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Events and Issues facing Star Lake

Issues | Events

Some important issues - Winter 2023 - 2024

Check this page: Issues Archive if you're looking for older updates that are no longer on this page.

March 2024 Update:

Hydro brush clearing: Over this winter Hydro has been clearing brush from its transmission lines in our area. On March 14 I took some pictures of the main transmission line that heads westward from the substation south of Star Lake:

Transmission line clearing 01 | Transmission line clearing 02 | Transmission line clearing 03

It's unfortunate that the site will look messy for a number of years, but this work was necessary for the maintenance of the transmission line. This clearing also has the added benefit of maintaining a fire break around the south end of Star Lake. In the event of a major forest fire pushed by the prevailing northwest winds this clearing would aid firefighters in protecting both the Hydro infrastructure and cottages.

Mining in Parks: You can review any updates on the Mining_Issues page.

Block 4,5,6 Creek culvert: On March 15 I took some pictures from the Blk 4,5,6 road where the culvert allows the creek to pass beneath the road. Things look good for the spring melt, I hope.

State of the Blk 4,5,6 road culvert

Star Lake Outlet: On my recent March visit to the lake I was unable to get to the Star Lake outlet control structure to see the state of things. If anyone has any info or pictures of the site please pass them along. Thanks.

December 2023 Update:

Star Lake outlet: I informed Parks of a report I received in late November of excess flow at the outlet. Dec. 6, I received this reply from our Park Specialist - "MTI staff were out and did some shoring up of the site. Outflow has now been reduced considerably."

We need to keep an eye on this situation, I hope folks will check the site regularly!

Orphaned and Abandoned Mines: Dec. 5, from our Park Specialist - "An update with respects to the Sunbeam mine site by Star Lake. OAM has provided an update, this work unfortunately did not occur this fall. It is slatted to be done in 2024." Capping of the dangerous, open mine shaft south of Star Lake will, hopefully, be done in the coming year.

You can view more about this issue at the Whiteshell Cottagers Association website in their News section: Orphaned and Abandoned Mines.

November 2023 Update:

Notice from our Park Specialist:

"Please be advised that Manitoba Parks will be removing damaged dock cribbing from the West Hawk Lake Crescent Beach and Star Lake main beach boat launch areas on Tuesday, November 6. Once the damaging cribbing is removed, staff can proceed with preparations for new docks to be installed 2024."

Good to see some action happening with the docks.

As of November 12 - the old dock cribs have been removed. The footing for the boat launch dock was left. All the footing from the swimming dock is gone. Both sites were cleaned up well. Here's some images:

Boat launch site 01 | Boat launch site 02 | Swimming side 01 | Swimming side 02

It appears to me that the work was done well and the sites were cleaned of any debris. It even looks like they spread and leveled sand over the two old crib sites. I will contact our Park Specialist for an update regarding the dock replacement(s).

Confirmed: both docks are to be replaced, thanks Joanne.

September 2023 Update:

Election 2023 - The upcoming provincial election is an opportunity to make our Parks and their current state an issue! Please make an effort to raise any concerns you have with the candidates. Voting matters, make sure you have your say at the polls this October.

October Update - What will a change in government mean for us? Hopefully the new NDP government will improve things in our parks, but only if we make sure we let them know what needs improving! With a new government it's important to raise issues early and speak out loudly! Remember the squeaky-wheel principle.

(On a personal note, I'm happy for the change. Governments are like diapers, they need to be changed regularly to maintain a healthy democracy. And they need to be constantly reminded of who they work for.)

Lake Level - Floods and high water in spring 2022, drought and low levels in summer 2023. What's up Mother Nature? We all have to be aware that "control" of lake levels is not an exact science! However, maintenance of the existing control structure on Star Lake is important. I contacted our Park Specialist and was told that "Manitoba Transportation and Infrastructure (MTI) – Hydrological Division will be sending an engineer to inspect the structure" in the near future. Parks is aware that some folks have been suggesting that certain individuals may have been tampering with the control structure at times. I hope that some means of securing the structure can be found.

October Update - MTI has fixed the outlet control structure, thanks guys! Kathleen Tait posted some images from Sept. 30 of the renewed outlet control structure to our FaceBook page. I've added them here, thanks, Kathleen!

Control structure Image 1 | Control structure Image 2 |Control structure Image 3


Hunting Season - I've added a few comments to the Hunting Safety essay posted.

