Lake Winnipeg is among the largest lakes in the world and is valued for its ecological, spiritual, recreational, and economic importance. Lake Winnipeg is also undergoing considerable change due to multiple stressors that are being imposed on the lake ecosystem largely by human activities. Some of these stressors are highly visible such as extensive algal blooms, which can be seen on satellite imagery, as well as zebra mussels, an invasive species that can visibly impact the nearshore environment. However, there are many changes that are not obvious to the casual observer but are nonetheless important stressors that may impact the long-term sustainability and functioning of the lake ecosystem. It is the role of research and monitoring to improve our understanding of the lake and how it is changing in order to support the long-term, sustainable management of the whole ecosystem, from water quality to the fisheries.
The following summaries are derived primarily from the State of Lake Winnipeg report, 2nd edition (March 202o), an initiative led by Environment and Climate Change Canada and Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development, with many contributors from various organisations. Information from other sources and photo credits are cited at the end of each summary.