The Level of Sylvan Lake Today Is…….

Click here to view the level of Sylvan Lake and the trend as evaporation takes over after July 1.

Lake level data are logged continuously and reported on that Alberta Environment web page.

Can you calculate how much water is lost daily at this time of year?



Belterra Land Company Develops The Slopes Project in the Sylvan Lake Watershed

The Calgary Herald recently published two articles on The Slopes land development project that is located just north of the east end of Birchcliff summer village:

$40-million residential development launched in Sylvan Lake

New Sylvan Lake project offers mix of housing types for buyers of all sorts

If the marketplace reacts positively to the promotional campaign then the SLWSS will keep a close watch on the impact of the development on the water quality of Sylvan Lake.

The Slopes project plan for management of storm water that might discharge into Sylvan Lake is included in the The Slopes Concept Plan 2011Click here for the extracted storm water management proposal and map. Note that runoff from The Slopes will be released to Sylvan Lake through existing drainage over the Birchcliff Summer Village.

Evidence from around the world shows that increasing population density around small enclosed bodies of water tends to cause excess nutrient contamination and that enhances the risk of chronic blue-green algae blooms.

“Green Is the Colour” is great as the Saskatchewan Roughrider theme song, but not as a label for another Alberta recreational lake.


Lacombe County takes the lead to educate boaters about invasive species

Please click on this link for this full article by Steve Dills published in the Sylvan Lake News:

Prevention of aquatic invasive species goal of education blitz at Sunbreaker

Editor Steve describes the public information event as follows:

Boaters launching from Sunbreaker Cove next Friday, Aug. 1, will have a chance to learn more about the danger of invasive species to Sylvan Lake.

Aquatic invasive species (AIS) such as Eurasian Watermilfoil, Quagga or Zebra Mussels, which, if introduced to Alberta lakes, can cause extreme damage, will be the target of an education blitz.

Lacombe County and Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development (AESRD) are hosting the event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.



Blue-Green Algae in the News

Read this editorial by Sylvan Lake News’ Steve Dills:

Warm weather, rising water temperatures perfect for blue-green mess

The Edmonton Journal has been on top of blue-green algae stories too:

Blue-green algae back at Pigeon Lake, Coal Lake too

Five things to know about blue-green algae

Lake health warnings now a rite of summer

Want to keep your favourite Alberta lake pristine? You’ve got to do something yourself

County organizes to protect its lakes

The Sylvan Lake Watershed Stewardship Society, in partnership with Alberta Environment and Sustainable Development and the member municipalities of the Sylvan Lake Management Committee, is monitoring the plant nutrient content in runoff in two tributaries that discharge into Sylvan Lake. In addition, the Alberta Lake Management Society’s LakeWatch team is sampling the lake water three times this summer to determine if the threat from blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) has changed.

Sylvan Lake acts like a bathtub for the watershed basin so everyone should be aware of activities that might release contaminants into the lake in storm water drainage from urban and agricultural land.


Empowering Municipalities for Environmental Management

This text is extracted from the Environmental Law Centre’s website;


It is the ELC’s view that municipalities have the potential to play a pivotal role in environmental management and protection in Alberta. Municipalities have the authority to control and regulate many private land uses. As well, municipalities have the responsibility for engaging in local land use planning through the use of statutory plans (for example municipal development plans and area structure plans) and land use by-laws. The ELC would like to see environmental management and protection as a priority in the activities of municipalities.

By way of summary, our recommendations fall into five broad areas:

  1. Protection and management of the environment is a valid municipal planning purpose and, as such, should be expressly recognized in the MGA.
  2. The MGA should incorporate by-law purposes specific to protection and management of the environment.
  3. The MGA should expand the enforcement tools available to municipalities for the purposes of environmental protection and management.
  4. The MGA should expand the revenue generation options available to municipalities to enable environmental stewardship and, particularly, land conservation.
  5. The MGA should enhance opportunities for public participation in municipal planning processes.

Click here to read the full set of recommendations.



Blue-Green Algae in Lakes. Advisories for 2014.

Alberta Health advisories are posted here:

Central Zone advisories on 2014-07-12 are:

Click here for Inactive Central Zone Health Advisories




Living By Water Project 2014

Living By Water 2014


Show off your lake stewardship commitment to your neighbours.

Display this SLWSS yard sign after you complete your Home Consultation.


Watershed Steward Sign

Quiet Enjoyment Initiative – Proposed Noise Bylaw Motion

Click here to see the text of the motion proposed to the Sylvan Lake Management Committee.



Sylvan Lake’s Quiet Enjoyment Initiative

People who live in or visit the Sylvan Lake watershed are entitled to enjoy it. The law says so. However, a few disrespectful guests choose to emit excessive levels of noise that adversely affect the recreational lake environment.

That’s where the Quiet Enjoyment Initiative (QEI) team of the SLWSS comes in. Led by subcommittee chairman Kent Lyle, dedicated members have analyzed the noise pollution situation in the watershed, classified the main noise sources, considered community standards for noise emissions, and are now ready to introduce an action plan for adoption by watershed municipalities.

More than a decade ago member municipalities of the Sylvan Lake Management Plan Committee agreed that “Each municipality will adopt a by-law restricting the use of municipally owned land for the launching of boats without proper noise abatement mechanisms and such other by-laws as may be appropriate to eliminate one major source of noise pollution on the lake.” 

Since then powerboat technology has changed. Engine horsepower has increased with wake-boarding popularity. Sometimes mufflers are illegally bypassed. On-board sound systems can now command the attention of the whole watershed, even without an invitation to do so. Sounds like to travel long distances over water in summer and snow and ice in winter.

Noise levels are increasing everywhere. Sylvan Lake is not unique. Some lake communities already regulate their environments for the benefit of all. See the municipal bylaws that are enforced in BC.

BC Signs

 Signs posted at BC lakes.

According to the QEI team’s analysis these are the main sources of noise on or over Sylvan Lake, in order of overall negative impact on the environment and on the lake’s recreational users:

Powerboats that emit exhaust above the water line;

Loud music originating from any private or commercial boat;

Personal Watercraft (PWCs);

Quads, snow machines, ATVs, motorcycles & dirt bikes;

Aircraft (small planes, float planes, helicopters & water bombers).

The QEI team has worked closely with the Environmental Law Centre to understand the municipal laws and regulations for control of noise emissions. To view the legal research on “Municipal Powers to Address Noise from Recreational Use of Sylvan Lake, AB” by ELC staff council Adam Driedzic, click here.






The Central Alberta Recreational Lakes Initiative

Representatives of the Central Alberta Recreational Lakes (CARL) and many supporting organizations have an exclusive club that meets annually to discuss the status of local environments and to learn about issues that affect lake and watershed health.

For an introduction to CARL, see this website that is maintained by Alberta’s Environment and Sustainable Resources Development department staff. It includes links to lake stewardship groups, laws and regulations, and key stewardship organizations that work towards maintaining and protecting lake and watershed health.

Several fact sheets are posted on topics that are important to CARL members, lake residents and watershed visitors.

The latest meeting held at the Pine Lake Hub Centre on May 14 was focused on these topics of ongoing interest to members and their lakes as outlines in the agenda below. The slides for the SLWSS president’s report for Sylvan Lake are posted here.

Agenda 2014





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