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Sailing News - The news is listed below in chronological order.  If you would like an item posted, please email the web master
2020 NEWS - Eight Bells for Founder of Catalina Yachts,

2019 NEWS - GPS Rollover, Samco Hearings.

2018 NEWS - Regional Plan, Sundance Boat Launch,

2017 NEWS - Lake Management 1, Lake Management 2, Tansy Infestation, new ramp,

2016 NEWS - AOSA Status, WWMC Meeting, WWMC Spring Newsletter, Launch like a Boss. WWMC General Meeting, Prevent Mussels, WWMC Fall News Letter.

ARCHIVED NEWS - Wabamun Power plant  - Wabamun Power plant 2 - Wabamun Power Plant


2019 NEWS

GPS ROLLOVER - There’s been a lot of talk on the various forums about some doomsday GPS scenario that’s rumoured to happen in April.  (It’s not an April 1 thing)
While I don’t know what it is from a technical perspective, the question was posed on the Ray tech forum, and they have assured that none of the plotters or GPS units that any of us may have will be affected.  
I think I can say this, as none of our boats are really large enough to accommodate an A or C series plotter. I know there’s a couple of “a” ( lower case) and Axiom units out there. I know of at least 2 a65 units.  Ray Marine also suggests the GPS1xx units are unaffected.  
All that said, there’s some kind of patch coming.  

If you have a Garmin or Lowrance or anything else, it might be time to start reading up on this.  
It’s called the “gps 2019 rollover”   Gary Hamilton


2019-01-22, SAMCO DEVELOPMENT APPEAL HEARING - This second meeting concluded the public portion of the appeal board hearing with the remaining residents and interested parties having addressed the Board.  There were few empty seats.  The meeting concluded at approximately 10:00 PM, well past the intended time.  After a 10 minute recess the Board announced they would deliver their decision in 15 days. 

2019-01-13, SAMCO DEVELOPMENT APPEAL HEARING - Affected Wabamun Lake residents and others using the lake were out in force at County Parkland appeal hearing for this controversial Wabamun Lake campground.   Wabamun Area Stewardship Alliance (WASA) was formed to oppose this campground development.  Time ran out for the remainder of the WASA speakers to address the appeal board so this hearing will reconvene at Parkland County Centre on Jan 28, 4 PM.  Plan to attend as a show of support.


2018 NEWS

2018-11-13, WABAMUN LAKE SOUTH SHORE LAUNCH RAMP - Click on County Parkland Council meeting to view the WWMC presentation (Stan Franklin) on this subject.  Then click on item 6.3 below the video to view Council's discussions and final decision on the subject.

GOOD NEWS: Sundance Boat Launch

On November 13 Parkland County Council voted to begin construction of the $2,000,000 boat launch on the south side of Wabamun Lake, near the Sundance power plant. The funds have been set aside, the lease agreement has been signed with TransAlta and the environmental impact assessment has been completed. Construction is expected to begin in May or June 2019 with the launch opening anticipated for the spring of 2020.

With Parkland revenues in decline, Mayor Shaigec correctly made the case that Wabamun is not just a Parkland lake. It is a significant provincial resource used by many non-Parkland residents. As such, there should be some measure of cost sharing for the launch by surrounding municipalities and the provincial government. Regardless, the County has now committed to construction of the site.  WWMC


The Government of Alberta is currently in the process of developing a Regional Plan for the North Saskatchewan Region of Alberta.  The plan will provide
the policy integration, direction and clarity needed to help guide decisions that collectively reflect and support the needs and values of Albertans;
it will help to achieve Alberta's long-term economic, environmental, indigenous and social outcomes for the region.

Regional plans are a key element of the Land Use Framework (LUF)<>,
which was released in December 2008. The LUF establishes seven land-use regions and commits to the development of a regional plan for each. The
next step in the planning process for the North Saskatchewan Regional Plan is the public release of the Recommendations Report from the North Saskatchewan
Regional Advisory Council.

