Camrose County would like to provide an update to the Pelican Point area with regard to the boat launch, water level issues, marina, and parking lot/mini-golf project.

Boat Launch:

Camrose County received numerous complaints in the fall of 2023 that the boat launch was in a state of disrepair. The Boat Launch is not part of Camrose County’s Recreation Lease (as is the campground and beach area) with the Provincial Government and is outside of County jurisdiction. The boat launch is a Provincial Asset and under their monitoring and control. As the complaints were forwarded to Alberta Environment last fall, the Province said they were not going to take responsibility and suggested that Camrose County make the repairs. Any repairs would need to
meet the Environmental standards and be under the supervision of Alberta Environment. The estimated scope of work includes lifting the concrete pads, leveling and compacting the area under
the pads and replacing them as well as possibly extending the boat launch farther into the water. This is an expensive project (over $100,000). Due to environmental concerns, quick fixes (dumping gravel in the lake) are prohibited.

Camrose County understands other boat launches around the lake are in a similar situation, and if the Pelican Point Boat Launch is the “best” one to have on-going use, it should not be solely
Camrose County’s responsibility to repair. This is the only Provincially owned boat launch on the lake and as a publicly available launch for all users of the lake, it should not be the sole financial
responsibility of the Camrose County taxpayer.

Camrose County is not able to undertake this project outside of County jurisdiction using general County funds. County Councillors and Administration have been actively advocating for the Province to address this issue. Concerned residents need to reach out to their MLA and the Minister of Environment and Protected Areas with their concerns. Council has requested a meeting with the Minister but has been unsuccessful to date. Camrose County continues to advocate on behalf of the users of the Boat Launch at Pelican Point.

Water Level Issues:

Camrose County is aware the water level on Buffalo Lake is a concern which led to the issues with the boat launch. It is down substantially, and it is possible that even if the repairs were made to the boat launch it would not be usable given the low water levels. The Buffalo Lake Water Management Committee is an established committee that includes representatives from Alberta Environment, Camrose County, as well as representation from each of the other municipalities around the Lake. The Buffalo Lake Water Management Committee was established in 1991 to manage the water management project. This advisory committee meets about 10 times per year and is up to date on issues around the pumping of water from the Red Deer River into Buffalo Lake.

It is Camrose County’s understanding from the Buffalo Lake Water Management committee meetings in the past year that the obstacles to pumping are three-fold:

  • Expected drought conditions will limit the willingness of the Province to pump water from one water source to another, except in issues of extreme human or livestock needs,
  • the movement of water can potentially infect Buffalo Lake with carp, and
  • the pumps, which have not been used for many years, will need significant investment by the Province in order to be useable.

Marina: The marina is leased privately through Camrose County to the operator. Camrose County has been advised by the operator that they will not operate the marina in 2024 due to low water
levels.

Mini-Golf and Parking Lot: Camrose County Council has approved a project for 2024/2025 to rebuild the old mini-golf, and as part of this project, will be landscaping and improving the boat parking lot next to the mini-golf. This project is funded using the County Recreation Reserve. The total project cost is $135,000 for the 9 hole Mini-Golf and $60,000 for parking lot improvements.