Stewardship & Education

Lake Stewardship & Education (See the resources and programs below)

The lake is a wonderful place, though unwittingly people over the years acted in ways not good for the lake. We did not know. These individual actions have contributed to water quality decline, primarily due to nutrient loading, shoreline modifications, changing environmental factors, and development in the watershed.  The land and aquatic environmental systems have suffered.  Alongside the downward water monitoring trends, are concerning events such as the significant fish die-offs (2010 and 2013), along with an increase in algae bloom outbreaks including cyanobacteria (potentially toxic blue-green algae). Together these events have impacted the quality of life.  It is both a privlege and a responsibility to be at the lake, and now we know that everyone needs to be a healthy lake steward as we live, work and play.  The lake needs our help and together we CAN help the lake

For a full introduction to Pigeon Lake; its history, health, biology, and keys for living in the watershed (even part-time) please see the full Pigeon Lake 101 workshop slide presentation

While the water studies conducted in 2012/13 show that nutrients are going into the water from all around the lake, significant amounts can be limited. This will help the water quality.  The drainage stormwater carries into the lake fertilizers and pollutants.  These can be stopped via the elimination of lawn fertilizers, restoring the health of our shorelines to act as filters and other acts and by enhancing the natural areas so they can help by filtering what goes into the lake and keep the connected web of life healthy.

Many resources and programs are available with the assistance of our Healthy Lake Partners include:

The resources are available through the support of our Funders and Sponsors include:

We need to be making decisions which respect living with nature.  

The PLWA envisions Pigeon Lake watershed residents and visitors becoming more aware of their impact and taking actions to improve the health of the Lake so we can enjoy the lake for years to come. Everyone can become a healthy lake steward by minimizing their own impact on the land and water.  Please find the resources and programs to learn and to enjoy our beautiful lake.

Pigeon Lake 2018 Lake Summary Report

Biodiversity of Pigeon Lake: Pigeon Lake is an incredibly diverse area with so many different types of plants and animals. Click here for a fact sheet that features some of the natural diversity around Pigeon Lake. Make it an activity and turn it into a scavenger hunt for the whole family. 

Shoreline Plants (Good & Bad) & Aquatic Invasive Species

Invasive Plants:  Invasive plants have come uninvited to our shores.  Plants that evolve here are a natural part of the web of life and contribute in many roles.  Invasive plants did not evolve as a part of the ecosystem and have an unfair advantage, and often taking important space away from the many other plants that do contribute to the health and reslience of the ecosystem.  

Report invasive species by calling AEP at 1-855-336-BOAT(2628)

Threats!!   Help Prevent Aquatic Species getting into Pigeon Lake

Aquatic mussels and Eurasian milfoil have been found in boats and trailers coming across borders into Alberta.  We must adopt new practices to prevent them entering into our lake - AND we must tell our guests.  Learn more:
PLWA Aquatic Species Alert (2 pages with pictures)
Invaders Invading! (2 pages from AEP specialists)
Aquatic Invasive Species ppt presentation from the CARL conference

Quick Reference: Shoreline Invasive Plants (pdf)

The reference includes six invasive shoreline plants that need to be removed from our shoreline. Print off the first two pages and take the handy reference with good pictures with you to the shore.  It includes information about each plant and how to remove them. The sheet also includes links to more information.  

Eradicate This Invasive Weed: Himalayan Balsam

This one of the worst weeds because it is so pretty yet one plant can produce many seeds that when the plant is mature can shoot out when touched. These seeds can remain dormant in the soil for two to three years.  It will take the diligence of many people to reduce or eradicate this weed.


Alberta Invasive Species Council (AISC)

Excellent information and pictures on a wide range of Alberta plants, and aquatic invasive species including the invasive plants found in the Pigeon Lake Watershed.  See the great Grow Me Instead Brochure and other resources on their site.

What's a Wildflower, What's a Weed

Riparian / Shoreline Plants in the Pigeon Lake Area presentations to encourage stewardship by providing people with information about:   

  • Section 1: Functions and elements of a healthy shoreline;  Native shoreline Trees and Shrubs; and Native Grass, Reeds, Sedges and Bulrushes
  • Section 2:  Native Wildflowers for Shoreline Areas
  • Section 3:  Weeds found in the Shoreline Areas

Native Plants

Edmonton Area Native Plant Suppliers (pdf)

Tree Planting Around Pigeon Lake: Help the lake by enhancing the shoreline with beautiful native trees.  This references has information about planting native on your lake lot or within your Summer Village. It also provides information and links to the Prairie Shelterbelt Program for rural land owners or those wishing to plant large amounts of trees.

Shoreline Clean-ups

Read of the good work of all the Pigeon Lake Stewards who annually walk the shorelines picking up debris that is bad for the lake water quality and the living organisms in the lake.  See here the report of what has been picked up.  It may surprise you!

