Lake Winnipeg. Where is on the world map, photo

A lake called Winnipeg, which is located near the southwestern border of the Canadian Shield (a Precambrian bulge on the northern side of the Canadian-American Platform) Canada and ranks 5th in the ranking of the largest lakes in the country. Also, it has the status of the 12th largest body of fresh water in the world.


Lake Winnipeg is located in the province of Manitoba, at a distance of 55 km from the northern side of the city of Winnipeg of the same name. The lake is related to the watershed of the Arctic Ocean and was formed as a result of the advancement and melting of glaciers. The length of the heavily indented coastline of the lake is 1,750 m.

Geographical coordinates of the reservoir: 49°53′03″ N and 97°08′49″ E or 49.8844000, 97.1470400. The height of its location above sea level is 245 m.

The largest settlements located near the lake :

settlement Number of local residents
Gimli5 845
Winnipeg Beach1,019
Pine Falls1,314

The coastal area near the lake is very deserted, only 23 thousand natives live here, who are representatives of 11 Indian tribes.

Lake Winnipeg. Photo from a bird's eye view.

The uniqueness of the lake lies in the unpredictability of its character. When the north wind blows, the waves on the reservoir can suddenly grow up to 1 m. Such storms contribute to the appearance of floods and, as a result, numerous depressions and erosion on the coast.

On the south side there is an amazing place where the depth changes several times a day. Also, the bottom topography can instantly change on the lake. Deepening or shallowing may appear suddenly and persist for several days.

Historical facts

According to the Canadian side, the first European who visited these lands, in the period from 1667 to 1724, was a pioneer and fur trader from England named Henry Kelsey. After visiting these places, they became known to the public under the name "muddy waters", which is what the local Aborigines called him when Kelsey appeared.

According to the British College, the discoverer of these places was the French officer and explorer Pierre Gauthier de Warenne (la Verandrie), who made a trip here in the period from 1685 to 1749.

The first buildings in The surrounding area was built in the 30s of the 18th century. After the defeat of France in the war, the territory fell under the rule of Britain.

The lake in those days played a big role in trade, forming a transshipment point between the port of York Factory, located on the Hudson Bay, and the territory of the basins of the Assiniboine and Red rivers, where the natural resources of the region were exploited. Through the port on the lake passed the most important trade route that connected the north of Rupert's Land and all 13 colonies of the Atlantic coast.

This route was actively exploited by the fur trade, the sale of which increased rapidly after the procedure for declaring the independence of the United States of America.

The first port on Lake Winnipeg was built in 1730. In 1812, at the confluence of the Winnipeg and Assiniboine rivers, the Red River Colony was founded, which was subsequently renamed Winnepeg and received the status of the provincial capital.

The lake is of glacial origin and was formed from the remains of a large reservoir that existed on the site of modern Canada.


Lake Winnipeg, whose width, according to information from the Great Russian Encyclopedia, is 442 m, occupies almost 4% of the territory of the entire area of ​​the province of Manitoba.

Area, depth, extent, relief

Lake Winnipeg is located on the south side of central Canada, and since the end of the last century it has been included in the reservoir of the same name.

The surface area of ​​the reservoir is currently 24,387 sq. km, its catchment area is 984,200 sq. km, this includes the provinces of Canada and the USA:

  • Alberta;
  • Manitoba;
  • Saskatchewan;
  • Ontario;
  • Minnesota;
  • North Dakota.

The total volume of water in the lake is 284 cubic meters. km. The height of the water surface above sea level is 217 m. The maximum long-term level of water fluctuation in the lake is 3 m.

According to the Canadian Encyclopedia, the length of the lake is 416 km, according to the British surveys, 425 km. The lake has an elongated oval shape, located from north to south, with a width of 109 km.

The average depth of the lake according to information from various sources is from 12 m to 15 m, its maximum depth according to the Manitoba administration is 36 m, according to the Russian encyclopedia 28 m, and according to the British version - 18 m.

