Last Mountain Lake

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Last Mountain Lake
Last Mountain Lake.jpg
Last Mountain Lake
Location Saskatchewan
Coordinates 51°10′N 105°15′W / 51.167°N 105.250°W / 51.167; -105.250Coordinates: 51°10′N 105°15′W / 51.167°N 105.250°W / 51.167; -105.250
Type prairie lake
Primary inflows Lanigan Creek
Lewis Creek
Arm River
Saline Creek
Primary outflows Last Mountain Creek
Basin countries Canada
Max. length 93 km
Max. width 3 km
Surface area 2,312 km
Average depth 35 metres
Max. depth 130 ft (40 m)
Islands several in the north
Settlements

none

Designated: 24 May 1982

Last Mountain Lake, also known as Long Lake, is a prairie lake formed from glaciation 11,000 years ago. It is located in south central Saskatchewan, Canada, about 40 km northwest of the city of Regina adjacent to the Qu'Appelle Valley, which it flows south into through Last Mountain Creek which flows past Craven. It is approximately 93 km long, and only 3 km wide at its widest point. It is the largest naturally occurring body of water in southern Saskatchewan, although Lake Diefenbaker (created by damming) is larger. The Lake was named for a Plains Cree legend about the Great Spirit shoveling dirt from the valley the lake now occupies and forming Last Mountain Hills east of Duval.

Glen Harbour, Last Mountain Lake pre-1910.
Camping on Last Mountain Lake pre-1910.

The lake is a popular resort area for residents of southeastern Saskatchewan. Several resort communities such as Arlington Beach, Grandview Beach, Eldora Beach, Regina Beach, Saskatchewan Beach, Buena Vista, Glen Harbour, Alice and Wee Too Beach, Colesdale Park, Spring Bay, Pelican Pointe, Sunset Cove, Island View, Etter's Beach, and Mohr's Beach are on the shores of the lake. Access to the area was opened up by the Qu'Appelle, Long Lake and Saskatchewan Railroad and Steamboat Company who also operated steamships on the lake.[1]

Near the town of Strasbourg along the lake's eastern shore lies Rowan's Ravine Provincial Park. This park includes a full-service marina for boaters, a full-service campground, restaurant, mini-golf, and other facilities including a large sandy point that serves as a beach. The marina is often used by recreational boaters and sailors traveling from Regina Beach as a stop over or refueling point, and holds a large fishing tournament every September. Last Mountain House Provincial Park is located on the south-east shore and provides tours of historical Last Mountain House, which was built by the Hudson's Bay Company in 1869. The United Church of Canada's Lumsden Beach Camp is "[a] short drive from Regina, ...hugging the south shore of Last Mountain Lake."[2]

The Last Mountain Lake Bird Sanctuary, the first federal bird sanctuary in North America, was established here in 1887. As the first such wildlife reserve of this kind on the continent, it was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1987.[3] Over 280 bird species have been recorded. The lake contains appropriate habitat for 9 of Canada's 36 species of vulnerable, threatened and endangered bird, such as the peregrine falcon, piping plover, burrowing owl and whooping crane. The northern end of the lake is very shallow and contains wetlands. Part of this area of the lake and surrounding area has been set aside as the Last Mountain Lake National Wildlife Area, which is a site of regional importance in the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network.[4][broken citation]

The lake contains a host of fish species including walleye, yellow perch, northern pike, burbot, lake whitefish, cisco, bigmouth buffalo, white sucker and common carp.

Last Mountain House trading post[edit]

"Last Mountain House" was a Hudson's Bay Company trading post from 1869 to 1871. It was a branch of Fort Qu'Appelle 75km east and was about 85km southwest of Touchwood Hills Post. It was founded in part to compete with the increasing number of independent traders in the area and because the buffalo had moved south from Touchwood Hills. Unlike most HBC posts it had no stockade. The first season was successful, producing around 1,000 buffalo robes. In the second year of operation the buffalo had moved further south and there was a serious shortage of pemmican. Some time after the second season the post was completely destroyed by fire and was not rebuilt.

It was located on the east side of Last Mountain Lake about a mile north of the lake's outlet 7km northwest of Craven, Saskatchewan and about 40km northwest of Regina. There is a Provincial Park with a restoration at (54°45′28″N 104°52′13″W / 54.75778°N 104.87028°W / 54.75778; -104.87028)


References[edit]

  • Elizabeth Browne Losey,"Let Them be Remembered:The Story of the Fur Trade Forts, 1999,pages 668-672
  • Canada's Historic places:[1]
  • Saskatchewan Parks:[2]


External links[edit]