Kootenay Lake: Difference between revisions

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{{Infobox lake
| lake_name = Kootenay Lake<ref name=museum>{{cite web |url=http://www.virtualmuseum.ca/Exhibitions/Hydro/en/stories/rivers.php, |publisher= [[Virtual Museum of Canada|Virtual Museum]], |title= Balance of Power, Hydroelectric Development in Southeastern BC, Kootenay Lake, Retrieved |accessdate=February 15, 2011.}}</ref>
| image_lake = Kootenaylakemap.png
| caption_lake = Map of Kootenay Lake, British Columbia
}}
'''Kootenay Lake''' is a [[lake]] located in [[British Columbia]], [[Canada]] and is part of the
[[Kootenay River]]. The lake has been raised by the [[Corra Linn Dam]] and has a dike system at the southern end, which, along with industry in the 1950s-70s, has changed the ecosystem in and around the water. Kootenay Lake has a year round toll-free ferry that crosses between [[Kootenay Bay, British Columbia|Kootenay Bay]] and [[Balfour, British Columbia|Balfour]], and is a popular summer tourist destination.<ref>[{{cite web|url=http://wldb.ilec.or.jp/Lake.asp?LakeID=NAM-25 |title=International Lake Environment Committee, Promoting Sustainable Management of the World's Lakes and Reservoirs, KOOTENAY LAKE, February 15, 2011 |publisher=Wldb.]ilec.or.jp |date= |accessdate=2013-05-02}}</ref>
 
== Geography ==
Kootenay Lake is a long, narrow and deep [[fjord]]-like lake located between the [[Selkirk Mountains|Selkirk]] and [[Purcell Mountains|Purcell]] [[mountain range]]s in the [[Kootenays|Kootenay]] region of British Columbia.<ref name=geography/><ref name=lake/> It is one of the largest lakes in British Columbia, at 104&nbsp;km in length and 3–5&nbsp;km in width.<ref name=museum/> It is, in part, a widening of the [[Kootenay River]], which in turn drains into the [[Columbia River]] system at [[Castlegar, British Columbia]].<ref name=museum/>
 
Although oriented primarily in a north-south configuration, a western arm positioned roughly halfway up the length of the lake stretches 35&nbsp;km to the City of [[Nelson, British Columbia|Nelson]].<ref>[{{cite web|url=http://www.britishcolumbia.com/regions/towns/?townID=4108 |title=Kootenay Lake, British Columbia, Canada<!-- Bot|publisher=Britishcolumbia.com generated title|date= |accessdate=2013-05->]02}}</ref> The lake is 532m above sea level,<ref name=museum/> with the adjacent mountains rising up to a maximum of approximately 2700m.<ref name=geography/> The average residence for water in the lake is 1.5 years, although the west arm has a much faster rate of water replacement; about 3–4 days.<ref name=geography>[http://kootenay-lake.ca/geography/numbers/, Kootenay Lake, Retrieved February 15, 2011.]</ref>
 
[[Image:Kokanee Creek Prov Park2 BC Rockies Px.jpg|thumb|left|250px|Beach at Kokanee Creek Provincial Park]]
Kootenay Lake was formed through river [[erosion]] and, later, [[glaciation]]. The erosion began during the late [[Cretaceous]] until ice filled the resulting valley in the [[Pleistocene]].<ref name=lake/> When the valley was filled with ice, [[glaciers]] from the mountains (the Selkirks and Purcells) fed the valley's ice mass. The glacier that occupied what is now the west arm of Kootenay Lake flowed into the Kootenay ice mass. As the ice melted from this glacier, drainage flowed over an area near what is now Nelson, causing the west arm of the lake to drain toward the west. A large [[moraine]] formed near what is now the large bend in the Kootenay River near [[Libby, Montana]]. As ice melted, a lake formed behind the moraine and drained southward over top of it. The southerly drainage over the moraine eventually stopped and the Kootenay River began to follow its present course.<ref name=lake/>
 
== History ==
 
Kootenay Lake is part of the traditional territory of the [[Sinixt]] and [[Ktunaxa]] peoples.<ref>[{{cite web|url=http://www.vancouverisland.com/regions/towns/?townid=4108, |title=Vancouver Island, Kootenay Lake, Kootenays, BC, Retrieved February 15, 2011 |publisher=Vancouverisland.]com |date= |accessdate=2013-05-02}}</ref> These native populations used the lake and associated river systems as part of their seasonal migration and trading routes.<ref name=lake>[[http://www.ilec.or.jp/database/nam/nam-25.html, International Lake Environment Committee, Promoting Sustainable Management of the World's Lakes and Reservoirs, KOOTENAY LAKE, Retrieved February 15, 2011.]]</ref>
 
In 1958 the [[Kootenay Lake Crossing]], an [[Electric power transmission|electrical power line]], was built, running across the north arm of Kootenay Lake. It was destroyed in 1962 by protestors and rebuilt later that year.<ref>[http://www.fortisbc.com/about_fortisbc/company/history.html, Fortis BC, Retrieved February 15, 2011.]{{dead link|date=May 2013}}</ref>
 
The lake originally [[Tide|tidally]] and seasonally [[flood]]ed an approximately 80&nbsp;km long [[marsh]] lying to the lake's south within the [[Creston Valley]]. However, this has now been [[dike (construction)|diked]] and converted to commercial [[agriculture]]. A smaller wetland area has been protected in this area.
 
