Kokomoko Recreational Area on Lake Isle

County of Parkland, Alberta

Scenic Isle Lake is located in the counties of Parkland and Lac Ste. Anne. It is situated about 80 km west of the city of Edmonton, immediately north of Highway 16. The hamlet of Gainford is located on the southwestern shore (Fig. 1). Unpaved Secondary Road 633 follows the northern shore of the lake and joins Highway 33 just southeast of Lac Ste. Anne.

The lake's name refers to the presence of several islands. In the past Isle Lake was called Lac des Isles and Lac des Islets (Holmgren and Holmgren 1976); now it is known locally as Lake Isle.

In 1870, the Hudson's Bay Company built a trading post beside Lac Ste. Anne, about 14 km northeast of Isle Lake (Lindsay et al. 1968). The wooded region around Isle Lake was settled after 1905 when lands became available for agriculture. The first subdivision was registered at Gainford in 1942 and the most rapid development of land around the lake occurred between 1955 and 1964. In 1980, there were 18 registered subdivisions with a total of 1 038 lots; 736 lots were developed (Edm. Reg. Plan. Commis. 1983). Several of these subdivisions are incorporated into two summer villages, Silver Sands and South View, on the eastern end of the lake (Fig. 2).

Access to the lake is available at numerous municipal reserves that provide boat launches, parks, access points or walkways (Edm. Reg. Plan. Commis. 1983). Gainford Park day-use area, operated by the County of Parkland, provides picnic tables and a gravel boat launch. As well, there are two public campgrounds (Fig. 2). Gainford Campground, operated by Alberta Transportation and Utilities, is located on Highway 16, about 1 km west of Gainford; it has eight campsites, a picnic shelter, picnic tables and a water pump. The Kokomoko Recreation Area, which is owned by the County of Parkland, is located on the southern shore. Its facilities include 10 campsites, picnic tables and a gravel boat launch. There are also a number of church operated and commercially operated recreational facilities that have campgrounds and trailer parks with boat launching, swimming and picnicking facilities. Camp He-Ho-Ha on the southern shore is operated by the Alberta Rehabilitation Council for the Disabled; it provides outdoor recreation facilities for handicapped children. Swimming, boating and fishing are favoured recreational activities at Isle Lake. In posted areas of the lake boats may be prohibited or subject to a maximum speed of 12 km/hour (Alta. For. Ld. Wild. 1988).

A small proportion of the land adjacent to Isle Lake, and all of the islands in the lake, are Crown land (Fig. 2). Most of it is maintained in its natural state except for the portion containing Camp He-Ho-Ha (Edm. Reg. Plan. Commis. 1983). Two quarter sections south of Camp He-Ho-Ha were established as a Natural Area for recreation in 1971 and some trails have been developed there (Alta. For. Ld. Wild. 1987).

Isle Lake commonly has blooms of blue-green algae during summer, and aquatic vegetation grows extensively throughout much of the lake. Although low levels of dissolved oxygen sometimes cause summer and winter fish kills, northern pike and walleye support a popular sport fishery. All tributary streams to, and the outlet from, the lake are closed to fishing for a period in spring (Alta. For. Ld. Wild. 1989). The actual closing and opening dates may vary from year to year.[Atlas of Alberta Lakes, Isle Lake, 2004-2005, University of Alberta).

WATER QUALITY
  • No data available
  • Special Status
  • This status is based on the latest sample, taken on . North Saskatchewan Riverkeeper updates the status of this beach as soon as test results become available. These results were posted to Swim Guide on at
For water quality icon legend, click:   
MONITORING FREQUENCY

Kokomoko Recreational Area on Lake Isle is sampled weekly from June 5th to September 1st

SOURCE INFORMATION

Alberta Health Services (AHS) monitors freshwater beaches across the province in five zones: North, Edmonton, Central, Calgary, and South. Water samples at this beach are collected by AHS staff and processed in environmental labs.

This site is usually sampled on a weekly basis for thermotolerant coliforms and at varying frequencies for cyanobacteria and microcystins (blue-green algae) during the summer months.

Water quality is monitored in accordance with standards outlined in a previous version of the General Nuisance and Sanitation Regulation, under Alberta’s Public Health Act. New standards are currently being developed.

Thermotolerant coliforms serve as an indicator of faecal contamination, which poses a human health risk. Guidelines recommend that a water quality advisory be posted when tests for thermotolerant coliforms over the preceding 30 days produce results with a geometric mean greater than 200 colony forming units per 100 millilitres of water (200 CFU/100ml). An advisory may also be issued when any single sample exceeds 400 CFU/100ml, although this may first lead to further investigation.

When a Water Quality Advisory is issued, a notice is erected at the beach indicating that the location is unfit for swimming or bathing. In addition, a Water Quality Advisory is issued through the AHS website, local media, and Swim Guide. Swim Guide posts all advisories that are announced, but due to data sharing challenges, is not able to make updates when test results are within the guidelines. Therefore, the swim icon will appear grey, and any posted advisories will appear on the beach page. An advisory is rescinded once water quality meets the above standards.

In addition to thermotolerant coliforms, AHS monitors blue-green algae throughout the swimming season. Algal blooms are monitored through visual observation and through testing for cyanobacteria and microcystins (toxins produced by blue-green algae).

AHS issues a Blue-Green Algae Advisory when a bloom is identified. Advisories are posted online to www.albertahealthservices.ca/1926.asp, circulated by local media, and posted to Swim Guide. Appropriate signage is posted around the water body (public beaches, access points, campgrounds, etc). These advisories remain in place for the duration that the health risk persists.

