Three more lakes surveyed in Columbia Basin
Three more lakes in the Upper Columbia Basin have been surveyed this summer through Living Lakes Canada’s Foreshore Inventory Management Planning (FIMP) program.
St. Mary’s Lake in the East Kootenay and Arrow Lakes and Trout Lake in the West Kootenay are the final lakes to be surveyed in the last year of the four-year Foreshore Inventory Mapping and Shoreline Development Guidance for Columbia Basin Species at Risk project.
“The Living Lakes Canada FIMP team is very grateful to wrap up the fourth and final year of this Upper Columbia Basin project with three priority lakes, all of which provide important habitat to an abundance of biodiversity. These surveys help to inform policies and management practices to protect critical lake habitats and as such build climate resilience,” said Georgia Peck, FIMP Program Manager.
Surveyed in late July by the FIMP team accompanied by Splatsin First Nation Technician Shannon Basil, Arrow Lakes was selected as a priority lake due to various development pressures, stakeholder interest, and the presence of White Sturgeon (Acipenser transmontanus), a species at risk.
Re-surveyed in mid-August, St. Mary’s Lake near Kimberley was selected also based on development pressures and stakeholder interest, and the presence of a species at risk: Westslope Cutthroat Trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii lewisi).
With additional support from the Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program, Trout Lake in the West Kootenay is being surveyed in late August for the first time. Trout Lake is an ecologically significant lake providing critical habitat to fish species such as Kokanee, Burbot, Bull and Rainbow Trout.
This project started in 2019, when Living Lakes Canada entered a four-year Contribution Agreement with Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Canada Nature Fund for Aquatic Species at Risk program. The project aimed to review and revise the federal methodology for FIMP then map (or re-map) 6 to 8 lakes in the Columbia Basin using the updated methodology, assessing the rate of change in ecological and urban development parameters.
Surveyed lakes to date also include:
- Lake Windermere
- Moyie Lake
- Whitetail Lake
- Whiteswan Lake
- Kootenay Lake
- Columbia Lake
- Slocan Lake
Results from the surveys are already informing changes to lake shoreline management decisions and policies. All FIMP reports are housed on the Columbia Basin Water Hub and are accessible by the public. Visit data.cbwaterhub.ca/group/foreshore.
“By managing and mitigating lake foreshore development activities, identifying sensitive habitats and making key habitat conservation recommendations, FIMP helps to protect the biodiversity of these lakes,” said Peck.
Lead image: St. Mary’s Lake, 16 km west of Kimberley. e-KNOW file photo
Living Lakes Canada