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Babine Lake

Babine Lake
A very large lake with several islands and hills in distance
Babine Lake is located in British Columbia
Babine Lake
Babine Lake
LocationSkeena/Omineca
British Columbia, Canada
GroupNechako Lakes
Coordinates54°46′34″N 126°00′50″W / 54.77611°N 126.01389°W / 54.77611; -126.01389
Primary outflowsBabine River
Basin countriesCanada
Max. length153 km (95 mi)
Max. width10 km (6.2 mi)
Surface area479 km2 (185 sq mi)
Average depth55 m (180 ft)
Max. depth186 m (610 ft)
Surface elevation711 m (2,333 ft)
Islands16 km2 (6 sq mi)

Babine Lake borders the Skeena and Omineca regions of central British Columbia, Canada.[1] Vehicle access to the lake, via BC Highway 16 and Nilkitkwa forestry service road, is by road about 105 kilometres (65 mi) northeast of Smithers; via BC Highway 16 and Central Babine Lake Highway, is about 132 kilometres (82 mi) east of Smithers; or via Babine Lake Road, is about 20 kilometres (12 mi) northeast of Burns Lake.

Name origin

In 1812, fur traders James McDougall and Daniel Harmon of the North West Company (NWC) Fort St. James post travelled over the ice[2] to what became known as "McDougall's Lake".[3] The men were likely the first Europeans to explore the Skeena River system,[2]

On observing that the women of the "Nata" tribe inserted an object between their teeth and lower lip that stretched the lip, a NWC employee called the tribe "Babine". At the time, the French word babine also meant a large lower lip like that of a cow or horse. The earliest known recorded mention of the name Babine's Lake is 1853[4] and Babine Lake is 1858.[5] Trutch's 1871 map adopted this name. The lake was called Kit-koin by the Tsimshian and Na-taw-bun-kut ("long lake") by the Dakelh, now spelled Nado Bun.[1]

Lake profile

The lake is the second largest[6] and the longest of the natural lakes within BC.[7] The length is 153 kilometres (95 mi) and the width 2 to 10 kilometres (1 to 6 mi). The surface area of 479 square kilometres (185 sq mi), plus 16 square kilometres (6 sq mi) of islands, covers 495 square kilometres (191 sq mi). The elevation is 711 metres (2,333 ft) above sea level.[8]

The lake contains high levels of organic matter but low levels of nutrients, suspended solids, and trace metals. The mean depth is 55 metres (180 ft) and maximum depth is 186 metres (610 ft), though depth in much of the lake is in the 10 to 20 metres (33 to 66 ft) range.[9]

By regions, the mean depth of the Main Arm is 68 metres (223 ft), the North Arm 18.7 metres (61 ft), and the Morrison Arm 11.4 metres (37 ft), causing the latter two to be ice covered six weeks longer than the main lake.[10]

The lake has 37 significant tributaries,[11] of which the Sutherland River,[12] Pinkut Creek, Fulton Creek,[13] Morrison Creek,[14] and Shass Creek,[15] are considered major.

The lake drains northwestward into the Babine River, an important tributary of the Skeena.[16]

Fisheries

The Babine River is the main sockeye salmon tributary of the Skeena.[2] From the 1820s, the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) procured large quantities of salmon from the Babines, who installed fishing weirs across this river and some of the lake tributaries.[17] In 1825, the HBC acquired 44,000 salmon, which were transported over the Babine Portage to Fort St. James. Although the Babines consumed far more salmon than the HBC, both groups were dependant upon this staple.[2] In 1826, the HBC developed a fisheries strategy.[18]

In 1888, federal fishing regulations were enacted to prohibit the salmon trade between First Nations and the HBC, but the law was not enforced until 1904 when the Babines had to remove their fishing weirs as a fish conservation measure. By this time, the HBC demand had reduced to 10,000–15,000 salmon annually.[19]

When the government failed to supply fishing nets, the Babines rebuilt their fishing weirs and resisted attempts by federal fishery officers to destroy them.[20] The delivery of nets in 1906 ended the conflict.[21] In 1907, a fish hatchery was built directly behind Old Fort.[22] In 1908, the BC Fishery Commission recommended that the sale of native-caught salmon be prohibited. In 1917, the purchase of such fish became illegal.[21]

In 1983, a salmon hatchery, which was re-established adjacent to Fort Babine, was successful in rebuilding Babine coho stocks, followed by chinook stocks. Since 2010, habitat monitoring has been the project focus.[23]

Fishing weirs have been reintroduced but are now used responsibly.[24] Many Lake Babine Nation (LBN) members visit Fort Babine over the summer months to obtain their annual salmon supply,[25] which is cured in family smokehouses.[26]

Ferries and HBC watercraft

HBC watercraft connected to the Babine Portage (details in article).