In 1931, [[Corra Linn Dam]] was built at the mouth of Kootenay Lake, where it once again became a river.<ref>[http://archive.ilmb.gov.bc.ca/bcgn-bin/bcg10?name=51921, BC geographical names, Corra Linn Dam, Retrieved February 15, 2011.]</ref> Just down river was [[Kootenay_RiverKootenay River#The_FallsThe Falls|Bonnington Falls]], today the site of several [[hydroelectric dams]]. In 2003 the lake discharged 16.9 million cubic kilometres of water. High water for that year was a normal 533 metres, the record is 537 metres in 1961.<ref>http://www.ijc.org/rel/boards/Kootenay_Lake/klbc_2003_annual_report.pdf</ref> In 1967 as part of the [[Columbia River Treaty]] the [[Duncan Dam]] was constructed above Kootenay Lake on the [[Duncan River]], creating a 7,145 hectare reservoir for flood control.<ref name=cominco/> Also part of the treaty [[Libby Dam]] in Montana, was completed in 1975.
 
== Fauna ==
There are seven species of fish in Kootenay Lake: [[Salmo gairdneri|Rainbow Trout]] (Gerrard), [[Salvelinus confluentus|Bull Trout]], [[Lota lota|Burbot]], [[Prosopium williamsoni|Mountain Whitefish]], [[Acipenser transmontanus|White Sturgeon]], [[Salvelinus fontinalis|Brook Trout]], [[Micropterus salmoides|Largemouth Bass]], [[Perca flavescens|Yellow Perch]] and [[Sockeye salmon|Kokanee Salmon]].<ref name=lake/>
 
There was a large decrease in the numbers of Kokanee in the west arm of the lake in the late 1970s. The salmon fishery was closed in 1980 and remains closed as of 2011. The reason for the decline is not known; possibilities include reduced numbers of [[Mysis relicta]] (which had been introduced as a food source for the Kokanee in 1949)<ref name=cominco/><ref name=flyfish>[http://www.fly-fish-bc.com/FFBC%20Lakes/Kootenay%20Lake%20Karma.html, Fly Fish BC, Kootenay Lake Karma, Retrieved February 15, 2011.]</ref> into the west arm due to the increased control of water levels, the disruption of rearing habitat due to recurring [[Drawdown (hydrology)|drawdown]] of the lake, reduced productivity of [[benthos]] due to the reduction of the amount of nutrients into the lake (after the close of the fertilizer plant), overfishing in the 1960s to 1970s<ref name=lake/> or competition between the Mysis relicta and immature fish.<ref name=flyfish/> In 1990 the lake's southern Kokanee stocks neared extinction, and an experimental fertilizing program was started, with some success.<ref name=museum>[http://www.livinglandscapes.bc.ca/cbasin/history/aquaticresearch-management.htm, Royal BC Museum, Retrieved February 15, 2011.]</ref><ref name=cominco/>
 
==Human use and impact==
=== Settlements ===
[[Image:Ainsworth.gif|thumb|300px|right|North arm of Kootenay Lake as seen from the village of Ainsworth around 1890.]]
 
Approximately 19,700 people live within 2.5&nbsp;km of the Kootenay Lake shore; about 14,300 of those live in the City of [[Nelson, British Columbia|Nelson]].<ref name=geography/> The remaining are scattered among a number of small towns and villages:
[[Image:Ainsworth.gif|thumb|300px|right|North arm of Kootenay Lake as seen from the village of Ainsworth around 1890.]]
*[[Boswell, British Columbia]]
*[[Crawford Bay, British Columbia]]
=== Pollution ===
 
Water quality in the lake was negatively affected when the [[Cominco]] phosphate fertilizer plant on the Kootenay River at [[Kimberley, British Columbia|Kimberley]] opened in 1953.<ref name=cominco>[http://www.fwcp.ca/version2/about/background.php, Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program, Background and History, Retrieved February 15, 2011.]</ref> Large quantities of [[phosphorus]] entered the Kootenay River; the cause of [[cyanobacteria]]l blooms from the 1950s until the early 1970s. Attempts to limit pollution, the closure of the plant (in 1973),<ref name=cominco/> and construction of the [[Libby Dam]] on the [[Kootenai River]] in [[Montana]] combined to reduce phosphorus levels in the lake from the recorded highs.<ref name=lake/>
 
=== Ferry ===
[[Image:KootenayLakeFreeFerry.jpg|thumb|280px|right|One of the ferries operating on Kootenay Lake; ''The Osprey''.]]
 
The lake is crossed by the [[Kootenay Lake Ferry]], a toll-free vehicular ferry operating between Balfour and Kootenay Bay. The ferry operates two boats in the summer and one during the winter.<ref>[{{cite web|url=http://www.th.gov.bc.ca/marine/ferry_schedules.htm, |title=Ministry of Transportation Inland Ferry Schedules, Kootenay Lake Ferry, Retrieved February 15, 2011 |publisher=Th.]gov.bc.ca |date=2013-04-23 |accessdate=2013-05-02}}</ref>
 
==See also==
{{Portal|British Columbia}}
*[[Glass House (British Columbia)]]
*[[Duncan River]]
*[[Glass House (British Columbia)]]
 
=== Steamboats ===
 
==External links==
{{commonscat}}
* [{{Official|http://kootenay-lake.ca/ Kootenay Lake]}}
* [http://www.britishcolumbia.com/regions/towns/?townID=4108 More on Kootenay Lake]