The term “headwater lake” has much significance for any lake as the water that exits the lake, can travel considerable distances and there are a number of ways in which the lake can influence downstream water quantity and quality. Hotel Lake has a single outlet on the north shore where Hotel Creek initiates a seasonal flow of water downstream to Mixal Lake. In 2021, after a long dry summer during which Hotel Creek was not sourced by Hotel Lake, the fall rains began to refill the lake during September. Around October 20 Hotel Creek began to run again and will continue to run until dry weather returns in 2022.
Hotel Creek is more than a simple creek. In several places it passes through shallow terrain depressions where the water spreads out and forms expansive wet areas. These areas come under the broad term of "wetlands" and are subject to separate regulation in BC and because of that we have added a separated webpage titled: "Wetlands". Because, fish spawning also occurs in these complex water corridors, the department of Fisheries has oversight and responsibilities as well.
There have been several hydrology reports on Hotel Lake but more work is needed as well as further limnology if we are to fully appreciate the issues that must be addressed to ensure healthy water in the years ahead.
Limnology is the study of inland waters and lakes, reservoirs, rivers, streams, wetlands, and groundwater - as ecological systems interacting with their drainage basins and the atmosphere. Scientists from many disciplines contribute to the study of limnology. A scientist who studies all aspects of an inland body or bodies of water is a limnologist.
A hydrology study of Hotel Lake’s impact on Hotel Creek, Mixal Lake and Mixal Creek where the flow is joined with water exiting from Garden Bay Lake and Katherine Lake before entering Sakinaw Lake would add more understanding about this and likely emphasize the importance of protecting water quality in the lake and also in the creek and associated wetland areas.
A very recent study of Headwater Lakes (below) will give some insight into the ways that lakes can influence downstream watercourses.
2019. Headwater lakes and their influence on downstream discharge.
Jason A. Leach ,1,2* Hjalmar Laudon3