WHITEWATER LAKE MANITOBA

HOME     HISTORY      BIRD SPECIES      EXPLORE      CONTACTS      


CONSERVATION ACHIEVED

Wildlife Management Area

The majority of Whitewater Lake has been designated a Wildlife Management Area (WMA) and is protected from mining, logging and hydro-electric development. The center portion of Whitewater Lake has partial protection from logging and hydro-electric development but is not protected from oil and gas development. The Whitewater Lake WMA was established in 1972 and includes the lands covered by the waters of Whitewater Lake. In 1997 the WMA boundary was expanded to include most of the adjoining Crown Lands and area where the lake meets private lands. The WMA boundary was set at the Ordinary High Water Mark as surveyed in 1983. The WMA is defined by a Director of Surveys Plan No. 19675A. The WMA includes the managed marsh unit at the eastern side of the lake as well as Crown Lands surrounding the lake. The WMA is protected under regulations to the standards of the Protected Areas Initiative in all sectors except petroleum.

Ducks Unlimited Habitat Restoration Project

In 1989, after six years of planning, Ducks Unlimited began a $2 million dollar project to enhance the marsh area at the east end of the lake. Funding for this project came from the North American Waterfowl Management Plan and Ducks Unlimited while Manitoba Conservation provided nearly 800 hectares of its WMA for the project. Cooperation was also secured from local landowners, Manitoba Wildlife Foundation Inc., Turtle Mountain Conservation District, and the Rural Municipality of Morton.

Ducks Unlimited completed construction of two wetland cells in 1997. Eight miles of dyke protect the marsh cells with an area of 900 hectares. The dykes serve two purposes (1) to hold fresh runoff water in the marsh cells and (2) to keep out saline lake water. The amount of water entering and leaving the marsh cells and backflood area is regulated by eleven water control structures. Runoff water is held temporarily in the backflood area and then released into the lake. This water management technique stimulates the growth of native Whitetop grass which provides rich feeding area and secure site for nesting birds and other wildlife early in the season, and a valuable hay crop for local farmers in the late summer.

Wildlife Observation Area

In the southeast end of Whitewater Lake, Manitoba Conservation has developed a public access area which includes a wildlife observation area compete with a viewing mound and a boardwalk system. From this area, opportunities exist to walk, canoe, hike or cycle the dike system surrounding the managed wetland cells. Access to the area is maintained by the Turtle Mountain Conservation District and is open to the public at no cost. The area is wheelchair accessible and has parking for cars or buses.

Heritage Marsh

Whitewater Lake is a candidate of Manitoba Heritage Marsh based upon the following elements.

- Approximately 12,000 hectares in southwest Manitoba, 90% of which is Crown Land.
- Major migration stop for Sandhill Cranes, Snow Geese, Tundra Swans and shorebirds.
- Possibly the highest concentration of Tundra Swans anywhere in Manitoba in the fall.
- Up to 10,000 White-fronted Geese observed in the fall.
- Nesting colony of terns.
- Whitetailed Deer use the marsh fringe in mid-winter.
- Exceptional muskrat production in years of good water.

HISTORY
IBA PROGRAM
GOALS
THREATS
SITE INFORMATION
OTHER ELEMENTS
OWNERSHIP & LAND USE
CONSERVATION ACHIEVED

         Whitewater Lake, Manitoba, Canada - Important Bird Area


HOME
IBA PROGRAM
THREATS
OTHER ELEMENTS
CONSERVATION ACHEIVED
EXPLORE
HUNTING
CONTACTS

HISTORY
GOALS
SITE INFORMATION
OWNERSHIP AND LAND USE
BIRD SPECIES
BIRD TOURS
MAPS

Manitoba Department of Conservation
Regional Wildlife Manager
1129 Queens Avenue, Brandon, MB, R7A 1L9
204.726.6450
daniel.chranowski@gov.mb.ca

Web Design by the Boissevain Recorder