An exception is the deepest depression, which has a depth of 60 m. It is a narrow channel that connects the southern and northern sides of the reservoir.

Several islands have formed on the lake, the largest of them are:

  • Deer;
  • Black;
  • Hekla.

The territory on which the lake is located has a flat relief. Under the influence of the glacier, the coastline around it has acquired an intricate shape, which is most original on the western side of the slope. The coast around the lake consists of limestone and sand, because of this, the shores are easily washed away and form new caves and islets.

Salinity and water composition

Lake Winnipeg is one of the few largest freshwater lakes in the world. The water supply of the lake is mainly snow. The temperature indicators of the water in the lake, due to the shallow depths, are not divided into layers. The maximum difference between surface and deep waters is no more than 2 degrees.

Relationship with the World Ocean

The lake has its own special characteristics and belongs to the drainage basin of the Hudson Bay.

The largest rivers flowing into the lake, carrying almost 60% of the water:

  • Saskatchewan;
  • Red River (Red River);
  • Winnipeg.

Several small streams flow into the lake:

  • Behrens and Poplar;
  • Manigotagan and Ayslandik;
  • Bloodwein and Dauphin;
  • Fischer and Behrens;
  • Mukutawa and Black River.

The catchment runs west to east from the foothills of the Rocky Mountains at Alpert and runs through Saskatchewan and Manitoba all the way to the Canadian Shield in Ontario. In the south, it passes to the headwaters of the Mississippi, while capturing the state of Minnesota and North Dakota.

Lake Winnipeg flows into the river called Nelson from the north side, with an average annual velocity of 2,066 cu. m in 1 second. As it flows, it becomes part of the watershed of the Hudson Bay, which has a reputation as the largest watershed in the world and is related to the Arctic Ocean. Previously, the bay was called Rupert's Land.

Lake Winnipeg holds the absolute record for the rate of complete water change in a lake. The renewal procedure takes only 3 to 5 years.

Climate, water temperature

In the province of Manitoba, where Lake Winnipeg is located, there is a sharply continental climate with long and frosty winters and hot hot summers.

Averaged data collected according to statistics for the last few years:

Average winter temperature-18° С
Average summer temperature+20°С
Average annual precipitation500 mm
Average relative air humidity80%
Ice cover periodfrom early November to late April

Cold air masses come from the northern side in winter and at this time all the reservoirs of the region freeze with a thick layer of ice. In summer, quite often the air temperature rises above +30°C and it is during this period that the greatest amount of precipitation pours out.

Flora and fauna

Numerous bats live in large limestone rocks and caves on Lake Winnipeg, which have recently become a local attraction and delight tourists. They find the most convenient places for their holes in the loose texture of rocks and acquire offspring there.

In general, the flora and fauna of the region is very rich and diverse. The largest coastal zone is occupied by virgin taiga, which has been preserved in its original form since its formation during the post-glacial era.

All islands, regardless of size, are part of the Grindstone National Park group. The total number of protected areas adjacent to the coast of the island is 8, of which 6 are reserves and 2 reserves. The creation of such territories contributes to the preservation of the unique pristine nature of the region. The lake is home to 60 of Manitoba's 79 native fish species.

The most common of them are:

  • sturgeon;
  • lampreys;
  • muni;
  • minnows;
  • suckers;
  • soms;
  • pike;
  • trout;
  • whitefish;
  • cod;
  • stickleback;
  • carps;
  • sunfish;
  • groupers;
  • drums;
  • zander;
  • carp.

2 species of fish living in the lake are at certain risk of extinction, they are largemouth buffalo and sigannik. In 2002, smallmouth perch was first discovered in the reservoir, and in 1963, white perch.

Winnipeg is a nesting site for some migratory birds that need close water to live.

The most common here are:

  • pelicans;
  • seagulls;
  • terns;
  • ​​
  • cormorants.

At the confluence of the Red River into the lake, colonial birds gather in flocks for the flight to the south:

  • geese;
  • waders;
  • ducks;
  • swallows.

