US Fish & Wildlife Service


Date of this Version



Manitoba Water Stewardship Report No. 2005-03.


U.S. government work.


Devils Lake is nominally part of the Hudson Bay basin (Figure 1), but is located in a closed sub-basin which until recently, was only rarely connected hydraulically to the rest of the basin. The last major transfer of water from Devils Lake occurred naturally to the Sheyenne River about 1000 years ago. Within Manitoba, the Hudson Bay basin includes Lake Winnipeg, the world’s 10th largest freshwater lake. Manitoba Water Stewardship was invited to participate by the U.S. President’s Council on Environmental Quality in a multi-jurisdictional, multidisciplinary effort to undertake a biological survey of Devils and Stump lakes, North Dakota. The purpose of this survey was to gain a better understanding of whether or not biological species of concern may be present in Devils Lake. Species of concern are those that may cause ecological or economic impacts if introduced to new habitats. In addition to providing assistance to other members of the team to target a number of known invasive species or species of concern including fish pathogens and parasites, Manitoba Water Stewardship with the kind assistance of personnel from North Dakota Health, collected samples throughout the lakes for analyses of phytoplankton, zooplankton, and benthic invertebrates. A brief overview follows of these findings and, in addition, the main results of principal interest to Manitoba from other components of the collaborative assessment are also summarized from Arroyo (2005), Hudson and Peters (2005), Montz (2005), and Perleberg (2005).