cloudy year does not mean much in climate terms. I have not followed the numbers this year but it seems we did not get much more than normal. The rain started late and we had more slow and steady rather than the usual thunderstorms. The elm trees on my street looked like they were going to sacrifice a few branches, the leaves did not fully develop in the spring at the top. Only later in the summer, after some significant rain, did these leaves revive to some extent.

This brings me to the final point. We discussed a bit the issue of a home water and land use came up as important. We need to think both land use and general water level issues unrelated to land use. We can aerate but we cannot fill up lakes with water.


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