Established in 2014, the Regional Advisory Council was comprised of individuals with a cross-section of knowledge, experience, and perspective in the region
who were appointed to develop recommendations to government on how to address the region's issues and challenges.  Advice from the RAC, in addition to
feedback from the public and stakeholders, will guide development of the draft land use plan for this region.

You are invited to:

Read the North Saskatchewan Regional Advisory Council's Recommendations
Document available at:
Recommendations Document<>

Provide your input in the online survey through May 4, 2018 at:
Online survey<>

The release of the draft regional plan will initiate another round of consultation to gather feedback before the plan is finalized.

We appreciate your input regarding Alberta's regional plans. If you have any questions or comments please contact the Land Use Secretariat.

[LUF logo]
Land Use Secretariat
6th Floor, Forestry Building, 9920-108 St.
Edmonton AB T5K 2M4
Telephone:  780-644-7972/780-644-7973

2017 NEWS

2017-07-31, WEATHER ALERTS -

While the reception on the VHF weather channels at Wabamun Lake is poor (lousy to spotty), I did receive a weather alert broadcast early in the afternoon.  It is a steady warbled 1 Khz (approx) tone.  Panache's VHF was monitoring Chan 16 at the time and it displayed a banner scrolling across the bottom of the screen telling me there is a weather alert and to hit any key.  This I did, after which the radio immediately switched to weather chan 1, from which I listened to the weather broadcast.  "Severe thunder storms developing in Edson and to arrive at Wabamun later in the afternoon. (in English)"  About 4 PM another weather alert was transmitted giving the all clear.  Great service if you ask me. 

Panache has a Standard Horizon DSC VHF e/w GPS.  While I have enabled most features, including respond to weather alerts, I had no idea Environment Canada was broadcasting this signal.  The manual states this operation is exclusive to the US.  What do they know! At any rate this is new to me this year and I'm happy it works. 

Unfortunately other VHF radios around me did not receive this signal or can't decode it to warn the operator.   So check your VHF options for this feature and enable it if present.  It should give you enough time to seek shelter instead of being totally surprised by black clouds coming over the horizon.      TOP 

2017-07-11, NEW LAUNCH RAMP FOR WABAMUN - The Parkland County Council has approved funding for land acquisition and construction of a new south side boat launch that is set to be completed in 2019.   Click on for more information.    TOP 
2017-07-10, TANSY INFESTATION (Alberta Invasive Species Council & MD of Greenview No. 16) - On Aug 14 several government groups will partner with local volunteers to deal with an infestation of Tansy on an island on the Smokey River, 8 KM downstream from where it crosses highway 43.  Click on this link for more information. (  Tansy has a tendency to spread its seed during Spring runoff with the potential to infest and out compete native vegetation downstream.  This would include the Peace River, Slave River, Great Slave Lake and the Mackenzie River.  By being proactive MD Greenview hopes to save the large inaccessible areas of native vegetation along this water shed.  Because Tansy grows along the water it is controlled by digging up the plants and burning them to destroy the seeds.  This effort is expected to take several seasons.  So if you can spare some time please contact Kristin on the link above.  She will send you further instructions. 
PS:  The island is 8Kms downstream from highway 43 so there is an opportunity for adventure and maybe a nifty ride on a jet boat.   TOP 
2017-06-23, LAKE MANAGEMENT - Hi folks!

I hope you are all getting to spend some time enjoying Alberta's lakes as we move into summer! I have a few updates on the Respect our Lakes program
to share - please feel free to pass this information to anyone else in the lake community.

I am happy to announce that many of the Respect our Lakes Signs that we first debuted at the Alberta Recreational Lake Forum (ARL) back in April,
have been distributed to groups across the province.  For those of you who weren't able to join us at ARL or haven't heard about the signs
yet, please see the attached sign order form for more information. I have also included a general order list, so you can see which lakes in your
area have had signs ordered to date. If anyone is still needing signs, please fill out the attached form as we still have signs available. I look
forward to seeing these signs up on the landscape and would like to thank everyone who has participated in the sign program by helping distribute
and install - we wouldn't have been able to get this important messaging to all of these lakes without your help!

