There’s little to no algae at Pigeon Lake this year thanks to efforts from advocacy groups in the area. The Pigeon Lake Renewal League held several shore clean-ups to help mitigate the blue-green algae and its goal is to improve the lake for the long term. This photo shows some of the pollutants gathered from the lake shores in a recent clean-up campaign.

Pigeon Lake with little to no algae for 2016 summer

Last year Pigeon Lake was overcome with algae that made recreation in the area all but impossible; this year you can see to the bottom.

Last year Pigeon Lake was overcome with algae that made recreation in the area all but impossible; this year it’s so clear you can see to the bottom of the lake in most areas.

Nobody really knows why the lake is clear of the blue-green algae that created unpleasant odours and covered the lake shores last year, explained Ian Rawlinson, chairperson of the Pigeon Lake Renewal League, one of several resident-run groups trying to clear up the lake that has been plagued with algae for some years.

The group formed to find actionable ways to help reduce the amount of algae in the lake. “This year certainly we’re fortunate,” Rawlinson said.

He suggests one of the best ways to fix the problem for the long-term is for residents in the area to take action, not only with the provincial and federal governments, but to do what they can to curb unwanted nutrients entering the lake, which is one reason for the algae.

Earlier this year, the league organized a clean up of the shores by clearing and covering the algae, which is one of the reasons Rawlinson feels the lake is clear. That, and a mild spring coupled with little spring run off may have helped their cause.

The league has also been fighting for a proper sewer system that leads to the village from the south side of the lake. Rawlinson said most residents have been using a septic system but he suspects some may have been bypassing their septic system over the years when doing certain chores like laundry and dishes. This has created a cumulative negative effect on the lake and Rawlinson hopes residents will educate themselves on the issues they face.

There has been some resistance to the sewer system with one group of residents advocating against it, but the league has taken a firm stance on the issue and Rawlinson says with the 5,000 cottages dotting the lakeside, it’s in everyone’s best interests to put together a proper system. One argument the league is facing is that some residents only visit their cabin a few weeks out of the year but the goal is to ensure the lake benefits everyone. “We have to clean up our actions,” said Rawlinson.

“We know it’s going to be a long time to fix the lake,” he said.

Another area the group wants to see improvement on is some focus from Alberta Environment. Rawlinson suggests the ministry could do better to help mitigate the effects of blue-green algae. However, for this year, residents have been able to take in the many fun aspects of the lake. But the question as to how long will it last remains.


Just Posted

Naked man arrested for impaired driving

The man allegedly fled the scene of a collision wearing only a sheet. Plus other Ponoka RCMP briefs

Ponoka Legion commemorates 100th anniversary of Armistice Day

Ponoka residents pack Legion hall during Remembrance Day

Ponoka Secondary Campus alumni provides example of how to remember those who were lost

School’s annual Remembrance Day ceremony focuses on 100th anniversary of WWI armistace

Students at St. Augustine honour fallen Ponoka soldiers

The school’s Remembrance Day ceremony recognized the sacrifices of past soldiers

No pumping into Gull Lake for 5 years due to carp concerns

Worries of carp in the Blindman River has put a hold on pumping water into Gull Lake

First Nation marks ‘milestone’ land deal at Alberta ceremony

Lubicon Lake First Nation Chief Billy-Joe Laboucan signed treaty last month

Children’s strawberry-flavoured medicines recalled due to faulty safety cap

Three different acetaminophen syrups part of nationwide recall

Trudeau pushes for more Saudi accountability in Khashoggi killing

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada is still seeking clear answers from Saudi Arabia about what happened to Jamal Khashoggi

PHOTOS: Bald eagle spotted west of Ponoka

This bald eagle sits serenely in a field west of Ponoka near Gull Lake

School bullying video shows how people with disabilities are devalued: advocates

Brett Corbett, who has cerebral palsy, is seen in a video being stepped while lying in water

EU divorce deal in peril after two UK Cabinet ministers quit

Negotiators from Britain and the European Union have struck a proposed divorce deal that will be presented to politicians on both sides for approval, officials in London and Brussels said Tuesday.

Northern California fire death toll at 56; 130 missing

Many of the missing are elderly and from Magalia, a forested town of about 11,000 to the north of Paradise.

Canfor to buy 70 per cent stake in Swedish Vida Group for $580 million

The privately held company has nine sawmills in southern Sweden with an annual production capacity of 1.1 billion board feet.

Saudi prosecutor seeks death penalty in Khashoggi’s killing

Saudi Arabia’s top prosecutor is recommending the death penalty for five suspects charged with ordering and carrying out the killing of Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi.

Most Read