What makes a lake clear?

Smoke on the water

There are three natural factors that impact the clarity and colour of water in a lake: inorganic matter such as soil, organic matter such as decayed leaves, and algae such as phytoplankton.

Unnatural factors such as pollution or runoff can bring excess nutrients, which can also impact the clarity and colour of water in a lake, particularly in the case of algae blooms.

Lakes also change colour depending on viewing angle, the time of day, and the weather.

The clarity of water in a lake can be measured with a simple tool called a Secchi disc – a black and white disk that is lowered into water until it can no longer be seen, thereby showing the depth of light penetration.

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.