Since 2007 we've been working to provide a full picture of the dynamic environments that make up our Watershed.
Water Quality Monitoring
10 times a year we head out to the various tributary river of Lesser Slave Lake. We collect samples and analyze them for organic and inorganic compounds, metals and bacteria.
We start after the spring melt, and are out until the fall freeze up, approximately from April to October. Having current data helps inform land management decisions for us & local governments, and to make better assessments on the health of our Lake and rivers.
Download the Aquality Environmental Tributary Water Quality report HERE
Aerial Riparian Assessments
Much of the land in our watershed is not easily accessible. We worked with the Alberta Conservation Association and contractor George Walker to fly and video record the Shoreline of Lesser Slave Lake, the South Heart River and part of the West Prairie River, as well as the Swan river and its two main tributaries, the Moosehorn and the Inverness Rivers.
Footage was captured by helicopter during the summer. The videos were analyzed and the riparian area or shorelines were assessed and scored. The health score that the riparian area receives is based on vegetation cover, land use and other factors. The final products included a video with a live commentary during flight, a series of maps showing the health score in green, yellow or red, and a summary report. *videos can be viewed at the LSWC office.
Download Reports here:
- Swan River Aerial Assessment Final Report(2011)
- South Heart & West Prairie River Final Report (2009)
- Lesser Slave Lake Shoreline – final report (2007)
Lesser Slave River Hydraulic Surveying and 2D modeling
River 2D modeling can tell us how much water needs to be flowing in the rivers to protect fish habitat, and meet the needs of all of the downstream water license holders. We modelled sections of the Lesser Slave River as recommended by a Instream Flow Needs scoping study. Data from these models was used to determine the Instream Flow Needs value for the Lesser Slave River, and critical fish habitat areas. The data set showing habitat types, locations, and other information is housed in the Government of Alberta database for use in future projects.
Click the below links to access a PDF version of the final survey reports:
- Segment 1 ice and open water report
- Segment 2 open water report
- Segment 2 ice covered report
- Segment 3 open and ice covered report
Swan River Channel surveys
In the fall of 2008, sections of the Swan River were surveyed to compare surveys from the 1980’s. The goal of this project is to determine whether or not the banks of the river have started to stabilize after regulatory river cutoffs were made to control flooding of agricultural land. The summary report is available here.
Hydraulic and Hydrologic Watershed Model
The LSWC hired consultants to develop an integrated hydrologic-hydraulic watershed model. The watershed model will ultimately be used to establish the historical hydrologic and hydraulic responses of the entire basin under natural and existing regulated conditions, and to assess various lake water management scenarios. The model is currently housed within the Government of Alberta computer systems.
If you are interested in learning more about this model and how it works please download this powerpoint presentation about the different models.
Buffalo Bay Bathymetry
Concern that sediment transport from the tributary streams is filling this area prompted us to survey the area and compare results to a 1983 survey to determine how sedimentation is impacting the area.