Gleniffer Lake (Alberta)

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Gleniffer Lake
Location Red Deer County, Alberta
Coordinates 52°01′35″N 114°16′13″W / 52.02639°N 114.27028°W / 52.02639; -114.27028 (Gleniffer Lake)Coordinates: 52°01′35″N 114°16′13″W / 52.02639°N 114.27028°W / 52.02639; -114.27028 (Gleniffer Lake)
Type reservoir
Primary inflows Red Deer River
Primary outflows Red Deer River
Catchment area 5,610 square kilometres (2,170 sq mi)
Basin countries Canada
Max. length 7 kilometres (4.3 mi)
Max. width 2 kilometres (1.2 mi)
Surface area 17.6 square kilometres (6.8 sq mi)[1]
Average depth 11.6 metres (38 ft)
Max. depth 33 metres (108 ft)
Surface elevation 945 metres (3,100 ft)

Gleniffer Lake also known as Gleniffer Reservoir [2] is an artificial lake in central Alberta, Canada created in 1983 [1] by the construction of the Dickson Dam which impounded the Red Deer River, a major tributary of the South Saskatchewan River which flows into the Saskatchewan River Basin.[3]

It lies at an elevation of 945 metres (3,100 ft), and is approximately 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) long and 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) wide. The lake is south of Highway 54 and east of the Cowboy Trail, 36 kilometres (22 mi) west of Innisfail, Alberta and 36 kilometres (22 mi) east of Caroline.

The lake has a surface of 17.6 square kilometres (6.8 sq mi), and a watershed of 5,610 square kilometres (2,170 sq mi). It has an average depth of 11.6 metres (38 ft), and reaches a maximum of 33 metres (108 ft).[1]

Gleniffer Lake has day-use areas, cottages, a campground and resort developments including Carefree Resort and Gleniffer Lake Resort.[4]

The lake reservoir is a source of drinking water for the surrounding area.

Dickson Dam[edit]

Dickson Dam regulates the flow of the Red Deer River to control for floods and low winter flows, to improve quality of the river, to create a recreational resource and to provide a reliable, year-round water supply sufficient for future industrial, regional and municipal growth.[3]

Gleniffer Reservoir Provincial Recreation Area[edit]

Gleniffer Reservoir Provincial Recreation Area is a popular recreational area with a beach, various fishing areas, boating, camping and resorts. In the summer of 2009, [Alberta Tourism, Parks and Recreation] consolidated six provincial recreation areas at Dickson Dam and around Gleniffer Lake (Dickson Dam - Cottonwood Provincial Recreation Area, Dickson Dam - Dickson Point Provincial Recreation Area, Dickson Dam - North Dyke Provincial Recreation Area, Dickson Dam - South Dyke Provincial Recreation Area, Dickson Dam - North Valley Provincial Recreation Area, Dickson Dam - South Valley Provincial Recreation Area) into one provincial recreation area renamed Gleniffer Reservoir Provincial Recreation Area.[5] Motorboating, waterskiing, swimming, and sailboarding are allowed. There are rainbow trout in a trout pond.[6] Pike, Walleye, Rockies, and Brown Trout are also found nearby.[7] Gleniffer Reservoir Provincial Recreation Area has trout ponds including one at Dickson Point which is popular for ice fishing.[2]

Environmental Concerns[edit]

Pipeline Leaks[edit]

Increased water flow of the Red Deer River system during heavy rainfall in June 2008 eroded supporting soil, freely exposing a section of Pembina Pipeline Corporation's Cremona crude oil pipeline to the Red Deer River currents. About 75 to 125 barrels of crude oil flowed upstream from the breakpoint under a Red Deer River channel, leaving an oily sheen on Gleniffer Reservoir and 6800 kilograms (15 000 lbs) of oil-soaked debris.[8] [9] The remediation was not completed until 2011. [10]

Rangeland Pipeline Incident[edit]

Heavy rains in early June 2012 caused a similar but larger leak on a Plains Midstream Canada 46-year-old pipeline at Jackson Creek which spilled approximately 1000 and 3000 barrels (160,000-475,000 litres) of light sour crude into the Red Deer River.[10] [11][12]


  1. ^ a b c University of Alberta - Atlas of Alberta Lakes. "Gleniffer Lake". Retrieved 2009-03-21. [dead link]
  2. ^ a b "Gleniffer Reservoir Provincial Recreation Area". Retrieved 2012-06-16. 
  3. ^ a b [1]
  4. ^ Retrieved June 16, 2012.  Missing or empty |title= (help)[dead link]
  5. ^ [2]
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ Brian Temple; Doug Buechler; Dave Grzyb; Murray Barber; Jenny Miller; Phil Hendy; Mike Bevan (February 11, 2009). ERCB Investigation Report: Pembina Pipeline Corporation, Crude Oil Pipeline Failure, June 15, 2008 (.pdf) (Report). Energy Resources Conservation Board. Retrieved 2012-06-16.  The pipeline, leased to Pembina, was built in 1959.
  9. ^ "Oil leaks into popular Alberta lake: Company previously fined in B.C. for pipeline rupture, spill in 2000". CBC. June 6, 2008. Retrieved 2012-06-16. 
  10. ^ a b Bob Weber (June 14, 2012). "Alberta pressured to include leaks in environmental monitoring plan". Financial Post. Retrieved 2012-06-16. 
  11. ^ Stephen Ewart (June 16, 2012). "Ewart: Calls growing for probe of aging pipeline system: Recent spills highlight ongoing risk". Calgary Herald. Retrieved 2012-06-16. 
  12. ^ [3]