Sproat Lake

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Sproat Lake
Morning at Sproat Lake Provincial Park.JPG
Morning at Sproat Lake Provincial Park
Sproat Lake is located in Vancouver Island
Sproat Lake
Sproat Lake
LocationVancouver Island, British Columbia
Coordinates49°16′N 125°02′W / 49.267°N 125.033°W / 49.267; -125.033Coordinates: 49°16′N 125°02′W / 49.267°N 125.033°W / 49.267; -125.033
Basin countriesCanada
Surface area3,775 ha (9,330 acres)
Average depth74 m (243 ft)
Max. depth195 m (640 ft)
Shore length190.8 km (56.4 mi)
1 Shore length is not a well-defined measure.

Sproat Lake is a lake on central Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. It was known as Kleecoot (meaning "wide open") by local indigenous people.

A JRM Mars type water bomber the Philippine Mars ("whitetail"), 1 February 2005
The Hawaii Mars ("redtail"), 30 July 2009

Roughly cross-shaped with four arms, it is over 25 kilometres in length, and has 90.8 kilometres of shoreline.[1] Home of the last Martin Mars type waterbombers, and near Port Alberni, Sproat Lake is a popular summer recreational area for the Alberni Valley. Highway 4 runs along its north shore.[2]

The lake maintains a small wintering population of Marbled Murrelets which also nest in the area, the only freshwater alcids on Earth.[citation needed]


Although Sproat Lake is best known for being a scenic vacation spot, it is known to most archaeologists as a site left over by Archaic people no older than 11,000 BCE. The bow and arrow reached the region sometime early in this period, between 750 and 100 (cal) BCE (Blitz 1988; Pettigrew 1990; Ross 1990). The K’ak’awin petroglyph may represent a mythical or actual sea creature from ancient times. Many[who?] believe that they were carved by ancestors of the Nootka people from British Columbia, but there is no concrete evidence pointing to them. Not much is actually known about the people who created them.

Until 1864 this lake was known by its anglicized Nootka name of Kleecoot. From then it was renamed by Robert Brown of the Vancouver Island Exploring Expedition as Sproat Lake in honour of entrepreneur and colonial official Gilbert Malcolm Sproat.[3]:252[4]


In addition to a number of lakeside residences, the lake has three provincial parks on its shores: Sproat Lake Provincial Park, Taylor Arm Provincial Park, and Fossli Provincial Park.


  1. ^ a b "Vancouver Island Large Lakes Management Plan" (PDF). Fish and Wildlife Branch, Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations.
  2. ^ Port Alberni Tourism Retrieved December 6, 2016
  3. ^ Akrigg, G.P.V.; Akrigg, Helen B. (1986), British Columbia Place Names (3rd, 1997 ed.), Vancouver: UBC Press, ISBN 0-7748-0636-2
  4. ^ BC Geographical Names - Sproat Lake Retrieved December 6, 2016