Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 20/8/2006 (3963 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
10000 TO 5800 B.C.E. -- Glacial meltwater pools into Lake Agassiz, which eventually drains and leaves all of Manitoba's great lakes -- Winnipeg, Manitoba, Winnipegosis, Cedar and Dauphin -- as remnants. About a third of Lake Winnipeg's 91 species of fish -- including pickerel, goldeye, sturgeon and whitefish -- colonize the cold waters.
5800 B.C.E.-1500 A.D. -- Lake Winnipeg adopts a semblance of its modern shape. More than 40 more fish species -- including catfish and sauger -- reach the lake via the Red and Winnipeg Rivers. Early Aboriginal hunters and gatherers -- possible ancestors of the Assiniboine and Cree -- reach the shores, probably following moose, deer, caribou and bison.
1500-1700 A.D. -- Assiniboine and Cree hunt and fish along the shores of Lake Winnipeg.
1738 -- Quebecois explorer La Verendrye paddles down the Winnipeg River into Traverse Bay, bringing a European presence to the region.
LATE 1700S -- Driven west by conflict, Ojibway from Ontario move into forests to the east of Lake Winnipeg and marshes to the south.
1810 -- Fort Gibraltar -- later known as Fort Garry -- is established at what's now Winnipeg as a fur-trading post. Soon, york boats would begin to ply Lake Winnipeg, carrying furs up to Hudson Bay and supplies to the south.
1812 -- Red River Settlement is established, marking the beginning of large-scale agricultural settlement in the Lake Winnipeg watershed.
1875 -- First immigrants from Iceland settle on the west shore of Lake Winnipeg's southern basin and establish a fishing culture.
1880 TO 1914 -- Rapid population growth in the Red River Valley; Human waste from Winnipeg begins entering the lake via the Red River.
1903-1916 -- Railways connect Winnipeg to cottage communities on both sides of the southern basin.
1906 -- Damming of Winnipeg River at Pinawa marks the beginning of hydro-electric development around the lake.
1909 -- Canada and U.S. establish International Joint Commission to deal with trans-border water issues.
1920S -- Sturgeon disappear from Lake Winnipeg due to overfishing and damming of tributaries.
1938 -- Carp introduced from Europe make their way down the Red River into Lake Winnipeg's southern basin.
1965 -- The Saskatchewan River is dammed at Grand Rapids by Manitoba Hydro.
1969 -- A mercury poisoning scare on the Winnipeg River leads to a temporary closing of the Lake Winnipeg fishery the following year.
1970 -- Manitoba Hydro begins regulating water levels on Lake Winnipeg at the Jenpeg Generating Station, using the lake as a reservoir for stations on the Nelson River. Constant lake levels are later cited as a cause of dried-up marshes, a lack of sand on beaches and declining revenue for Aboriginal fishers.
1970-2000 -- Algae levels quadruple in Lake Winnipeg, researchers find. Excessive nutrients -- mostly phosphorus and nitrogen from a variety of industrial and commercial sources -- are believed to be the culprit.
1992 -- Massive algal blooms are first spotted by fishers in Lake Winnipeg's northern basin.
1997 -- Sturgeon are reintroduced to Red and Assiniboine Rivers; they are later observed in Lake Winnipeg.
1998 -- Lake Winnipeg Research Consortium is founded to study water quality and eutrophication, the process by which the lake becomes loaded up with nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen.
2003 -- After conducting the first full survey of Lake Winnipeg since 1969, scientists with the Lake Winnipeg Research Consortium find that half the surface of the northern basin is covered with a potentially toxic algae bloom and lower depths of the basin are deprived of oxygen, the latter the likely result of decaying algae; the Lake Winnipeg Stewardship Board is established by the province.
2005-2006 -- Fishers throughout the lake and the Freshwater Fish Marketing Corporation report record pickerel catches.
--Sources: Free Press archives, the Manitoba Historical Society, the Geography of Manitoba and the Freshwater Fishes of Manitoba. Compiled by Bartley Kives