Seibert Lake

The contents of this online version has not been altered or modified from the original 1990 publication. It is reasonable to assume that much of the data e.g. water levels, camp grounds/boat launches, etc. is out of date. For updated or additional information on any of the lakes in this atlas please go to Environment Alberta's water web site.

Basic Info
Map Sheets73L/11, 14
Lat / Long54.7166667, -111.3000000
54°43'N, 111°17'W
Area37.9 km2
Max depth11 m
Mean depth6.9 m
Dr. Basin Area67.6 km2
Dam, WeirNone
Drainage BasinBeaver River Basin
Camp GroundPresent
Boat LaunchPresent
Sport FishNorthern Pike, Lake Whitefish, Walleye, Yellow Perch
Trophic StatusNo Data
TP x9 µg/L
CHLORO xNo Data µg/L
TDS x318 mg/L
62
Photo credit: unknown

Introduction

Pristine, isolated Seibert Lake is set in the wilderness of the Lakeland Region. It is valued for the high-quality angling for large northern pike that it provides. Seibert Lake is located in Improvement District No. 18 (South), 265 km northeast of the city of Edmonton and about 100 km east of the town of Lac La Biche. To reach the lake from Edmonton, take Highways 28 and 28A northeast to Secondary Road 881. Drive north to Highway 55, then turn east and drive for about 6 km until you reach an improved road that runs north. This 22-km-long road leads to Seibert Lake Forest Recreation Area on the southeast shore of the lake (FIGURE 1). The final two-thirds of the road twists and turns and is classed as unimproved. During wet weather, a four-wheel drive vehicle with a winch may be necessary, and during winter, the road is not plowed regularly.

Seibert Lake Forest Recreation Area is operated by Alberta Forestry, Lands and Wildlife. It is open from May to September and offers 33 campsites, pump water, a beach, a boat launch, and a day-use area with picnic tables and a picnic shelter (FIGURE 2).

Seibert Lake was named for F.V. Seibert, who explored a large area of northern Alberta and surveyed the township in which the lake is located (Holmgren and Holmgren 1976). The lake is known locally as Worm Lake, a translation from the Cree Mohteo Sakhahigan or Munghoos Sakhahigan. The name refers to cysts of the tapeworm Triaenophorus crassus found in the lake whitefish (Chipeniuk 1975).

A trading post and several sawmills were located on the south shore of Seibert Lake at various times during the period from the 1930s to the 1950s (Chipeniuk 1975). The lake was fished commercially from the early 1900s to 1957. In 1915, a northern pike reported to weigh 18 kg was caught in a gill net and during the 1930s, pike in the range of 8 to 14 kg were frequently reported caught (Chipeniuk 1975).

Seibert Lake was designated a Trophy Lake in 1970. Anglers who fish in trophy waters must hold a Trophy Waters Fishing Licence in addition to their sport fishing licence. Exceptions are people under the age of 16 or over the age of 65. The daily catch and possession limit for northern pike, at two per angler, differs from the regular provincial limit. As well, fishing for bait fish and the use of bait fish are not allowed. Seibert Lake's inlet and outlet streams are closed to fishing during a designated period in April and May (Alta. For. Ld. Wild. 1989). There are no boating restrictions specific to Seibert Lake, but general federal regulations apply (Alta. For. Ld. Wild. 1988).

Drainage Basin Characteristics

Seibert Lake's drainage basin is less than twice the size of the lake (Tables 1, 2). Several intermittent streams flow into the lake at various points along the shore (FIGURE 1). The outlet, an unnamed creek, flows into the Sand River to the east and then into the Beaver River.

Seibert Lake is underlain by the Cretaceous-age shales and ironstone of the La Biche Formation (TABLE 1). The lake lies on a rolling morainal plain characterized by level to gently rolling topography. Minor ridges and knobs are intermixed with numerous wet depressions and small peat bogs. Elevations range from 739 m above sea level at the northern tip of the watershed to 621 m near the lakeshore. The drainage basin is part of the Moist Mixedwood Subregion of the Boreal Mixedwood Ecoregion (Strong and Leggat 1981). The dominant soils in the watershed are moderately well-drained to well-drained Orthic Gray Luvisols (Kocaoglu 1975). These fine-loamy, moderately to strongly calcareous soils, which developed on glacial till, support a forest cover of trembling aspen and balsam poplar. A large area of Eluviated Eutric Brunisols of a loamy coarse sand texture is located north of the lake. These rapidly drained soils formed on sandy glaciofluvial materials and support a tree cover of jack pine. Organic soils, particularly Mesisols, are present throughout the drainage basin in depressional to level areas. They support a cover of black spruce, willows and sedges.