Living and Being a Healthy Lake Steward


Healthy-Lake Lawns

Science, runoff and soil experts tell us that we can control the nutrients that are going into the lake.  Learn more about how to have a nice lawn with better grass and no fertilizers. Learn more

On the Living Edge: Your Guide for Waterfront Living

A highly recommended handbook for lake shoreline users and cottagers to help improve water quality and shoreline ecology.   It includes tips for boating and recreation, construction, septic systems, docks, and landscaping to reduce impacts and co-exist with wild life.

Love The Lake

Quick easy ways for Landowners in the Pigeon Lake Watershed to show your commitment to the Lake.


Healthy Shorelines

Representatives from various conservation agencies and local and provincial government departments met to discuss concerns, opportunities and the potential for working together and with communities to bring about environmentally friendly land use practices in riparian areas and the overall watershed. From that fall meeting a "Core" group of people and agencies "teamed up" to determine just how they wanted to approach this challenge.


 Top 5 Recommendations For a Healthy Shoreline


Guidelines For Lakeshore Use

Sustainable Resource Development (SRD), explains approvals and regulatory requirements and various types of shorelands and provides links to programs available through the Government of Alberta to assist property owners to reduce their impact on the watershed.


Cows and Fish

The Alberta Riparian Habitat Management Society provides technical assistance and information management ideas to help producers and community members make informed decision for their operations near riparian (green areas) on streams and lakes.


Alberta Conservation Association - Caring for Shoreline Properties (pdf)


Living by Water Project

A handbook for lake shoreline users and cottagers to help improve water quality and shoreline ecology:, includes tips for boating and recreation, construction, septic systems, docks, and landscaping to reduce impacts and co-exist with wild life

Love our Birds

Pigeon Lake Waterfowl Pamphlet

This useful pamphlet includes:
 - Water birds common to Pigeon Lake
 - Nesting and loading areas
 - Eating habits
 - Mitigating measures to waterfowl using manmade strucutres, including details of proper dock & boat setup.

The Atlas of Breeding Birds of Alberta

This is a must have reference for anyone who enjoys birds.  In addition to the picture and factors about each different type of bird there is also:

 - General Distribution Maps
 - Distribution Change
 - Reporting Rate Map
 - Habitat Preference Charts

Wood Duck Boxes

Give some cavernous nesting ducks, other birds and small animals a home by purchasing from a local person or by building your own wood duck box.   Learn more here!


Working Well - Fact Sheet (pdf)

90% of rural Albertan’s get their drinking water from a well. Read the fact sheet for details about having a working well that is providing clean, safe water.

Water Quality Awareness

Water Qualit Conditions and Long-Term Trends in Alberta Lakes - A Government of Alberta Report (pdf)

Alberta Lake Management Society

The PLWA works with ALMS to ensure lake monitoring is conducted each year. There is also a lot of good information on their website. Learn how to help improve water quality for Alberta’s Lakes and increase environmental awareness: programs, workshops, news & events, resources.  Find there the Pigeon Lake, 2001 LakeWatch report.  

Working In And Around Water

Fisheries and Oceans Canada, explains what you need to do when working in or near water to protect fish and fish habitat and the application of the Fisheries Act.


Guide to Sewage Holding Tanks (pdf)

Agriculture in the Watershed

Agriculture Best Practices

Alberta Environmental Farm Plan Company

A non-profit company of industry, government and others working with farmers and ranchers to identify opportunities for environmental stewardship: includes Collaborative, voluntary, science-based and confidential programs, environmental workshops, safety programs, forums, newsletters and articles.


Recommended Cleaning Products

More Watershed and Stewardship Groups & PLWA Partners

Nature Alberta

PLWA works with Nature Alberta to bring Living-by-Water Homesite Consultants to you.

Battle River Watershed Alliance

Community partnerships to improve the ecology of the Battle River watershed, including planning, forums, maps and data, kids stuff section and newsletters

Alberta Lake Management Society

The purpose of the Society is to promote understanding and comprehensive management of lakes and reservoirs and their watersheds.  ALMS has been one of Pigeon Lake's key "Healthy Lake" Partners participating in the Pigeon Lake Watershed Management work and doing the annual LakeWatch Program at Pigeon Lake (via the PLWA) to help ensure that we can determine the long-term water quality trends.  We recommend subscribing to their newsletters which enable one to better appreciate Alberta prairie lakes.

Environmental Law Centre

Provides objective information and sources about environmental and natural resource law: includes services, programs, reports, fact sheets, library, and links to resources dealing with environmental issues.



Pigeon Lake Watershed Association
P.O. Box 1353
Calmar, Alberta
T0C 0V0


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