Mining Issue - Nothing to report at this time regarding any further mineral exploration near Star Lake. Please bring up the issue of mining in Parks with your provincial candidates this fall! No sign as yet of the efforts to properly cap the exposed mine shaft up the mining road. Please go to the Mining Issues page for a brief update and a link to an important recent publication.

Beaver troubles - When I last visited the creek crossed by the Blk 4,5,6 entrance road (Wed, Sept 6) there was no sign of any work to alleviate the the dam and culvert blockage; water remains high and near the road surface.

Oct. 12 Update - Parks has cleared the culvert, dammed by beavers, beneath the Blk 4,5,6 entry road. As of Oct. 12 the water level has dropped significantly though not at normal levels yet. Thanks, guys. Here's some images:

Sept 23, 2023: Water level near road | Swollen creek upstream

Oct 12, 2023: New gate and reduced water level | Downstream view

Short-term Rentals - the issue of cottage rentals and their management within Parks is of concern to many, but I suspect Parks will dither about this for some time to come. (If all renters were responsible and considerate of their neighbours, this wouldn't really be an issue, but we all know what a few yahoos can do. Just a personal thought. Doug C.)

Manitoba Hydro Brush Clearing - please refer to the news article in the Whiteshell Cottagers Association web site: Manitoba Hydro Brush Clearing. It's suggested there may be some resulting power outages.

Beach Dock Replacement - nothing to report on this. The docks are slated to be replaced, but no timeline has been given.

October Update: Quote from the latest Echo - "Meetings are continuing and we are expecting to see things starting to happen both in terms of consultation and work getting underway, such as for instance some maintenance items (e.g. docks damaged by last year’s flooding). Now that the federal Disaster Financial Assistance (DFA) funding has been received and contractors are being assembled, we will start seeing things progress. " So we may see some action on dock replacement soon." (Maybe, some time, hopefully??)

Any other issues? - If there's anything else going on or pending for our part of Whiteshell Park that you'd like others to know about please let me know so I can post it here. We still can't rely on Parks or the Whiteshell Cottager's Association to keep us abreast of all things that impact Star Lake. We need to be proactive and take care of Star Lake ourselves.

August 4, 2023 Update:

Star Lake Fun Day is back for 2023 on the 5th of August. I hope folks take lots of pics and vids and send them to me to post here!

Beaver problems at the Blk 4,5,6 entry road are still ongoing. Parks is "aware" of the issue, with the beavers building a dam downstream of the culvert and blocking the upstream entrance to the culvert. Since it's the only entrance to Blk 4,5,6 folks are understandably concerned. Hope the situation gets resolved soon!

Folks are also expressing some concern about the low lake level right now. There were suspicions the control structure had been altered or damaged. Parks has been approached about the situation and claims the control structure remains intact and that low water levels exist throughout the Park. According to Parks, despite recent rains, which have been spotty, the heat and intense sun has lead to more evaporation than normal. (Thanks to Bert Denouden for inquiring about this issue.)

June 1, 2023, Update:

I recently emailed our Park Specialist, Joanne Podolchuk, regarding a number of issues and received a prompt reply. My questions and her replies (in red) are paraphrased below:

"Hi, Joanne. Sorry to be a pest, but I would like to provide Star Lake folks with an update on a few things.

1) Is there any word on the timing of the capping of the dangerous open mine shaft south of Star?

This work is currently slated for this August, cottagers will be advised once exact dates are known.

2) Has there been any further requests for mineral exploration or mine development from McFarlane Lake Mining?

No requests have been submitted at this point.

(FYI, I follow their news feed and they seem to be excited about the results of their High Lake explorations, and not mentioning anything about the Star site. Their stock price has been rising significantly since the High Lake results have come out. Their stock price was in free fall after the announcements posted earlier regarding the Star Lake site. My hope is that they may forgo the hassles of trying to develop a not-very-promising site in a provincial park in Manitoba where they know they would face fierce local opposition. But stranger things have happened and I won't be happy until my government has legislated an end to mineral exploration and mine development in our provincial parks. Doug C.)

3) Several of my neighbours have raised concerns about private cottages being bought up solely for the purpose of running a rental business. I don't have all the background on this issue, but I am asking if this would constitute running a business in the park and what sorts, if any, regulations or controls may be in effect? So, can you buy up 4 cottages in a development and rent them out as a business?

