Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Figure 1. Pond-basin distribution on the Roseneath Study Area.
The soils were predominantly northern black earth. Precipitation was variable, an average of 18 inches falling annually, much of it during the summer growing season. The frost-free period was usually less than 100 days. Approximately 60 per cent of the total block was cultivated to cereal crops, 15 per cent was made up of water areas, and the remainder was in permanent pasture, fence rows, farm yards, aspen-oak bluffs, and unutilized pond edges. More complete descriptions of the Manitoba parkland and study area, in particular, are given by Kiel (1949), Evans (1949), Evans, Hawkins, and Marshall (1952), Dzubin (1954), and Bird (1961).
The 10.5-square-mile area contained 114 depressions which held water (Fig. 2). The basins varied in size from 0.03 to 226.2 acres. Eighty-four (74 per cent) of the 114 basins were less than 1 acre in size (Table 1). However, eight basins were over 10 acres, increasing the average basin size to 5.65 acres. Because of violently fluctuating water levels and high salinity content of the waters and soils, few emergents were present. Dense stands of sedge (Carex spp.), alkali bulrush (S. paludosus), slough grass (Beckmannia syzigachne), and manna grass (Glyceria grandis) occurred in some 15 of the basins. In other fresh-water basins a few sparse stands of cattail (Typha latifolia) and bulrush (S. paludosus and S. americanus) were found. Beyond the emergent zones, Juncus balticus and Eleocharis palustris were again found in sparse stands. On saline ponds, Suaeda depressa, Salicornia rubra, and Chenopodium rubrum covered the wet areas, while Hordeum jubatum and Puccinellia nuttalliana were common on shore lines. In the largest pond, which had been cultivated prior to flooding in 1952, sparse clumps of Polygonum coccineum and Alisma plantago-aquatica were scattered throughout the shallow basin.
Figure 2. Pond-basin distribution on the Kindersley Study Area.
The Kindersley district lies in the Brown Soil Zone with soils composed of loams and sands. The April to October precipitation varies from 9 to 11 inches with winter snowfall varying between 25 and 40 inches. The frost-free period is about 100 days. Eighty-three per cent of the land in the Rural Municipality of Kindersley is considered improved, with 52 per cent of this yearly in crops, 42 per cent in fallow, four per cent in pasture, and the remainder in barn yards, roads, etc. Seventeen per cent of the land is unimproved, consisting of sandy areas too poor to pasture and woodlands. On the study area itself, approximately 75 per cent of the landscape was cultivated, 10 per cent was in pond areas, and the remainder was in pastures, unimproved lands, farm yards, and pond shore lines. For more detailed descriptions see Mitchell, Moss, an Clayton (1944), Coupland (1950, 1961), Boughner, Longley, and Thomas (1956), and Gollop (1965).