As requested at ARL (in addition to the signs), I now have waterproof 17 X 10† posters of the responsible Lake Recreation  and Responsible
Lake Living  signs to put up around lakes at kiosks.

We have also finalized, and have in printed copies in hand, the new Responsible
Lake Recreation  brochure<>.

If you would like to order any of the above (signs, posters or brochures), or have any other questions, please don't hesitate to contact me. As
always, we also have our ROL displays available to lend people for events that we can't attend in person.

Thanks all - enjoy your summer

Janine Higgins, Community Engagement Lead
Community Engagement Branch, Central Service Area
Phone (780) 643-1780| Cell (587) 986-6694
9th Floor, 9915-108 Street, Edmonton, T5K 2G8
Alberta Environment & Parks      TOP 
2017-05-23, LAKE MANAGEMENT - Late last month, I was privileged to attend the ARL (used to be CARL) annual meeting of groups involved in lake management for the Province of Alberta.  About 200 people attended from NGOs, government, summer villages, First Nations, environmental groups, and one lone representative of boating i.e. yours truly.   Not that I think I can do this by myself - I can't.  It has been said that rules are made by the people that show up, so we need to show up much more than we are now.  As it is, boaters get blamed for a lot of things that they don't do - like dumping potties overboard, noise pollution, washing away the shoreline through large wakes, etc. 

We need much more representation in this and other watershed management organizations and all the areas which government looks to for guidance in how to set up the rules.  This is very important at this point in time.  Please consider joining your local watershed group or NGO, summer village, etc.  If we are left behind, we will have no say in government policies and will shoulder the blame for many things we have nothing to do with and thereby find ourselves more restricted as time goes by.

These commitments usually take one evening a month only in the winter when we can't sail or boat anyway.  The things you learn by participating will expand your enjoyment of the lakes in areas you haven't even thought of.

Once again, please consider getting involved for the good of boaters everywhere. 

Phil Sutton
Commodore, AOSA 

2016 NEWS

2016-11-03, WWMC Fall Newsletter - Click here to download. (check your download folder).

Highlights include:

  • AGM, Wednesday, October 19
  • Meetings with Chief Administrative Officers
  • Boat Launch Issues
  • Underutilized Fish...? Should we be allowed to take some home?     TOP 
2016-09-14, PREVENT MUSSELS  IN ALBERTA - The Alberta government has introduced new legislation and guidelines to prevent invasive aquatic life forms (zebra & quagga mussels) from taking hold in Alberta lakes, ditches, drainage areas, etc.   Be aware that it is now illegal to transport your water craft with a closed drain plug.  In addition, there are additional guidelines to follow when retrieving your boat this Fall and into the future.  Click here for details.      TOP 
2016-09-1, Annual General Meeting - 7:00 PM on Wed, Oct 19 at the Alberta Environment & Sustainable Resource Development office, 250 Diamond Ave, Spruce Grove.   All members and guests are welcome.

What’s in Store in 2016 for the WWMC?
The Board will discuss what the council has done and where we are going. Bring your questions about the watershed, and learn more about your lake and surrounding area.
More information about the meeting will be announced shortly, including our Keynote Speaker, so stay tuned.

Call for Nominations

Here's your chance to help the lake by serving on the board of the WWMC. We can certainly use your assistance to inform and shape policies that will ensure the health of the lake.

The election of the Board Members will occur at the AGM. Six positions on the Board are open for nominations. We really would like to fill these positions. If you are interested, we’d like to hear from you. Please contact Kelly Aldridge, Chair of the Nominating Committee, at:
     Telephone 780-953-2695.