Parks is aware of the issue of private cottages being used as short-term rentals such as AirBnB's and VRBO's, but Parks does not currently regulate these. However, the matter is being reviewed. Questions or concerns should be sent to Parks at this email address: Manitoba Parks at

(I don't think renting out your own cottage to help pay your cottage lease fees or just letting friends or relatives use your place when you're not there is a problem. But what about buying cottages as an investment and renting them out as a business? To me that violates the spirit of cottaging in the Whiteshell. And how do neighbours deal with properties that end up rented to rowdies and being abused. Does this lead to an erosion of our community, our right to peace and quiet? I hope Parks gets around to setting some guidelines on this issue. Send your thoughts and comments to Parks at the link above. Doug C.)

4) Is there any word on when the main beach docks are to be replaced?

The docks are to be replaced, but no timeline is set. Contact the local District Office at 204-349-2201 for further more information.

5) I know that this is a dicey issue, but will Parks be actively involved regarding the proposed twinning of Hwy 1? (Parks certainly wasn't mentioned in any of the related media announcements.)

Short answer: yes, along with all other stakeholders, once public engagement begins.

We all need to stay abreast of this issue, though it will undoubtedly be a while before things are formally proposed. As Whiteshell Park cottagers we have a right have our say, and we should all be ready to support our fellow cottagers as needed. (I'm sure folks at Barren Lake are rather concerned right now.)

(Personally I hope that all means of making the short stretch of Hwy 1 through our park safer are considered, not just spending a billion dollars to twin the section so traffic can whiz along at 110 Km/hr. Doug C.)

6) And lastly, are there any proposed developments or issues that we don't already know about in the works for the Star Lake area? (I know that's not really a fair question, but still, I gotta ask!)

Nothing to report at this time.

Thanks, bye for now.

Doug Collicutt"

March 2023, Update:

Dangerous Mine Shaft Capping: Finally, a number of years after a partially open mine shaft was reported to the government, the shaft is set to be properly capped. The site has been a significant safety concern for too long. (The open shaft and shoddy fencing around it has been a temptation for "adventurous" young folks!) The WCA has posted the notice sent to them, and to me directly, about this operation. Thanks Joanne Podolchuk, our Whiteshell Park Specialist, for keeping us in the loop. If you haven't already seen the notices here they are:

Letter to Cottage Owners | Sunbeam Proposed Remediation

For more info on the this program:

Orphaned and Abandoned Mines Program

A little background to this issue: In 2006 I escorted a government mines inspector to another open mine shaft south of the one in question above. Here's an image of the site in 2006. This open shaft was capped a year or two later, here's a picture of it now. I suppose our current open shaft will look like that when work is completed.

In 2014 there was an extensive remediation undertaken of old mine sites along the trail that leads from south of Star Lake to Falcon Lake, again for safety concerns a number of old mine shafts were filled and capped. We were not informed of this activity at the time, though it was obvious something was up from the equipment and supplies stored at the old sand pit.

By the way, though I can't find the exact references or emails, it was at least 3 or 4 years ago that I and others reported the current open shaft to Parks. Though there will be some environmental disruption resulting from this mine remediation it is necessary for the safety of local cottagers.

(A personal note: I'd like to think that with our government being so concerned about safety they would consider carefully what they might allow near our cottages with respect to any future mineral explorations or commercial mining operations!)

Archives: I will keep some information permanently on this site for future reference.

Cottage Light Industry Storage Site (CLISS) proposal information is archived at this link.

Older notices regarding various issues have been moved to an Issues Archive page.

StarEvents at Star Lake

Star Lake Days - Star Lake Day was a great success again this year. There are some images posted on the Star Lake FaceBook page.

Last year's stuff: Star Lake Family Fun Day returned for 2022: Here's some images and a video from July 30!

Meteor Fest - back for 2023, July 7, 8, 9! See the FaceBook page: Meteor Fest is Back!

Beaver Days - Missed it, darn! Anyone have images or videos to share?

Star Very SmallSend information about events at this email link:

Information about Events

StarIssues Facing Star Lake

In this section I want to raise issues that may impact cottagers at Star Lake. For now, these are just topics to think about. I'm going to post some of my own thoughts later on, but I'd welcome your input/feedback.

Star Very SmallSend suggestions, thoughts, and information via email at this link:

Ideas for the Issues Section

(Please remember, if you want anything posted to this site you must be willing to have your name included.)

Star Very SmallSome things to think about:

Star Very SmallGot something to add to these thoughts? Send it along via the email link above.

Star Very SmallAnd, please remember, the way to deal with any issue, controversy or complaint is through communication, consideration and respect for others.

The annoying ad below just lets me keep track of how much traffic this page receives.

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