Although a ferry likely existed over the North Arm during the Omineca Gold Rush, one definitely operated for miners during the 1890s.[27][28]

Babine Lake, near Granisle, 2005.

The 1914 tender advertisement for a government ferry charter was probably across the North Arm.[29]

In 1965, the road was extended 10 kilometres (6 mi) from Topley Landing to Granisle, where a private ferry crossed the lake to carry construction material for the Granisle Copper mine on the east shore.[30][31] Compressed air released from lower levels to the surface prevented the ferry channel from freezing during winter. The ferry carried ore concentrates[32] when mine production began in 1966.[33]

From 1969, a Granisle ferry transported logging trucks across the lake.[34]

In 1993, the ferry Babine Charger was launched.[35] On the 40-minute crossing, the ferry can carry eight to nine logging trucks[36] for Canadian Forests Products.[37] The ferry runs from Michelle Bay (near Topley Landing) to Nose Bay.[38]

Shoreline

Shoreline locations include:

Maps

  • BC map. 1882.[39]
  • "Standard Oil BC map". www.davidrumsey.com. 1937.
  • "Shell BC map". www.davidrumsey.com. 1956.
  • Babine Lake map. 2008.[40]

Climate

Climate data for Babine Lake
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 10.5
(50.9)
12.0
(53.6)
15.5
(59.9)
20.5
(68.9)
30.0
(86.0)
33.3
(91.9)
33.9
(93.0)
32.0
(89.6)
30.0
(86.0)
21.5
(70.7)
14.5
(58.1)
12.0
(53.6)
33.9
(93.0)
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) −4.1
(24.6)
−1.7
(28.9)
3.1
(37.6)
8.5
(47.3)
13.7
(56.7)
17.4
(63.3)
20.0
(68.0)
19.8
(67.6)
15.1
(59.2)
8.2
(46.8)
1.1
(34.0)
−2.5
(27.5)
8.2
(46.8)
Daily mean °C (°F) −7.3
(18.9)
−5.6
(21.9)
−1.6
(29.1)
3.4
(38.1)
8.1
(46.6)
12.3
(54.1)
14.7
(58.5)
14.4
(57.9)
10.1
(50.2)
4.5
(40.1)
−1.8
(28.8)
−5.4
(22.3)
3.8
(38.8)
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) −10.5
(13.1)
−9.5
(14.9)
−6.2
(20.8)
−1.7
(28.9)
2.6
(36.7)
7.0
(44.6)
9.4
(48.9)
8.8
(47.8)
5.1
(41.2)
0.7
(33.3)
−4.6
(23.7)
−8.3
(17.1)
−0.6
(30.9)
Record low °C (°F) −44.4
(−47.9)
−38.3
(−36.9)
−33.3
(−27.9)
−22.0
(−7.6)
−5.6
(21.9)
−2.2
(28.0)
0.0
(32.0)
−1.7
(28.9)
−5.0
(23.0)
−20.0
(−4.0)
−31.5
(−24.7)
−36.7
(−34.1)
−44.4
(−47.9)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 44.0
(1.73)
28.5
(1.12)
25.4
(1.00)
25.2
(0.99)
37.7
(1.48)
53.0
(2.09)
43.7
(1.72)
39.8
(1.57)
40.4
(1.59)
47.9
(1.89)
44.3
(1.74)
40.9
(1.61)
470.8
(18.54)
Average rainfall mm (inches) 4.9
(0.19)
3.0
(0.12)
5.8
(0.23)
18.7
(0.74)
37.1
(1.46)
53.0
(2.09)
43.7
(1.72)
39.8
(1.57)
40.4
(1.59)
40.7
(1.60)
16.0
(0.63)
4.5
(0.18)
307.5
(12.11)
Average snowfall cm (inches) 39.0
(15.4)
25.5
(10.0)
19.6
(7.7)
6.6
(2.6)
0.6
(0.2)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
7.2
(2.8)
28.3
(11.1)
36.5
(14.4)
163.3
(64.3)
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm) 12.9 8.4 9.1 9.8 12.8 13.7 12.5 11.7 12.9 15.8 12.9 11.5 144.0
Average rainy days (≥ 0.2 mm) 1.7 1.6 3.5 8.2 12.6 13.7 12.5 11.7 12.9 14.7 6.1 1.8 101.1
Average snowy days (≥ 0.2 cm) 11.4 6.9 6.0 2.2 0.2 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.5 7.4 10.1 45.8
Mean monthly sunshine hours 40.4 84.6 142.5 191.1 242.2 247.2 277.3 245.4 178.8 106.0 45.0 27.3 1,827.7
Percent possible sunshine 16.4 30.9 38.9 45.4 48.8 48.1 53.8 53.1 46.7 32.4 17.6 11.9 37.0
Source: [41]