Seibert Lake's entire watershed, except for the recreation area, is in its natural state. All of the land belongs to the Crown. Agricultural and residential developments have not taken place to date, and will not be allowed in the future under the Lakeland Sub-Regional Integrated Resource Plan (Alta. En. Nat. Resour. 1985). Other activities restricted by this management plan are commercial, industrial and non-renewable resource developments. Planning objectives are to manage the lake for high-quality angling for trophy-sized northern pike and to provide recreational opportunities for water-based and upland wilderness activities.

Lake Basin Characteristics

Seibert Lake has a surface area of almost 38 km2 and a maximum depth of 11 m (TABLE 2). The deepest spot is located in a small hole in the centre of the single basin (FIGURE 2). Most of the lake is 9-m deep or less. The sides of the basin slope gradually to the lake bottom, which is quite flat, and there are no islands. A 1971 study noted that sand and gravel made up most of the bottom sediments to a depth of 4.5 m (Mackowecki 1973[a]). Below 6 m, gray silt was the characteristic bottom type. The elevation of Seibert Lake has not been monitored.

Water Quality

Water quality data for Seibert Lake are limited. Alberta Environment sampled the lake in March of both 1979 and 1986, and a University of Alberta researcher conducted a brief survey during July 1971 (Alta. Envir. n.d.[a]; Mackowecki 1973[a]).

The water in Seibert Lake is fresh, well-buffered and very hard (TABLE 3). The major ions are bicarbonate, magnesium and sodium. In July 1971, the water temperature was a uniform 16°C from surface to bottom. In March 1986, the dissolved oxygen concentration was 12.5 mg/L at the surface and 0 mg/L at the bottom (FIGURE 3). Anoxic conditions in the deepest water were also observed in March 1979.

It is not possible to properly categorize the trophic status of Seibert Lake with the data available. However, the relatively low total phosphorus concentration (9 µg/L) measured in March 1986 (TABLE 4) indicates that the lake is likely low in productivity.

Biological Characteristics

Plants

The phytoplankton community in Seibert Lake has not been sampled quantitatively. McDonald (1964) noted the presence of Anabaena sp., Microcystis sp. and Aphanocapsa sp. on 29 July 1964.

Aquatic vegetation was surveyed qualitatively by a researcher at the University of Alberta in July and August of 1971 and 1972 (Mackowecki 1973[a]). Three emergent, 2 free-floating, 3 floating-leaved, and 10 submergent species were identified (TABLE 5). Emergent vegetation, mostly common great bulrush (Scirpus validus), almost rings the lake. Yellow water lily (Nuphar variegatum) was mostly confined to the ends of bays. Stonewort (Chara sp.) was the most widespread submergent plant, followed by large-sheath pondweed (Potamogeton vaginatus), white-stem pondweed (P. praelongus) and northern watermilfoil (Myriophyllum ex-albescens). Submergent vegetation grew to a depth of at least 4.8 m, which is 30% of the lake's area (FIGURE 4).

Invertebrates

The zooplankton and benthic invertebrates in Seibert Lake were sampled by a researcher from the University of Alberta in 1971 and 1972 (Mackowecki 1973[a]). In July 1971 samples, the most abundant large zooplankton were copepods (mainly Cyclops sp. and some Limnocalanus sp.) and cladocerans (Daphnia sp. and Diaphanasoma sp.); ostracods were found occasionally.

Benthic invertebrate samples were collected, in duplicate, at 1.5-m depth intervals along transects at each of 14 sites in July 1971. A further 72 sites were sampled in duplicate at the 3-m depth during July and August of 1971 and 1972. The mean total biomass (wet weight) was 15.9 g/m2 (n = 35) for the littoral zone (1.5- to 4.5-m depths) and 4.2 g/m2 (n = 28) for the sublittoral zone (6.5- to 9-m depths). These biomass estimates are fairly typical of mesotrophic lakes in Alberta. The dominant littoral species, based on numbers, were scuds (Amphipoda: Hyalella azteca and Gammarus lacustris), mayfly nymphs (Ephemeroptera: mostly Ephemera sp.) and midge larvae (Chironomidae). The dominant sublittoral organisms were midge larvae, scuds and fingernail clams (Sphaeriidae: Pisidium sp.).