WATER QUALITY GRAPH

Kokomoko Recreational Area on Lake Isle

County of Parkland, Alberta

WATER QUALITY
  • No data available
  • Special Status
  • This status is based on the latest sample, taken on . North Saskatchewan Riverkeeper updates the status of this beach as soon as test results become available. These results were posted to Swim Guide on at
For water quality icon legend, click:   

Scenic Isle Lake is located in the counties of Parkland and Lac Ste. Anne. It is situated about 80 km west of the city of Edmonton, immediately north of Highway 16. The hamlet of Gainford is located on the southwestern shore (Fig. 1). Unpaved Secondary Road 633 follows the northern shore of the lake and joins Highway 33 just southeast of Lac Ste. Anne.

The lake's name refers to the presence of several islands. In the past Isle Lake was called Lac des Isles and Lac des Islets (Holmgren and Holmgren 1976); now it is known locally as Lake Isle.

In 1870, the Hudson's Bay Company built a trading post beside Lac Ste. Anne, about 14 km northeast of Isle Lake (Lindsay et al. 1968). The wooded region around Isle Lake was settled after 1905 when lands became available for agriculture. The first subdivision was registered at Gainford in 1942 and the most rapid development of land around the lake occurred between 1955 and 1964. In 1980, there were 18 registered subdivisions with a total of 1 038 lots; 736 lots were developed (Edm. Reg. Plan. Commis. 1983). Several of these subdivisions are incorporated into two summer villages, Silver Sands and South View, on the eastern end of the lake (Fig. 2).

Access to the lake is available at numerous municipal reserves that provide boat launches, parks, access points or walkways (Edm. Reg. Plan. Commis. 1983). Gainford Park day-use area, operated by the County of Parkland, provides picnic tables and a gravel boat launch. As well, there are two public campgrounds (Fig. 2). Gainford Campground, operated by Alberta Transportation and Utilities, is located on Highway 16, about 1 km west of Gainford; it has eight campsites, a picnic shelter, picnic tables and a water pump. The Kokomoko Recreation Area, which is owned by the County of Parkland, is located on the southern shore. Its facilities include 10 campsites, picnic tables and a gravel boat launch. There are also a number of church operated and commercially operated recreational facilities that have campgrounds and trailer parks with boat launching, swimming and picnicking facilities. Camp He-Ho-Ha on the southern shore is operated by the Alberta Rehabilitation Council for the Disabled; it provides outdoor recreation facilities for handicapped children. Swimming, boating and fishing are favoured recreational activities at Isle Lake. In posted areas of the lake boats may be prohibited or subject to a maximum speed of 12 km/hour (Alta. For. Ld. Wild. 1988).

A small proportion of the land adjacent to Isle Lake, and all of the islands in the lake, are Crown land (Fig. 2). Most of it is maintained in its natural state except for the portion containing Camp He-Ho-Ha (Edm. Reg. Plan. Commis. 1983). Two quarter sections south of Camp He-Ho-Ha were established as a Natural Area for recreation in 1971 and some trails have been developed there (Alta. For. Ld. Wild. 1987).

Isle Lake commonly has blooms of blue-green algae during summer, and aquatic vegetation grows extensively throughout much of the lake. Although low levels of dissolved oxygen sometimes cause summer and winter fish kills, northern pike and walleye support a popular sport fishery. All tributary streams to, and the outlet from, the lake are closed to fishing for a period in spring (Alta. For. Ld. Wild. 1989). The actual closing and opening dates may vary from year to year.[Atlas of Alberta Lakes, Isle Lake, 2004-2005, University of Alberta).

MONITORING FREQUENCY

Kokomoko Recreational Area on Lake Isle is sampled weekly from June 5th to September 1st

SOURCE INFORMATION

Alberta Health Services (AHS) monitors freshwater beaches across the province in five zones: North, Edmonton, Central, Calgary, and South. Water samples at this beach are collected by AHS staff and processed in environmental labs.

This site is usually sampled on a weekly basis for thermotolerant coliforms and at varying frequencies for cyanobacteria and microcystins (blue-green algae) during the summer months.

Water quality is monitored in accordance with standards outlined in a previous version of the General Nuisance and Sanitation Regulation, under Alberta’s Public Health Act. New standards are currently being developed.

Thermotolerant coliforms serve as an indicator of faecal contamination, which poses a human health risk. Guidelines recommend that a water quality advisory be posted when tests for thermotolerant coliforms over the preceding 30 days produce results with a geometric mean greater than 200 colony forming units per 100 millilitres of water (200 CFU/100ml). An advisory may also be issued when any single sample exceeds 400 CFU/100ml, although this may first lead to further investigation.

When a Water Quality Advisory is issued, a notice is erected at the beach indicating that the location is unfit for swimming or bathing. In addition, a Water Quality Advisory is issued through the AHS website, local media, and Swim Guide. Swim Guide posts all advisories that are announced, but due to data sharing challenges, is not able to make updates when test results are within the guidelines. Therefore, the swim icon will appear grey, and any posted advisories will appear on the beach page. An advisory is rescinded once water quality meets the above standards.

In addition to thermotolerant coliforms, AHS monitors blue-green algae throughout the swimming season. Algal blooms are monitored through visual observation and through testing for cyanobacteria and microcystins (toxins produced by blue-green algae).

AHS issues a Blue-Green Algae Advisory when a bloom is identified. Advisories are posted online to www.albertahealthservices.ca/1926.asp, circulated by local media, and posted to Swim Guide. Appropriate signage is posted around the water body (public beaches, access points, campgrounds, etc). These advisories remain in place for the duration that the health risk persists.

WATER QUALITY GRAPH



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