Colour-shifting lake given special protection

January 19, 2008

The province has extended temporary protection for the lands around a unique Manitoba lake as it consults the Mosakahiken Cree Nation and other groups to determine the land’s final fate.

Little Limestone Lake is located about 450 kilometres north of Winnipeg, just west of the northern tip of Lake Winnipeg.

Manitoba Conservation say it’s considered the “finest and largest example of a marl lake in the world.”

“A marl lake changes colour as its water temperature rises and calcite dissolved in the water begins to settle out,” the province stated in a media release. “In warm summer weather, the lake turns from clear to an opaque turquoise or even a milky white with a touch of blue.”

Yesterday, the province renewed a five-year designation for the land surrounding the lake as a park reserve.

Mosakahiken Cree Nation, which has a home base on South Moose Lake about 50 km to the west, also has some reserve land along the shores of Little Limestone Lake and will play a major role in consultations that will take place to determine the long-term future of the area.

Ron Thiessen, executive director of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society’s Manitoba chapter, said his group is pleased the government has recognized the significance of the lake but would like to see the protected land extended beyond the 100-metre boundary now drawn around the lake.

“According to our review, the present boundaries will not protect the lake’s health,” he said. “What we would like to see is all the feeder waters protected to protect the water quality of the lake.”

A spokesman for Manitoba Conservation said that issue will be discussed when the consultations with the Mosakahiken Cree and the general public occur in the future.

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