In some specially protected areas near the lake, there are tubular zouks (a rare species of waders), which are on the verge of extinction and are listed in the Red Book of the region.

Ecological situation

Currently, the ecological situation in the area of ​​the reservoir is unstable. Due to the intake of a significant amount of nutrients from the waters of the Red River, the number of phytoplankton has increased many times and this is due to an increase in the number of blue-green algae. The highest concentration of phosphorus and nitrogen is on the south side of the lake.

Due to the large number of invasive species and the increased number of river dressins (bivalve mollusks), the ecological balance of the region may change. Also, due to active fishing, the number of some commercial species, such as Canadian and light-finned zander, has sharply decreased.

On the eastern side of the lake there are virgin taiga forests, which have the status of a unique natural zone. In 2018 they were included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

How it is used

Industrial fishing is widespread on the lake, which brings tens of millions of dollars in profit to the industry. The reservoir is used for water transportation and as fishing farms, which employ almost 900 people.

Sport fishing is actively developing, specializing in catching certain types of fish:

  • yellow and smallmouth bass;
  • zander and pike;
  • lake sturgeon.

On the territory adjacent to the lake there are 30 settlements in which about 23 thousand people live. The surroundings of the lake are home to 11 indigenous peoples. Several hydroelectric power plants have been built on the lake, producing electricity for the needs of the local population and for export.

A 13-sector hydrological complex built in 1976 made Winnipeg the third largest hydroelectric reservoir in the world. The hydroelectric power station has a length of 500 km and covers a volume of water of 29.8 cubic

Recreational resources

In the waters of Winnipeg, as well as in other reservoirs of Manitoba (as part of the “put and take” program), commercial fish trout and rainbow trout are bred. This fish cannot exist in this region on its own, and in order to maintain active fishing, their habitat in reservoirs is artificially maintained.

Entertainment and recreation

Near the lake is a park called "Fun Mountain". There are 7 water slides here, riding from which you can have fun. Nearby there is a heated swimming pool and a huge hot tub. On an artificially created reservoir in the park, you can ride a boat or have a picnic on the coast.

The lake offers the opportunity to engage in active sports. Here you can go rowing or try your hand at sailing, try to catch fish or dive to the bottom of the reservoir in special equipment.


The Winnipeg region is distinguished by a large number of nationalities living on its territory, so there are a lot of different cultural centers open here. The main attraction of the region is the factory of the Royal Canadian Mint, which still mints coins.

The Assiniboine National Park and the Kildonan Zoo are considered natural landmarks of the region. Architectural sights can be admired in the Iskchange quarter, which still has buildings from the Victorian era.

It may be interesting to visit local museums:

  • the archaeological Cretaceous called Ed Leith;
  • Robert B. Ferguson Museum of Mineralogy.

On the streets of the city you can see the unique sculpture of the "Golden Boy", installed in 1919, which has a height of 5 m. Romanesque style. An organ is installed inside the cathedral. It contains a large number of unique gilded icons made in the Middle Ages.

Interesting Facts

Lake Winnipeg is located on the edge of a retreating ice sheet in North America. In ancient times, it was a remnant of the once vast freshwater near-glacial reservoir called Agassiz, which existed about 11 thousand years ago.

There are many interesting facts about the Winnipeg Reservoir:

  • Between 2010 and 2011, the total cost per catch of fish in the reservoir was more than 16 million dollars.
  • On the lake, some episodes of the film "K-19" with Harrison Forest are starred in the lead role.
  • On Lake Winnipeg, the Falcon-Beach focus was shot, which tells about secular life in the resort.
  • Near the lake lives the most numerous group of Icelanders in the amount of 26 thousand people. This is 2% of the population of the entire manufacturer and 35% of all Canadian Icelanders.

Lake Winnipeg, which is located in the very center of Canada, together with the lakes of Manitoba and Winnipegozis, formed from the ancient reservoir of Aggasis, are home-based Region on the manitobian lowland. The reservoirs play a crucial role in the economy of the country and are one of the main recreational resources of the region.

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