Dry docks don't float: Receding lake complicates lakefront lottery

The Yukon government is selling 11 new remote cottage lots on that are only accessible by boat - but receding water levels on Kluane Lake have left docks high and dry.

Yukon gov't selling 11 new cottage lots on Kluane Lake that are only accessible by boat

The Yukon government is selling 11 new remote cottage lots that are only accessible by boat - but receding water levels on Kluane Lake have left docks high and dry. (Claudiane Samson/Radio-Canada)

The Yukon government is considering how to deal with extremely low water levels on Kluane Lake as it looks to sell remote cottage lots that are only accessible by boat.

The 11 one-acre lakefront lots will be awarded by lottery on Aug. 4, at a cost of $42,500 each.

But the lakeshore has receded because of exceptionally low water levels, leaving docks on the lake high and dry.

"We are aware of the current lake level situation and we recognize the implication for folks," said Johanna Smith, manager of land client services with Energy, Mines and Resources.

"We're still exploring the possibilities."

Smith said officials from the department were touring Kluane Lake on Monday, looking at stranded docks. She said the issue affects everyone using the lake.

"There's a fishing derby that's going on this weekend as well, so access into Kluane Lake is a concern for a number of different activities. So I think there will be a number of folks who will be looking at the situation."

Smith said putting in road access or walking into the lots is not an option.

Below normal levels

Geologists have said lake levels are low because the Kaskawulsh Glacier has receded, and its meltwater now flows south instead of into the Slims River.

Lake levels are about a metre below normal, and geologists say the impacts could be much more dramatic over the long term.

"Glaciology is not part of the land management branch purview," Smith said, "and we're still trying to get our heads around what the implications are and what our potential opportunities are."

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