The big lake is constantly changing

Lesser Slave Lake isn’t going anywhere. But (to put a finer point on it), it is constantly in a state of flux, pushing at its boundaries, while at the same time getting filled up with silt. So it isn’t going anywhere, but it isn’t exactly sitting still either.

Last summer, plenty of both of those things were going on, one contributing to the other. We’ve seen no figures, but would guess at least tens of thousands of cubic metres of silt gets deposited in the lake each year. So if the basin is filling with this stuff, it should be pushing the water higher. In high water years – 2020 was a good example – when the wind blows, shoreline disappears. Notable examples of this last year were Spruce Point Park, which lost a few lakeside campsites, and the Slave Lake Airport, whose property runs right out to the lakeshore. If it continues, the ability of the airport to operate could be in jeopardy.

Meanwhile, river and creek deltas keep growing. They’ve been doing it for centuries, and there’s no reason at all to think that the Swan River delta, for example, isn’t going to keep pushing its way out into the lake, making the narrows even narrower.

So the lake isn’t going anywhere, but it is changing, and we’re going to have to deal with it. That probably means big expenditure on a ‘sea wall’ of some kind to protect the airport and adjacent lands.

Share this post

Post Comment