Fish

The fish species found in Seibert Lake are northern pike, walleye, yellow perch, lake whitefish, burbot, white sucker, Iowa darter, spottail shiner and brook stickleback. Fathead minnow were recovered from a walleye stomach, but none were collected by seining in 1971 (Mackowecki 1973[a]). Cisco are listed in the commercial fishing records for 1947/48 to 1949/50 but were not recorded in the 1955/56 and 1956/57 seasons, nor were they collected in multiple-mesh test nets set in August 1972. Seibert Lake supported a small, intermittent commercial fishery from the early 1900s to 1957, but at present it is managed for sport fishing only (Alta. For. Ld. Wild. n.d.; Chipeniuk 1975; Alta. Rec. Parks Wild. 1976). Commercial fishing was discontinued after 1957, largely because the lake whitefish were heavily infested with cysts of Triaenophorus crassus (McDonald 1964; Alta. Rec. Parks Wild. 1976).

Data for the sport fishery are limited. Questionnaires were sent to all purchasers of Trophy Lake licences from 1970/71 to 1972/73 and, based on the numbers of questionnaires returned, Mackowecki (1973[b]) concluded that anglers at Seibert Lake harvested 277 northern pike in 1970/71, 615 northern pike in 1971/72 and 949 northern pike in 1972/73. Based on a mean weight of 3.4 kg, the anglers in 1972/73 harvested 3,231 kg of pike, which was near the maximal level of harvest at which the population could be maintained. The numbers of large pike in Seibert Lake are currently in decline (Norris 1989).

Walleye are the only other game fish in Seibert Lake. Anglers harvested 1,538 walleye in 1970/71, 2,430 walleye in 1971/72 and 2,636 walleye in 1972/73. These walleye averaged about 800 g in weight, so in 1972/73, the catch weighed about 2,100 kg (Mackowecki 1973[b]). Lake whitefish are caught incidentally by walleye anglers. Their primary role in Seibert Lake appears to be as food for large pike.

Wildlife

There is no information available on the wildlife at Seibert Lake.

M.E. Bradford and J.M. Hanson

References

Alberta Energy and Natural Resources. 1985. Lakeland sub-regional integrated resource plan. Resour. Eval. Plan. Div., Edmonton.

Alberta Environment. n.d.[a]. Envir. Assess. Div., Envir. Qlty. Monit. Br. Unpubl. data, Edmonton.

-----. n.d.[b]. Tech. Serv. Div., Hydrol. Br. Unpubl. data, Edmonton.

-----. n.d.[c]. Tech. Serv. Div., Surv. Br. Unpubl. data, Edmonton.

Alberta Forestry, Lands and Wildlife. n.d. Fish Wild. Div. Unpubl. data, Edmonton.

-----. 1988. Boating in Alberta. Fish Wild. Div., Edmonton.

-----. 1989. Guide to sportfishing. Fish Wild. Div., Edmonton.

Alberta Municipal Affairs. 1984. Improvement District No.18 (South) lake planning framework. Plan. Serv. Div., Edmonton.

Alberta Recreation, Parks and Wildlife. 1976. Commercial fisheries catch statistics for Alberta, 1942-1975. Fish Wild. Div., Fish. Mgt. Rep. No. 22, Edmonton.

Alberta Research Council. 1972. Geological map of Alberta. Nat. Resour. Div., Alta. Geol. Surv., Edmonton.

Chipeniuk, R.C. 1975. Lakes of the Lac La Biche district. R.C. Chipeniuk, Lac La Biche.

Energy, Mines and Resources Canada. 1970, 1979. National topographic series 1:50000 73L/14 (1970), 73L/11 (1979). Surv. Map. Br., Ottawa.

Environment Canada. 1982. Canadian climate normals, Vol. 7: Bright sunshine (1951-1980). Prep. by Atm. Envir. Serv. Supply Serv. Can., Ottawa.

Holmgren, E.J. and P.M. Holmgren. 1976. Over 2000 place names of Alberta. 3rd ed. West. Producer Prairie Books, Saskatoon.

Kocaoglu, S.S. 1975. Reconnaissance soil survey of the Sand River area (73L). Alta. Soil Surv. Rep. No. 34, Univ. Alta. Bull. No. SS-15, Alta. Inst. Pedol. Rep. No. S-74-34 1975. Univ. Alta., Edmonton.

Mackowecki, R. 1973[a]. The trophy pike, Esox lucius, of Seibert Lake. MSc thesis. Univ. Alta., Edmonton.

-----. 1973[b]. The trophy pike of Seibert Lake. Alta. Ld. For., Fish Wild. Div. Rep. No. 10, Edmonton.

McDonald, D. 1964. Lake survey report: Seibert Lake, also Worm Lake (66-9-W4). Alta. Ld. For., Fish Wild. Div., Edmonton.

Norris, H. 1989. Alta. For. Ld. Wild., Fish Wild. Div., St. Paul. Pers. comm.

Strong, W.L. and K.R. Leggat. 1981. Ecoregions of Alberta. Alta. En. Nat. Resour., Resour. Eval. Plan. Div., Edmonton.


Figures


Tables