FortWhyte Alive Watershed Project

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FortWhyte Alive, 1961 McCreary Rd. in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, is more than just a nature centre, wildlife refuge, or a place for education – our 640 acres of protected urban greenspace is an award-winning destination for incredible outdoor experiences.

Mission: FortWhyte Alive is dedicated to providing programming, natural settings and facilities for environmental education, outdoor recreation and social enterprise. In so doing, FortWhyte promotes awareness and understanding of the natural world and actions leading to sustainable living.

FortWhyte Alive is located on a reclaimed industrial site, developed as a clay-pit quarry by Canada Cement in 1911. Five lakes were excavated as a part of this process. Since 1967, our private, non-profit organization has been offering educational programming onsite, including urban fishing and non-motorized recreational use of our lakes including sailing, canoeing and swimming. The lakes are considered a closed-system watershed, with infrequent water quantity contributions from overland flooding.

Declining water quality conditions and large fluctuations in water quantity in FortWhyte Alive's lakes has been identified through staff observations and the completion of a North-South Consultants Assessment of Current Water Quality Conditions in August 2009. In 2013, FortWhyte staff began to collect monthly baseline monitoring data on lake health parameters, year-round, and continue to current time. The program's purpose is to provide a data source for open access by researchers, and to assist in the organization’s water management decisions, with the goal of preventing further eutrophication and improving water quality parameters. FortWhyte Alive engages an Aquatic Advisory Board of aquatic research experts to advise us on monitoring actions.

Version 1.2.0
Data Steward Email
Data Collection Organization FortWhyte Alive
Data Upload Organization FortWhyte Alive
Progress Code onGoing
Maintenance Frequency Code unknown
Topic Category Code inlandWaters
Keywords Water Quality, Phosphorus, Dissolved Oxygen, Temperature, Chlorophyll
Spatial Extent -97.229° 49.816°, -97.219° 49.826° (W S, E N)
Vertical Extent 1969-12-31 to 1970-01-01
Temporal Extent 2013-03-20 to 2023-01-13
Date Published
Alternate Formats FGP-HNAP ISO:19115-2 (XML) , W3C DCAT (XML) , W3C DCAT (JSON-LD)


FortWhyte Alive. 2023-02-09. "FortWhyte Alive Watershed Project" (dataset). 1.2.0. DataStream.

Funding Sources

Funding of lake projects has come from the following sources in the past 5 years: RBC Blue Water and Environment Fund, WWF Canada- Loblaw Water Fund, The Conservation Trust Fund, Honda Canada Foundation and Lake Winnipeg Foundation. Scientific support has also been provided by University of Manitoba, IISD- Experimental Lakes Area, and University of Winnipeg.

Data Collection Information

Provide any additional information about how data were collected such as sampling methods, equipment, calibration, QA/QC samples collected.
Data is collected once monthly, throughout the year. Summer samples are completed by canoe, winter samples are completed through the ice. A YSI probe (YSI ProODO) is used to collect data on dissolved oxygen, temperature, and conductivity at a single point in each of 5 lakes, at 1-metre intervals from surface (0 metres) to maximum depth (range 5.5 m - 8.5 m). In open water season, a Secchi disc is also used to measure transparency at a single point in each lake.

To assess additional chemical parameters in the lakes, two sample bottles are obtained from the single sample site in each lake - one at surface and one at maximum depth. Periodic profiles at 1-metre intervals are also available. Bottles provided by ALS Environmental and contain Sulfuric Acid fixative. They are then analyzed by ALS Environmental Ltd. for total phosphorus (mg/l) using procedures adapted from APHA Method 4500-P "Phosphorus". Total Phosphorus is determined colorimetrically after persulphate digestion of the sample. Certain Total Phosphorus (mg/l) tests when indicated were performed by Maxxam, using Laboratory Method: BBY6SOP-00013 and Analytical Method: SM 4500 PE.

Certain samples have been analyzed for Phosphorus - Total Reactive, by ALS Environmental, carried out using procedures adapted from APHA Method 4500-P "Phosphorus". Total Reactive Phosphorus is determined colourimetrically.

Certain samples have also been analyzed by ALS Environmental for ammonia- total as N, ammonia in water samples forms indophenol when reacted with hypochlorite and phenol. The intensity is amplified by the addition of sodium nitroprusside and measured colourmetrically.

Chlorophyll-a and pheophytin analysis is undertaken by FortWhyte Alive staff using lab space at the University of Manitoba. Water samples (150-400 ml) are filtered through Whatman GF/C filter paper immediately post sampling and frozen. Samples are extracted with 90% methanol for 24 hours then analysed via spectrophotometry at 665nm and 750nm for chlorophyll a. 100 μL of 0.04M HCl are then added to each sample and they are analyzed at 665nm and 750nm for pheophytin. The procedure is adapted from Marker AFH, Crowther CA, Gunn RJM. 1980. Methanol and acetone solvents for estimating chlorophyll and phaeopigments by spectrophotometry. Archiv für Hydrobiologie Beihefte 14: 52-69.

Ice thickness in winter is measured monthly at each sample site with a ruler to the nearest centimetre. Snow thickness is measured with a ruler at 3 random sites near each sample site and averaged to the nearest centimetre.

Data Collection Processing


Attribution Licence (ODC-By) v1.0

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API Access

curl -G --data-urlencode "\\$filter=DOI eq '10.25976/h30w-an19'" -H "x-api-key: PRIVATE-API-KEY"



Added new observations from 2022 season

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Added new observations from 2021 sampling year

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initial submission

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