Watershed Society Reviews Another Sylvan Lake Access Study

Anyone who boats on Sylvan Lake in power, sail or paddle craft knows that access is not easy. One municipal ramp and two private facilities, together with limitations on trailer parking, are bottlenecks for boaters. Unimproved range roads that extend to the lake shore are alternatives when dry but are damaged by heavy vehicles when wet. Application of a ramp launch fee further aggravates the situation.

A decade after the first 2003 lake access study was completed, a second attempt to identify suitable boat launch sites has just been completed. The Society has contributed these comments on the report “Sylvan Lake Boat Launch Access Strategy and Action Plan for Recreational Lake Access” for the record.

Briefly, the steep topography of much of the lake shoreline, the typically shallow near-shore bottom contour of the lake, the environmentally sensitive areas that should be out-of-bounds to boat traffic, and the private and government occupancy of the lake shore means that just one site might be feasible along its 35 km of length. Sylvan Lake’s geological history has effectively blocked boat launches.

Bathymetry.v3

Sylvan Lake’s topography is not boat-launch friendly

Central Alberta Recreational Lake without public access is quite inconvenient. Could the lake environment be sending us a message?

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