Moose Lake Watershed Society (MLWS)

Moose Lake Watershed Society (MLWS)

The Moose Lake Watershed Society (MLWS) is a watershed stewardship group founded by LARA in 2002. It began as the Moose Lake Water for Life Committee, and became a society in 2008. Made up of volunteers, the committee was formed to address the health of Moose Lake, increase public awareness of issues plaguing the lake, improve overall water quality, and enhance fish and wildlife habitat.

Read more about the history and work of the MLWS

In 2014, funding received through the Community Initiative Program for water quality testing in the tributaries covered the cost of conducting a Riparian Health Inventory (RHI). The RHI Summary Final Report for the Moose Lake Tributaries Project Area is available to read here.

In 2015, the Society’s largest accomplishment came in the completion of the Moose Lake Handbook. The Handbook includes a history, watershed facts, and tips on management to ensure the lake will last for generations to come.

Thanks to a partnership with Alberta Parks and the Beaver River Watershed Alliance, signs were installed along the tributary in 2015.

In 2017, MLWS received grant funding through the Alberta Lake Management Society LakeWatch Program to complete 4 sets of tributary samples and a the second year of independent basin sampling in the lake. For the results of the 2016 basin sampling, 2017 basin sampling, or the LakeWatch results, visit the ALMS website.

As of 2021, work on the Island Bay Park Proposal is still underway. The proposal concerns thirteen sections of land, including the island, in the southwest portion of Moose Lake. The area is very sensitive and integral for fish spawning habitat; it acts as a filter for Moose Lake, improving water quality.

Island Bay also contains a unique dry pine forest, an important habitat for wildlife and home to many species of lichen.

Currently, the area is used for many different activities such as oil and gas leases, grazing leases, youth camps, campgrounds, and recreational trails. The MLWS Executive met with the Alberta Assistant Deputy Minister of Tourism, Parks and Recreation (back in 2014) to discuss the Island Bay Park proposal. Since then the proposal has been with the Government so they could integrate it into the revision of the Lower Athabasca Regional Plan. The plan still needs to go to public consultation.

In 2018, the MLWS completed the production of our Walking with Moose board game.The game is part of the annual Walking with Moose Grade 5 Education Program run in local area schools. Walking with Moose allows grade five students to learn about the ecosystem of Moose Lake (or Cold Lake depending on the school), biodiversity, healthy shorelines, and forest ecology. Students spend half a day collecting animals and organisms to later study in class, identify, and return to their habitat.  Students learn about water quality, wetlands, and larger wildlife species that live along the shore of Moose Lake.

The second half of the day is spent on guided walks through the forest to give the students an opportunity to learn about signs of wildlife, how to identify plants like lichens and dwarf mistletoe, and how to identify possible threats to the forest ecosystem like pine beetle, fire, and human impacts.

Roughly 400 students participate in the program every year.

Learn more about Moose Lake:

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