What ecological zones does a lake have?

Steam fog rising from a lake's surface.

In and around lakes there are many different ecological zones, which are interdependent and support different natural processes and species. These zones are largely based on water depth.

Riparian zone

The riparian zone is where the land meets the water, along the shoreline where wetlands are often found.

Littoral zone

The littoral zone includes the water close to the shore. With plenty of sunlight and warm water, this area supports aquatic plants and a wide diversity of animals and insects.

Limnetic zone

The limnetic zone is out in the open water, from the surface down to eight meters below.

Profundal zone

The profundal zone is the water beyond the limnetic zone, beyond eight meters depth. Little light reaches this zone, meaning few plants can photosynthesize or make oxygen here. Many of Victoria’s smaller lakes do not have a profundal zone, as they are too shallow.

Benthic zone

The benthic zone includes the surface of sediments at the bottom of a lake. Dragonflies and midges start their lives here, while western painted turtles join them in the winters, burrowed into the sediments.

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.