Harmony Lake

I first started working with Bordeuax Developments, back in 2015, while the lake was still under construction. Late on, Qualico Developments was my boss and then Harmony Developments and now Harmony Community Association. It has been a real trip having input on the deepest man-made lake in the province. My involvement was all related to the fishery in the lake, starting with a lake enrichment program, as soon as the lake had filled with water, in 2017. Amazingly, this resulted in the first stocking taking place in the fall of 2018. Now, as our fish angling survey proved this spring, the first trout stocked are now the size of footballs and by next year they will be trophy class.

This is Harmony Lake, under construction in November 2015.
This is the lake in May of 2016, now just starting to fill, but work in the lake is still ongoing.
The lake was finally filled in 2017 and I was now busy with my aquatic weed planting program, which was completed in the spring of 2019. The first stocking was made in the fall of 2018, after I submitted a report on the lake’s readiness for stocking trout, which happened in the spring of 2018.

Right now, there has been a total of 3,000 trout stocked after two stockings. The first stocking was in the fall of 2018 and another stocking occurred in 2019. After submitting a report from the 2020 angling survey, I included a recommendation for another 1,000 trout this fall, so the order has already been placed. Another recommendation in that report is that angling can be officially opened this next year, but whether this happens or not, it is now up to the Harmony Lake Community Association. We are presently on the right track, so we will have to see what happens next.

When you conduct a lake enrichment program on a new pond or lake, you need to manage the stocking of the lake, based on the amount of aquatic invertebrates that exist in the lake, so stocking it gradually is a requirement. Survival is based on the amount of food in a new lake and the loss of trout to predation. The later has not been a problem to date, due mainly to the slow growth of the lake’s trout population. The food that trout requires is relative to the amount of habitat for invertebrates. You need organics in a lake to support a trout population!

This photo was taken in August 2018, just a few months prior to the first stocking on Harmony Lake. The aquatic weeds that I planted, starting in the fall of 2017 were now providing some organics to the lake, as well as invertebrate habitat. It was from this assessment that I determined that lake was ready for the first stocking. The weeds that you are looking at are Chara, the preferred choice for this lake.
This is a closer look at the Chara that had been planted the year before. Now it was starting to spread quickly, across the lake bed.
Local hot shot anglers, Parker Makkreel (left) and Evan Martens, both helped out on the angling survey on Harmony, in the spring of 2020. The survey results helped to determine the existing fishery or quality of the sport fishery and what additional stocking numbers could be for the fall stocking program.

After this fall’s stocking program, I will be finished with my original goals on Harmony Lake. I recently submitted a report on the status of the aquatic weeds that were planted, along with a memorandum on invasive aquatic weeds that may start to establish on the lake. Two varieties are now starting to take root on the lake, but this is just part of the normal natural recruitment process, the existing preferred weeds that were planted will help reduce the threat of problematic varieties, taking over. A weed management program is always a part of any lake management strategy or plan. You just have to keep on top of the situation.

2020 Harmony Lake Aquatic Weed Report

The main Chara plantings consisted of over 95% wet weight of the cuttings that were planted, so this particular plants survival is very important to the program. The 2020 report on the lake’s Chara, Richardson Pondweed and Coontail is in and it is all good news.

You can see the Chara banks, near the drop-off in this photo, the aquatic plant is now well established in the lake, especially at key areas where shallower water habitats are important.
This clump of Richardson’s Pondweed is excellent habitat for brown trout. It’s spread is controlled by the beds of Chara that you can see on both sides of this clump.
The Coontail in this photo is also great cover for trout and you can also see some Richardson’s Pondweed to the right of this shallow clump.

The diversity of aquatic invertebrates now in Harmony Lake is spectacular! There are excellent hatches of midges, caddis, mayflies and both boatman and backswimmers. The shrimp population is outstanding, with other hatches of dragon flies and damsel flies improving every year. It has been my pleasure to be involved with this program, over the last 6 years. My work is now finished, but I do wish the Community Association all the best in their future management of the lake’s trout fishery.