Wollaston Lake

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This article is about the lake. For the village, see Wollaston Lake, Saskatchewan.
Wollaston Lake
Wollaston Lake is located in Saskatchewan
Wollaston Lake
Location of Wollaston Lake in Saskatchewan
Location northeastern Saskatchewan
Coordinates 58°15′N 103°20′W / 58.250°N 103.333°W / 58.250; -103.333Coordinates: 58°15′N 103°20′W / 58.250°N 103.333°W / 58.250; -103.333[1]
Type Glacial lake
Primary inflows Geikie River
Primary outflows Fond du Lac River, Cochrane River
Catchment area 23,310 km²[2]
Basin countries Canada
Surface area 2286 km² [3]
Average depth 20.6 m [1]
Max. depth 71.0 m[1]
Water volume 75 km³ [1]
Shore length1 1475 km [2]
Surface elevation 398 m [3]
Settlements Wollaston Lake, Saskatchewan
References [1][2][3]
1 Shore length is not a well-defined measure.

Wollaston Lake is located in northeastern Saskatchewan, Canada. With a surface area of 2286 km² (excluding islands; 2681 km² if islands are included),[3] it is the largest bifurcation lake in the world that drains naturally in two directions.[4]

The Fond du Lac River flows out of the lake to the northwest, where it drains into Lake Athabasca, which ultimately drains into the Arctic Ocean via the Mackenzie River system. The Cochrane River flows out of the northeastern side of the lake and into Reindeer Lake, which drains via the Churchill River system into Hudson Bay. If Hudson Bay is defined to be part of the Atlantic Ocean (and, if the Arctic Ocean is not defined to be part of the Atlantic]], then Wollaston Lake drains into two oceans.

Wollaston Lake's main inflow is the Geikie River which flows from the southwest into the southwest section of the lake. If the aforementioned oceanic definitions are used, then the Geikie is the largest river in the world to flow naturally into two oceans.

Wollaston Lake is also the largest lake entirely within Saskatchewan, although the Saskatchewanian portions of Lake Athabasca and Reindeer Lake are both larger.

Samuel Hearne learned of the lake in 1770 and David Thompson noted in 1796 the dual outlets as “perhaps without parallel in the world.”[5] In 1807, Peter Fidler named the lake after George Hyde Wollaston.

The only settlement on its shores is also named Wollaston Lake. The settlement includes the northern hamlet of Wollaston Lake with a population of 129 [6] and the adjacent village of Wollaston Post of the Hatchet Lake Dene Nation with a population of 1251.[7][8][9]

Access[edit]

Access to the lake is provided by the community airstrip (Wollaston Lake Airport) and an all-weather road (Highway 905) to La Ronge.[9] This road passes by the western side of the lake, while the community of Wollaston Lake is located on the eastern side, but the lake can be crossed by a winter road when the lake is frozen (November through June)[2] and by the Wollaston barge when it is not.[9] Air service is also provided to Points North Landing, a service centre for nearby uranium mines. This industry provides jobs for local residents, but has raised concerns over possible contamination of the lake.

Fish species[edit]

Fish species found in the lake include walleye, yellow perch, northern pike, lake trout, arctic grayling, lake whitefish, cisco, burbot, white sucker and longnose sucker.

Treated effluent from the Rabbit Lake uranium mine is released into Hidden Bay on the southwestern side of the lake.[10]

References[edit]

External links[edit]