Buttle Lake – Strathcona Provincial Park
I often wonder if my grandfather would recognize what I see as wander about and explore Strathcona Provincial Park. Likely not, as while much remains as it always has been, we have changed the nature of the lake and the park by constructing a dam in 1958, a and in 1966.
The Strathcona Dam raised the levels of Upper Campbell and Buttle Lakes by 8.5 m while regulating the water level which now fluctuates about 9.0 m annually.
In 1966 a copper-lead-zinc mine began operation near the southern end of Buttle Lake. Until 1984 tailings from the mine were dumped directly into the lake, and until 1983, water from the mine drainage basin released metals, including copper, zinc and cadmium, which into Myra Creek which flows into Buttle Lake.
No – my grandfather would not have recognized much of Strathcona Provincial Park, especially Buttle Lake as we have forever changed it.