We are a group of concerned residents and users of Pigeon Lake and its watershed who are working together to understand the lake and its needs, and to advocate best practices.
Our Mission is to use the best methods available to study the lake and its ecosystems, communicate best practices to users, advocate effective policies by governments and regulators, and take a leadership role in lake and shoreline cleanup.
The Story of Pigeon Lake
Originally known as Woodpecker Lake, Pigeon Lake is currently one of the most popular recreation lakes in Alberta. It is one of the largest fresh water lakes in the province. Its proximity to Edmonton and Red Deer make it one of the busiest lakes in the summer time. Its shores have been the site of habitation since the time of the early migrations of north american peoples. Its name is derived from the time that large flocks of passenger pigeons roamed the area in the mid-1800s. Ma-Me-O means 'white pigeon' in Cree. The lake has provided a habitat for numerous fish species. Historically it has supported a commercial fishery and related fish packing, a sport fishery, and a food fishery for first nations and metis communities.
Modern habitation dates back to the establishment of Rundle Mission in 1847, a Hudson's Bay Trading Post in 1868, and the Pigeon Lake Indian Reserve in 1896. The hamlets of Mulhurst and Westerose and the Summer Village of Ma-Me-O Beach were established during these early times. Logging, with a saw mill operation at Mulhurst, and farming were also important features of the local economy. Subsequently nine more summer villages evolved, along with several provincial parks and other recreation areas. There are now active farming, cow-calf, buffalo and oil and gas operations in the watershed. Substantial residential and other recreational development is also occurring, and a growing residential service centre has been established at the Village at Pigeon Lake. Consequently the community of lake users has grown significantly and the PLWA has been established to understand impacts, both human and natural, on the lake and its watershed. The recent blue green algae bloom, concerns about fish stocks, higher density real estate development and oil and gas operations in the watershed are all matters of interest to the PLWA.