MLBMS hosting annual meeting on Muriel Lake; grant approved this week for study

Residents concerned about the health of Muriel Lake can catch up on the latest developments this weekend.

The Muriel Lake Basin Management Society is hosting their annual general meeting at the Beaver River Fish and Game Building on Saturday at 3pm.

Save Muriel Lake is the rallying cry for the nonprofit society, which works to combat the declining lake water level, water quality issues and decreased fish habitat.

President Peter Cordingley said the society was given approval by Alberta Ecotrust for a grant which will mean a drainage study for the lake basin to find out how to raise the water level.

“If we can increase the water flow to the lake, we’ll help the level,” said Cordingley.

“Of the rain that we get in the basin, there’s been a number of studies and it looks like very little of the rain makes it into the lake,” he said.

“We’re doing a drainage study, which will look at where the interruptions or the disruptions to the flow of surface water into the lake are.”

Cordingley hopes work will begin soon and end before the year is out.

While other lakes in the area fluctuate in water levels, Muriel Lake’s has been on a downward trend for over 40 years.

What used to be a sport fishing lake with commercial fishery has lost over half its water.

“In the last two springs, the level of has come up very slightly. It seems like the level of it has stopped dropping, stabilized, and we’re hoping it’ll come back up,” said Cordingley.

“It came up the last few years in the spring runoffs we’ve had and if we can just get the bit more water flowing, then we’ll hopefully see the lake climb.”

The society’s three-year beaver deceiver project has been working to increase water flow from the creeks to the lake, and the society will give an update on how the project went at the meeting.

In the winter, the oxygen level of Muriel Lake was tested to see whether the lake could stockfish, but with negative results.

“With the low water levels, the oxygen levels are just too low to support fish life through the winter. All the fish died off about 2011, 2012 was the last big winter kill where the last of the fish died off,” said Cordingley.

“We need to get more water depth in there before we think about doing that.”

After the AGM at 3pm on Saturday, the Society is hosting a potluck supper at 5pm.