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Lake Profile

Quill Lakes

General Information

Description The Quill Lakes are one of the larger grouping of lakes in the grassland/saline lake region of southern Saskatchewan. The Quill Lakes are terminal, or endorheic, lakes, meaning that they have no outlet to an ocean. The lack of an outlet causes lake water to become saline over time, as evaporation leaves behind minerals. Terminal lakes are often particularly sensitive to pollutants.
Country Canada
Latitude 51° 55' 0" (51.9167)
Longitude -104° 0' 0" (-104.0000)
River Basin Nelson-Saskatchewan

Physical Characteristics

Description Winter ice on the Quill Lakes averages one meter in thickness! Big Quill has a surface area of 307 square km.
Volume 0.50 km3
Surface Area 307.00 km2
Depth Mean depth: 2.0 m
Maximum depth: 3.0 m
Age 10,000 - 99,999 years before present
Origin Glacial
Type Saline


Economic Value Most of the prairie region these lakes sit in is used for cultivating wheat. Coal is abundant and often strip-mined, usually causing significant ecological damage. Sodium sulphate is harvested from saline lakes at eight plants in Saskatchewan. Potash is also abundant in Saskatchewan and is minded from lakes at about 1000 m depth. (Hammer, T. the Saline Lakes of Canada)
Major Cities

Watershed Management


Biodiversity Conservation

Designations LakeNet Biodiversity Priority
Ramsar Site
Species of Concern



Biodiversity Conservation of the World's Lakes: A Preliminary Framework for Identifying Priorities
Ramsar profile on Canada

Additional Data Sources

Duker, L. and L. Borre. 2001. Biodiversity conservation of the world's lakes: a preliminary framework for identifying priorities. LakeNet Report Series Number 2. Annapolis, Maryland USA.

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