How do shorelines affect lakes?

Steam fog rising from a lake's surface.

Shorelines are key transition areas between water and land, and they provide some of the most valuable habitat of all terrestrial ecosystems. Shorelines are also popular places for humans.

Natural shorelines are riparian zones left to grow and develop as nature dictates, allowing for complex interactions between water, soil, microorganisms, insects, plants, and animals. They help prevent erosion and algae blooms because their vegetation filters out runoff from the surrounding land, keeping sediments, nutrients, and other pollutants out of a lake.

Altered shorelines have docks, retaining walls, or human-made beaches. They often suit the desires of people but overlook their impact on the surrounding lake ecosystem.

Some of Victoria’s lakes have a portion of their shoreline bordering a park, and a portion bordering private land – such as McKenzie Lake or Fork Lake. It is difficult to access the water at these lakes as there are no docks or beaches. This lack of development is likely purposeful, done to ensure quality of life for residents and that a portion of the shoreline remains natural.

Learn much more in the full Lakes of Victoria, BC guidebook!

Cover of Lakes of Victoria, BC.

In the full guidebook, discover where to:

  • Walk: enjoy lakeside strolls & boardwalks.
  • Hike: discover single-track trails & scenic views.
  • Swim: find the best beaches to soak up the sun.
  • Fish: learn about stocking trends and piers.
  • Paddle: explore shorelines, and hidden bays.
  • Bike: plan your next route and hit the trails.

Along the way you will meet the animals and plants that call these lakes and watersheds home, unearth forgotten place names, and learn stories of days past.

The book is full of useful maps, access information, and local trivia to get you started on your next family day or great adventure.

From locals to visitors, everyone will learn something new about the freshwater lakes that bring Victoria to life.