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Chapter 17: Parks, Recreation, Sports

17.4: Killarney Lake

Killarney Lake 1 is the source of water for the town of Killarney 2. Also the population of the surrounding area benefits from recreational activities on the lake—swimming, canoeing, water skiing, and fishing—and cottage developments are located along the north 3 and south 4 shores. The main swimming beach can be seen in the southeast 5. “Unfortunately, the water quality in Killarney Lake has been frequently impaired by extensive blue-green algae blooms. Sources of nutrient runoff into the lake include both agricultural and urban sources. The long-term use of bluestone (copper sulphate) has not eliminated algae problems, and perhaps has made it worse. Although lake bottom coring research has demonstrated that Killarney Lake has experienced algae blooms for the last 4,200 years, there is evidence to suggest the conditions have worsened over the past 100 years.”[i] The Killarney Lake Water Quality Committee (KLWQC) was formed to improve the situation. “To address the immediate concern of blue-green algae blooms impairing recreational use of the lake; the committee purchased a lake divider curtain…(which) partitions the beach area from the rest of the lake. As well, the curtain will prevent westerly winds from piling algae up along the east-end beach used for swimming.”[ii] Most of the lake’s inflow comes from Long River 6 that, during the peak spring run off, brings poor quality water into the lake forcing out better quality water. This poor quality water is now routed past the lake, and better quality late spring water is diverted through the longer Lawrence Channel 7, a natural diversion, to ensure the best quality water enters the lake.

Figure 17.4: Killarney Lake

Figure 17.4: Killarney Lake

Figure 17.4

Vertical air photograph: A19904-206

Flight height: 9,600 feet; lens focal length: 6 inches

Scale: 1:15,400 (approx.)

Date: May 28, 1967

Location: Townships 2 and 3; Range 17WI

Map sheets: 1:250,000 62G Brandon

                    1:50,000 62G/4 Killarney


[i] Gurney, S. “Working together to protect Killarney Lake 30/6/2005

[ii] Ibid.