About the Swan River Watershed

About the Swan River Watershed

Inert watershed map here

The Swan River watershed sustains Swan River First Nation (hunting, fishing, trapping), provides important aquatic habitat for Alberta species at risk ( Arctic Graying, Grizzly), a diversity of upland vegetation that supports upland wildlife, forestry industry, oil and gas activity and recreation.

Land Use In the Swan 

  • Agricultural land (near LSL, Swan River valley)
  • Parks – 2.5% of sub-basin
  • Oil & gas –
  • Forestry -
  • Swan Hills waste treatment facility
  • Livestock Density: LOW RISK
  • Fish Populations:
    • 13 species
    • Low flows and non compliant crossings restrict fish populations in smaller drainages
  • Sediment contamination- approximately 538,000 tonnes/year
  • Water Allocation
    • Surface –4,317,185m3 - primarily for oilfield injection
    • Ground - minimal

Management Challenges

The land use activities in the Swan watershed over the past 40 years have caused negative impacts to the watershed including: sediment loading associated with road networks and resource extraction, fish habitat fragmentation due to non compliant stream crossings. 

Stream crossing stats here, or link to sub page


Water Quality

View the data collected on the Swan River by the LSWC and our partners from 2017-2020 on Mackenzie Data Stream. 

Find LSWC Water Quality Summary Reports HERE

Riparian Health 

The LSWC  worked with Walker Environmental and the Alberta Conservation Association to complete an aerial riparian health assessment on the mainstem of the Swan River as well as the Inverness and Moosehorn Rivers in 2010.  Overall riparian health is very good, with unhealthy scores found in the lower reaches of the swan and associated with land use practices and channel erosion. 

Download Summary Report

Water course crossing assessments that have been completed across the basin have more detailed, site specific information on riparian health and intactness at stream crossings.