Interim Appointment to the Board

Tracy Muloin and Renee Bliss were appointed to the Board as interim members during the past year.  At the AGM a motion will be made to confirm these appointments as per our bylaws.      TOP 

2016-07-27, AOSA Status

On Friday, July 22 the AOSA executive received word from the Alberta Registrar that the AOSA is revived as a society as of June 21, 2016 thanks to the work of Linda Payne (secretary), Ron van Amsterdam (treasurer) and the rest of the executive for giving up their time during the summer to make this happen.

Enjoy your sailing

Phil "Peg-Leg Sutton
Your pirate COMMODORE  

2016-06-10 - How to Launch like a Boss. - Great message.      TOP 
2016-05-24, WWMC Spring Newsletter.   Click here to download

Highlights include:

  • Boat Launches and Crowded Lakes
  • Mine Reclamation
  • Habitat Destruction
  • Wetlands

The next meeting of the WWMC is Wednesday, June 15, 6:30 p.m. We meet in the West Board Room at Suite #1, 250 Diamond Avenue, Spruce Grove, Alberta      TOP 

2016-04-1, WWMC Meeting, Wed April 20, 2016.

After our winter hiatus, our regular monthly board meetings will start this coming Wednesday, April 20, at 6:30 p.m. All are welcome!
Our guest speakers, Darren Haarsma and Gabriel Clarke of Parkland County, will update and discuss with us the County Lands Shoreline Naturalization Project, which this year is specific to Wabamun Lake.
Other topics to be discussed include this summer's WWMC projects around the lake. Learn what’s being done to help maintain the health of your lake.

The meeting will be held at our usual location:
Alberta Environment and Parks Office – West Board Room
Suite #1, 
250 Diamond Avenue 
Spruce Grove, Alberta 
T7X 4C7       TOP 


2011, Wabamun Plant Power House Implosion - I thought their technique for levelling the building might be effective, but it wasn't. 


2011-03-18, Wabamun Power Plant Chimneys (and then there were none) - Friday morning the weather was calm and clear.   Just perfect for blowing something up.   I talked to the demolition guys who assured me the event was a "go."  Failing that Roy and I were going for coffee!   Sure enough the sirens were heard just before 09:00, followed shortly by a sequence of explosions.  We all held our breath as nothing seemed to be happen.  Then slowly the center smoke stack toppled to the North East.   It didn't take long to drop.   Wow what a cloud of dust.

This was followed by a second explosion, (the smell of cordite in the air was pretty strong by then), but nothing happened.  About 20 minutes later you could hear ambulance sirens so we all expected the worst.   Speculations were rampant among the spectators on the roadway where I stood, just west of Jubilee hall.   We all wondered who was injured.  Then the rumour mill reported the blast would be repeated in 45 minutes and moments later the blasting was to resume the next day.  

Since we hadn't had breakfast we decided to go for coffee.   Unfortunately we never heard the subsequent sirens so we missed the final part of the action.   During our absence the demolition crew lit off two more sets of charges to drop the next stack.   This one must have been built pretty well.  Apparently the third stack went down with no problem.   I don't know why they didn't ask me.  I could have tied a line around it to the back of my Jeep!  A whole lot cheaper.   Below is a photo sequence of the first stack falling.  

Now we will have to find another navigational mark on the east end of the lake to set the Coal Point Cardinal buoy.   Rats.    On another note, the old guideline that if you can't see the power plant stacks you shouldn't be on the lake, needs to be amended. 

Definitely a new era on the water.          Bob Schimmel.






VIDEO - For a video of all three smoke stacks falling down click here.  This video was taken by a person standing behind me while I was putting on my jacket.      TOP 


2011-03-10, Wabamun Power Plant - 2011 is  the end of an era.   Demolition has started on the the Wabamun power plant.   These photos were taken last week. .    A little birdie told me that the smoke stacks are coming down this Friday at 09:00 if weather is calm, etc.  It's not everyday that you get to see a controlled implosion.    Phil Sutton.