British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium

Lake creation and development at an Alberta foothills coal mine Brinker, Curtis


The creation of lakes for fisheries habitat and recreational opportunities can be a cost-effective method of reclaiming coal mine pits. In the Alberta foothills environment, the sustainable viability of such lakes is a key consideration in determining how appropriate this technique is. In the past six years, two sets of lakes have been created in the final cuts of dragline pits at the Coal Valley Mine, in the Alberta foothills. These two lakes have been designed and constructed to meet recreational and fisheries habitat land uses. Data collected from these lakes since their creation, indicate that water quality characteristics are suitable for development of both end land uses. Results of recent biotic surveys indicate that benthic and aquatic macrophyte communities are establishing, and that a limited fish stocking program could now be supported. This paper discusses the physical and biological characteristics of these two lakes in terms of their long-term viability and fulfillment of land use objectives.

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