Qamanirjuaq Lake

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Qamanirjuaq Lake
Qamanirjuaq Lake is located in Nunavut
Qamanirjuaq Lake
Qamanirjuaq Lake
Location in Nunavut
Location Kivalliq Region, Nunavut
Coordinates 62°56′N 95°45′W / 62.933°N 95.750°W / 62.933; -95.750 (Qamanirjuaq Lake)Coordinates: 62°56′N 95°45′W / 62.933°N 95.750°W / 62.933; -95.750 (Qamanirjuaq Lake)
Primary inflows Ferguson River
Primary outflows Ferguson River at
Parker Lake South
Basin countries Canada
Surface area 549 km2 (212 sq mi)
Surface elevation 92 m (302 ft)
Islands several (unnamed)
Settlements 146 km (91 mi) S of Baker Lake;
200 km (124 mi) W of Rankin Inlet
References [1][2]

Qamanirjuaq Lake (variant: Kaminuriak Lake; pronunciation: ka-min-YOO-ree-ak; meaning: "huge lake adjoining a river at both ends")[3] is a lake in Kivalliq Region, Nunavut, Canada. It is the first of several named lakes on the eastward flow of the Ferguson River through the eastern barrenlands. The lake is located about 1 mile (2 km) downstream from Ferguson Lake, and adjacent upstream to Parker Lake South. The Ferguson River passes through a series of rapids before entering the western arm of Qamanirjuaq Lake.


The lake is irregularly shaped with several inlets and unnamed islands, in a permafrost area of north-northwest ice flow, north of the tree line[4] Canadian Arctic explorer, Joseph Burr Tyrrell, described the lake in his Geological Survey of Canada 1894 canoe expedition report:

"Kaminuriak Lake is a beautiful sheet of clear cold water lying in the till-covered plain... Where seen, the beach is in some places sandy, but more generally of large boulders, which, on the more exposed parts of the shore are arranged in a regular wall to the height of from eight to twelve feet, while in the bays they are scattered over a shallow floor of sand or till. Back from the lake the country stretches in wide treeless plains, or rises in low grassy hills, which show no signs of any underlying rock... Following the south shore of Kaminuriak Lake to its southeastern angle, the river was again reached... now a much larger stream, sixty yards wide and two feet deep."[5]

Qamanirjuaq Lake is within the northern Hearne Domain, Western Churchill province of the Churchill craton, northwest section of the Canadian Shield in northern Canada.

The Ahimaa Cave (Inuktitut: "are you other?" or "are you other being?"), once inhabited by Inuit, is hollowed out of Qamanirjuaq Lake's massive cliff.[6]


This habitat is hospitable to Qamanirjuaq barren-ground caribou, the namesake of the lake, who consider the area surrounding the lake as their traditional calving grounds, returning annually after travelling an inconsistent, unpredictable 500 miles (805 km) range through Manitoba/Nunavut, northeastern Saskatchewan, and southeastern Northwest Territories. The herd, a keystone species, has been safeguarded by the Beverly and Qamanirjuaq Caribou Management Board since 1982.[7]

In the mid 1970s, a fishery was moved from Kaminak Lake (which proved to have unacceptably high levels of Mercury), to Qamanirjuaq Lake which showed no elevated Mercury levels. The lake is filled with lake whitefish and lake trout for commercial fishing, and is also home to Lasallia pensylvanica Arctic lichen, sphagnum, bryophytes, and a few dwarf birch.[8][9][10][11][12][13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Principal lakes, elevation and area, by province and territory". Statistics Canada. 2005-02-02. Retrieved 2015-03-11. 
  2. ^ Atlas of Canada. "Rivers in Canada". Archived from the original on 10 April 2007. Retrieved 2015-03-17. 
  3. ^ Eliasson, Kelsey (October 2007). "History & Culture - Qamanirjuwhat?" (PDF). 3 (2). Churchill, Manitoba: Hudson Bay Post: 10–11. Retrieved 2008-02-12. 
  4. ^ McMartin, Isabelle; Penny J. Henderson (2007-12-10). "Glacial erosion of bedrock and ice flow history in the Kivalliq Region, Nunavut, Canada". Geological Survey of Canada. Retrieved 2008-02-12. 
  5. ^ Geological Survey of Canada (1898). Annual Report (New Series). (Google Book Search pdf). Ottawa: S.E. Dawson. pp. I–XVI 1885–1904, 141–142. OCLC 67403742. Retrieved 2008-02-14. 
  6. ^ "The stories behind Inuktitut placenames". Nunavut Planning Commission. Fall 1999. Archived from the original on October 1, 2006. Retrieved 2008-02-12. 
  7. ^ "Welcome to the website of the Beverly and Qamanirjuaq Caribou Management Board". 2008-02-13. Retrieved 2008-02-14. 
  8. ^ William W. Shilts Geologic Image Gallery (2007-08-28). "Shallow 'cave' with local ritual significance in highly folded orthoquartzite of Hurwitz Formation". Retrieved 2008-02-12. 
  9. ^ "Species, mesh sizes, closed seasons and quotas for commercial fishing". CanLII. Retrieved 2008-02-12. 
  10. ^ Bond, W.A. (1975). "Data on the Biology of Lake Whitefish and Lake Trout from Kaminuriak Lake, District of Keewatin, N.W.T. (Northwest Territories)" (Data report series: Resource Management Branch, Central Region). CEN/D-75 (4). Winnipeg: Fishery Management Division, Resource Management Branch. OCLC 149113369. 
  11. ^ Thomson, John Walter (1984). American Arctic Lichens (Google Book Search pdf). New York City: Columbia University Press. pp. 1:244. ISBN 0-231-05888-8. Retrieved 2008-02-12. 
  12. ^ Holmen, Kjeld; George Wilby Scotter (Winter 1967). "Sphagnum species of the Thelon River and Kaminuriak Lake regions, Northwest Territories". The Bryologist. The Bryologist. 70 (4): 432–437. doi:10.2307/3240785. ISSN 0007-2745. JSTOR 3240785. OCLC 70617839. 
  13. ^ Scotter, George Wilby (Summer 1966). "Bryophytes of the Thelon River and Kaminuriak Lake Regions, N.W.T.". The Bryologist. The Bryologist. 69 (2): 246–248. doi:10.2307/3240521. ISSN 0007-2745. JSTOR 3240521. OCLC 35248574. 

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