Fraser Lake

Country/territory: Canada

IBA criteria met: A4i, A4iii (2008)
For more information about IBA criteria, please click here

Area: 7,200 ha

Birds Canada / Nature Canada

Site description (baseline)
Fraser Lake is located near the geographic center of British Columbia, between the towns of Fraser Lake and Fort Fraser. The area surrounding the lake on the east, west, and south sides is mostly used for forage production and ranching. The lands to the south consist of gently rolling aspen parkland. The north side of the lake is forested with mainly spruce, pine, and fir. The Nautley River flows out of Fraser Lake into the Nechako River. There are hundreds of private cabins along the shoreline.

Key biodiversity
Fraser Lake is a globally significant wintering site for Trumpeter Swans. Typically over a thousand can be seen in this lake in November. An average of 1,027 were seen between 1993 and 1997 at this time of the year. The numbers decrease as the winter progresses, and in the latter part of the winter, are found at the two ends of the lake where the Stellako and Nautley rivers join the lake and the adjacent portions of the rivers where the water is ice-free.

Fraser Lake is also a continentally important site for migrating waterfowl in fall, and a nationally significant site for fall migrating American Wigeon. Peak counts of between 12,445 and 28,544 ducks, geese and swans are regularly recorded on the lake in late fall. American Wigeon was by far the most common waterfowl species (10,824 peak count), followed by Canada Goose (9,582 peak count). Other waterfowl species that use the lake include Mallard, Gadwall, teal, scaup, Bufflehead, goldeneye, American Coot, and Tundra Swan.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Fraser Lake. Downloaded from on 31/05/2023.