The Swan River Watershed Initiative is an informal collaboration between industry, governments, Swan River First Nation, NGO's and the Lesser Slave Watershed Council. The Swan River Watershed is part of the traditional territory of Swan River First Nation. In addition to traditional Indigenous land-based practices, it provides habitat for many species of plants and animals including Grizzly Bears and Arctic Grayling. The LSWC is supporting stewardship efforts in the Swan River watershed by industry, government and Indigenous communities.

The ongoing stewardship efforts in the Swan River watershed were recommended in the Lesser Slave Integrated Watershed Management Plan, and the LSWC is proud to support the incredible work being done there. Many people have an interest in the Swan River watershed, including communities, governments, industry, non-government agencies. The LSWC recognizes a need for focused communication and collaboration between the many stakeholders involved, and supports on-the ground work and collaboration whenever possible. 


Water Quality Monitoring

The LSWC has a water quality monitoring program on tributary rivers across the watershed. Swan River First Nation has contributed funding to support additional water quality measurements throughout the field season. Their support allows us to sample for metals across sites on the Swan River.

Culvert Crossing Remediation

Culverts are used to cross various waterways, and hanging culverts are those that hover, or hang above a stream. To protect our aquatic ecosystems, stream crossing assessments are being undertaken in the Swan River Watershed. Hanging culverts are being identified and corrected where possible.

eDNA & Fish Tissue Sampling

Swan River First Nation has begun to survey fish in the area, to monitor the health of fish populations. Their monitoring allows for both the detection of various species within the watershed and to assess the levels of potential contaminants in the fish.

Protecting Arctic Grayling Habitat

Arctic Grayling are a species at risk in Alberta. The Lesser Slave Watershed is the southern most reach of their habitat, and they can be found in the Swan River. Protecting their habitat also means protecting community water sources, and traditional Indigenous practices on the land.


Click the Links below to find more:

Arctic Grayling- Swimming upstream in the Swan River

Collaborators with the Swan River Watershed Initiative were joined by Michael Short of the Let's Go Outdoors YouTube Channel, watch this to learn more about the work being done on and around the Swan River.

State of the Swan River Watershed

Find resources and information on the health of the Swan River watershed. 

Arctic Grayling

This sensitive species is an indicator of overall watershed health, and in decline. Learn more about Arctic Grayling in the Swan River basin. 

Swan River Watershed Initiative collaborators

There are many stakeholders involved in land and watershed management. Learn more about the SWRI collaborators and partners. 

October 2020 Fall Forum

In October 2020 the LSWC hosted and facilitated a 3 part online forum that brought stakeholders together to share and learn about projects and initiatives already in progress. The Swan River Watershed Initiative, born form this workshop series, aims to support collaboration and partnership. 

Information and Resources 

Find resources on stream crossings, habitat stewardship, forest management, Provincial Legislation and more.