See also

Footnotes

  1. ^ a b "Babine Lake (lake)". BC Geographical Names.
  2. ^ a b c d Palmer 2004, p. 16 (14).
  3. ^ Morton 1988, p. 71 (60).
  4. ^ unknown (1853). "Traits of American-Indian life and character, by a fur trader". library.ubc.ca. Smith, Elder & Co. pp. 93–94, 172 (71–72, 150).
  5. ^ Hazlitt, William Carew (1858). "British Columbia, and Vancouver Island". library.ubc.ca. G. Routledge & Co. p. 79 (67).
  6. ^ "Babine Lake - Lower". www.brmbmaps.com.
  7. ^ "Babine River Corridor Park". bcparks.ca.
  8. ^ "Smithers Landing Marine Provincial Park". www.fishingnbc.ca.
  9. ^ Berchtold, Adrienne E.; Price, Michael H.H. (Jan 2021). Ongoing Legacy of Metal Mines on Babine Lake (PDF). skeenawild.org (Report). p. 14 (13).
  10. ^ Rankin, David Paul (1977). Increased predation by Juvenile Sockeye Salmon (Oncorhynchus Nerka Walbaum) relative to changes in Macrozooplankton abundance in Babine Lake, British Columbia. library.ubc.ca (MSc). p. 16 (4).
  11. ^ Lake Babine Nation 2003, p. 15 (9).
  12. ^ Lake Babine Nation 2003, p. 11 (5).
  13. ^ Lake Babine Nation 2003, p. 8 (2).
  14. ^ Lake Babine Nation 2003, p. 10 (4).
  15. ^ Lake Babine Nation 2003, p. 22 (16).
  16. ^ "Babine River (river)". BC Geographical Names.
  17. ^ Palmer 2004, p. 14 (12).
  18. ^ Morton 1988, p. 122 (111).
  19. ^ Palmer 2004, p. 17 (15).
  20. ^ Quinn 2017, p. 7 (1).
  21. ^ a b Palmer 2004, p. 18 (16).
  22. ^ "Sun (Port Essington)". library.ubc.ca. 10 Aug 1907. p. 1.
  23. ^ "Fort Babine Hatchery". www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca.
  24. ^ Quinn 2017, p. 48 (42).
  25. ^ Taylor, Meika Stephanie; Wiebe, Justin Peter (2015). Ts'ee'in Lhekh 'It Ts'idit' Ah: Working Together in a Good Way Collaborative Indigenous Community Planning with Lake Babine Nation. library.ubc.ca (MA & MSc). p. 17 (16).
  26. ^ Quinn 2017, p. 39 (33).
  27. ^ Minister of Mines annual report, 1897. library.ubc.ca (Report). p. 69 (512).
  28. ^ Mining Record, 1899. library.ubc.ca (Report). p. 215 (27).
  29. ^ "Omineca Miner". library.ubc.ca. 13 Jun 1914. p. 4.
  30. ^ "Prince George Citizen". pgnewspapers.pgpl.ca. 9 Dec 1964. p. 17.
  31. ^ Minister of Highways annual report, 1965–66. library.ubc.ca (Report). p. C102.
  32. ^ "Prince George Citizen". pgnewspapers.pgpl.ca. 20 May 1965. p. 91.
  33. ^ "Prince George Citizen". pgnewspapers.pgpl.ca. 8 Jan 1971. p. 11.
  34. ^ "Prince George Citizen". pgnewspapers.pgpl.ca. 10 Feb 1969. p. 5.
  35. ^ "Nauticapedia: Babine Charger". www.nauticapedia.ca.
  36. ^ "BC Ferries: West Coast Ferries Forum". ferriesbc.proboards.com. 8 Apr 2006.
  37. ^ Pacific Booker Minerals 2008, p. 6.
  38. ^ Pacific Booker Minerals 2008, p. 7.
  39. ^ "Prince George Citizen". pgnewspapers.pgpl.ca. 20 May 1965. p. 3.
  40. ^ Pacific Booker Minerals 2008, p. 25.
  41. ^ "Calculation Information for 1981 to 2010 Canadian Normals Data". Environment Canada. Archived from the original on 14 Jun 2013. Retrieved 9 Jul 2013.

References

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Babine Lake
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