Various issues relating to Crane Lake’s infrastructure were addressed in M.D. council this past week, many of which appear to have been a long time coming.
In a letter to council, the Crane Lake Advisory and Stewardship Society (CLASS) stated that the lake’s eastern weir could be in need of attention.
The weir was first established in 2001 from a partnership between the M.D. and Ducks Unlimited with the goal of achieving a water level that was universally pleasing to residents.
The weir was built with treated plywood bought with money from both the M.D. and Ducks. Ducks Unlimited has since assumed full responsibility of the structure.
“It’s a give and take situation,” said environment and protective services general manager Matt Janz during the meeting.
“Over the years residents began taking it upon themselves to make adjustments to the weir, adding rocks and removing pieces of wood.”
Currently the weir has a makeshift rock dam built in front of it, and Janz predicts that the lake’s current level will stay where it’s at.
Other issue brought up was water drainage, which has been a long-standing issue for residents on the western end of the lake.
Since 2016, the M.D. has been working with landowners that have had their property damaged by streams running through their land.
Efforts made to address the issues include the use of “pond levellers” to drain water once it reaches past a preset level, but a prime source for the drainage issues can be traced to a problematic beaver dam built in front of a large culvert.
The animals were relocated in the fall of 2019 with the use of a “beaver deceiver” fence around the culvert and the dam removed as per M.D. code of practice, but this resulted in the front of the culvert opening completely, which has been called an eye sore.
“It’s hard to achieve an environment that works for everyone,” said Janz.
Crane Lake’s riparian restoration project was addressed, which revealed that a shoreline assessment was conducted with drone footage in 2016.
Riparian restoration is a form of water bioengineering which concentrates on the use of plant species to maintain the shoreline as well as enhancing the waterbody.
CLASS was awarded a grant that same year, allowing them to move forward with restoration and education projects for the next two years, with option to reapply afterwards.
Council moved to accept these reports as information, and will likely follow-up on the issues at a later date.