Christina lake

Christina Lake Water Monitoring

DATE: January 2018

The Christina Lake, a scenic and recreational lake, has been a part of Conklin and its history for many generations. As part of CRDAC’s mandate, it is our objective to ensure that we aim to protect the water, traditional ecological knowledge, and species ranging from walleye to yellow perch for many more generations to come.

Through this program, the CRDAC hopes to develop a water quality program including the installation of 16 shallow groundwater wells to help measure levels, identify any present contaminants, and collection of data that will ultimately help contribute to a fish health study. Residents are needed to help identify key locations around and/or on the lake as well as key items that need to be measured.

About the Lake

Christina Lake has a surface area of 21.3 km2, a mean depth of 17m and volume of 369,000 dm3 (Mitchell and Prepas 1990). The lake has tree deep basins that drop off abruptly to maximum depths of 24m, 26m, and 33m. A shallow constriction joins the west and central basins. In addition to the deep basins, there are two shallow basins with mean depths of about 1.5m and 12m. Along the shorelines, extensive areas of sand and gravel form beaches.

Christina Lake’s extensive sub-watershed area of 1,270 km2 is almost 60 times larger than its surface area. Most of its area resides south of the lake and most of this portion is drained by Birch and Sunday Creeks, which are the largest of the streams that flow into the lake. The sole outlet channel of Christina Lake, known as the Jackfish River, is located at the western end of the lake. It flows north into the nearby Christina River, which eventually flows into the Athabasca River.

Fish and Fish Habitat

There have been 15 fish species identified/reported in the Christina Lake, including (AEP 2023a; Mills 1987; Mitchell and Prepas 1990):

  • Arctic Grayling (Thymallus arcticus)
  • Burbot (Lota lota)
  • Iowa Darter (Etheostoma exile)
  • Lake Whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis)
  • Longnose Dace (Rhinichthys cataractae)
  • Northern Redbelly Dace (Chromosum eos)
  • Northern Pike (Esox lucius)
  • Slimy Sculpin (Cottus cognatus)
  • Spottail Shiner (Notropis hudsonius)
  • Trout-Perch (Percopsis omiscomaycus)
  • Tullibee (Cisco) (Coregonus artedi)
  • Walleye (Sander vitreus)

Christina Lake was rated as providing moderate to high potential for spawning, nursery, rearing, feeding, and overwintering for sport fish, suckers, and forage fish. The lake contains habitats that are considered critical or sensitive, including known spawning sites for Walleye, and suspecting sites for Lake Whitefish, Cisco, Burbot, and Sucker species (AEP 2023b; Golder 1998).

Arctic Grayling’s classification has been upgraded to “may be at risk” in the most recent General Status of Alberta Wild Species Report (AEP 2023b) and the Alberta Endangered Species Conservation Committee (ESCC) has Arctic Grayling listed as a Species of Special Concern (ESCC 2023). This species may use the lake for overwintering, nursery, rearing, and feeding.