Understanding Shabomeka Lake Dam
Shabomeka Lake (a.k.a. Buck Lake) is located in the Township of North Frontenac (formerly Barrie Township), on Semicircle Creek and is considered a headwater lake on the Mississippi River. Shabomeka Lake flows into Semicircle Lake which then flows into Mazinaw Lake. The Shabomeka Dam is the first major water control structure on the system and is located on the southwest shores of Shabomeka Lake.
The Shabomeka Dam is used for water control purposes and is located at the outlet on the southwest shore of Shabomeka Lake. The dam consists of a single concrete sluice containing eight 0.25 m x 0.25 m x 2.44 m stoplogs. An earth embankment on either side of the sluice forms the remainder of the dam. The dam is owned and operated by Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority (MVCA) and the removal and replacement of stoplogs is done by a local contractor.
Seasonal Management Strategies
The dam is operated early in the spring to capture runoff to ensure summer levels are met.
Stable water levels are targeted after ice-out for loons/nesting birds (if possible).
The dam is operated to ensure a minimum water level of 271.00 m is reached at the start of summer while trying to ensure that 271.15 m is not exceeded.
Lake levels are targeted between 270.90 m a.s.l. and 271.10 m. throughout the summer months, with virtually no outflow from the lake during this period under normal conditions.
The fall drawdown begins on or about September 15, with 7 of the 8 stoplogs in the dam being removed by early October. Implementing preferred option 2a will raise the winter water levels in Shabomeka Lake by approximately 0.30 m (one log) from the current strategy in order to cover lake trout spawning habitat throughout the spawning and incubation period (October – April). Stable minimum winter water levels are currently targeted between 269.35 m and 269.65 m (269.60 m to 69.80 m proposed) by early November.