Lenore Lake Migratory Bird Sanctuary

Photo of Canada Geese
Photo: © Frontier Digital Arts. Canada Geese.

Lenore Lake Migratory Bird Sanctuary (MBS) is situated 25 km north of Humboldt, Saskatchewan. Located in the Boreal Transition ecoregion of Saskatchewan, Lenore Lake is a relatively large, slightly saline lake with an average depth of 5.2 metres. Water levels fluctuate severely as the lake is dependent upon spring runoff and seasonal rains. Most of the runoff reaches the lake through several small creek channels. Water from nearby Ranch Lake frequently spills over into Lenore Lake as a result of a restored drainage channel connecting the two lakes. Raven Island (a National Wildlife Area) is the largest of several islands. Until the drainage channel between the two lakes was opened in 1973, Raven Island was essentially a peninsula, and became an island only during wet years. As water levels recede during summer, a wide expanse of mud flat occurs along the low-relief shoreline. A 45- to 180-metre margin of wet or dry sedge meadow with associated grasses exists between the upland and mud flat or water.

Uplands surrounding the lake consist of native and tame grasslands used for pasture, and cultivated land used for hay and cereal and oilseed crop production. Access to the lake is provided by 14 public roads. Basin and Middle Lakes MBS is less than 10 km to the northwest.

Importance of the Migratory Bird Sanctuary

Lenore Lake was 1 of 12 lakes reserved on May 18, 1915, for sanctuary purposes. All vacant quarter sections adjacent to the lake were included in the reserved area. In 1917 and 1918, Lenore Lake and its islands were recommended to be protected as a bird sanctuary, and on March 9, 1925, the Lenore Lake Migratory Bird Sanctuary was established. In 1949-1950, the boundary was revised to include only the waters of Lenore Lake. Lenore Lake was designated an Important Bird Area in 2001 for its global significance for land bird concentrations, wading birds and waterfowl.

Lenore Lake is an important fall staging area for waterfowl. Over 30 000 ducks (mainly Mallards and assorted diving ducks), 700 Canada Geese and 300 Tundra Swans have been observed on the lake at one time. The protected bays provide breeding and moulting habitat for dabblers and divers. Island habitat has been used by 19 to 39 pairs of breeding Canada Geese as well as ducks.

Lenore Lake is also a major local sport fishery, especially for Walleye, Northern Pike, Perch and Whitefish.

Access and Activities

MBSs are established for the protection and conservation of migratory birds. Activities that could harm migratory birds, their nests or their eggs are prohibited.

MBSs can be and have been established on private, provincial, territorial and federally owned lands. Access to each MBS varies by site and is at the discretion of the landowner and land manager.

Where MBSs are located on federal land, Environment and Climate Change Canada is responsible for the management and protection of migratory birds, nests, eggs and habitat. Where MBSs are located on provincial land, Environment and Climate Change Canada is responsible for the protection of migratory birds and their nests, while the chief game officer of the province is responsible for the management of habitat. Where MBSs are located on private or municipal land, Environment and Climate Change Canada is responsible for the protection of migratory birds and their nests. Habitat management is the responsibility of the landowner.

Public access to the MBS is at the discretion of the many private landowners adjacent to the lake, or via the many provincial and municipal road access points. The standard prohibitions under the Migratory Bird Sanctuary Regulations apply to this site: hunting migratory birds is prohibited, and no person shall disturb, destroy or take the nest of a migratory bird or have in his or her possession a live migratory bird, or a carcass, skin, nest or egg of a migratory bird, except under the authority of a permit issued by Environment and Climate Change Canada or unless authorized by the Regulations. Possession of firearms or other hunting appliances is prohibited. Dogs and cats must not be allowed to run at large.

For more information on entry, activities and permits in MBSs, please visit the Management and Activities section of the Migratory Bird Sanctuaries website. For more information on protected areas managed by Environment and Climate Change Canada in Quebec, please contact the regional office.

For greater certainty, nothing in this document shall be construed so as to abrogate or derogate from the protection provided for existing Aboriginal or treaty rights of the Aboriginal peoples of Canada by the recognition and affirmation of those rights in section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982.

Map of the Area

  • Map of Lenore Lake Migratory Bird Sanctuary
Long description for the Map

Map showing the location of Lenore Lake Migratory bird Sanctuary relative to Saskatchewan, Lenore Lake and the Raven Island National Wildlife Area. The map shows the boundaries of the sanctuary, which covers Lenore Lake. The scale of the map is in kilometers.

This map is for illustrative purposes only and should not be used to define legal boundaries. Lenore Lake MBS can also be viewed using Google Maps. Please note that the Google map is a complementary source of information and does not represent the official map or site name.

Summary table

Summary Table for Lenore Lake Migratory Bird Sanctuary
Category Information
Protected Area designation Migratory Bird Sanctuary
Province or territory Saskatchewan
Latitude/longitude 52°30' N, 105°00' W
Size in hectares (ha) 7481 ha
Date created (Gazetted) 1925
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Management Category IV - Habitat/Species Management Area
Additional designations Part of Lake Lenore Important Bird Area
Main habitat type Open water and mud flats (97%), sedge meadow (2%), island (1%)
Key bird species Canada Goose, Mallard, American White Pelican, Double-crested Cormorant, Great Blue Heron, Black-crowned Night Heron, Western Grebe, Franklin's Gull, Ring-billed Gull, California Gull, Common Tern, Black Tern and Piping Plover
Other species Birds: Tundra Swan, Sandhill Crane, American Avocet, Killdeer, Willet, Spotted Sandpiper, Sora, Marbled Godwit and Wilson's Phalarope Fish: Walleye, Northern Pike, Perch and Lake Whitefish
Listed species under the Species at Risk Act (SARA) Piping Plover (circumcinctus subspecies)
Management agency Canadian Wildlife Service, Prairie and Northern Region
Landowner Province of Saskatchewan

Contact Information

Environment and Climate Change Canada - Prairie and Northern Region
Canadian Wildlife Service
Protected Areas and Stewardship
115 Perimeter Road
Saskatoon, SK S7N 0X4
Toll Free: 1-800-668-6767 (in Canada only)
Email: ec.enviroinfo.ec@canada.ca
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