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Skaha Lake
Skaha Lake.jpg
Location British Columbia
Coordinates 49°25′N 119°35′W / 49.417°N 119.583°W / 49.417; -119.583Coordinates: 49°25′N 119°35′W / 49.417°N 119.583°W / 49.417; -119.583
Primary inflows Okanagan River
Primary outflows Okanagan River
Catchment area Okanagan Basin
Basin countries Canada
Max. length 11.8 kilometres (7.3 mi)
Max. width 2.2 kilometres (1.4 mi)
Surface area 19.6 square kilometres (7.6 sq mi)
Average depth 26.6 metres (87 ft)
Max. depth 56.7 metres (186 ft)
Water volume 0.552 cubic kilometres (0.132 cu mi)
Residence time 1.1 years
Shore length1 30.7 kilometres (19.1 mi)
Surface elevation 339 m (1112 ft)
Frozen February 2014
Settlements Penticton, Okanagan Falls
1 Shore length is not a well-defined measure.

Skaha Lake, historically known as Dog Lake and originally Lac Du Chien, is a freshwater lake located along the course of the Okanagan River in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia, Canada. It has a surface area of approximately 20 km2, with a maximum depth of 55 metres. The lake is situated directly south of Okanagan Lake and forms the southern shoreline and boundary of the city of Penticton, British Columbia. The community of Okanagan Falls is located at its southern end, the community of Kaleden lies in the upland area to its west.

History and meaning of name

"Labelled "L. du Chien" (Dog Lake) on Anderson Map, 1867; labelled "Du Chien L." on Trutch maps, 1866 and 1871. Origin unknown. Later, Dog became the official name. Changed in 1930 to Skaha "to agree with the local name," states the Chief Geographer. However Okanagan Indians say "skaha" is not their word for dog, but is that of the Shuswaps, and that the local word for dog is chokowapee. (Parham, 40). Another spelling is kaekuwapa. The local meaning of skaha is "horse". (Albert Millar). That is also the meaning in the Nicola dialect. (W. G. Clapperton)."

Ecology

The lake lies as the boundary between the Okanagan dry forests to the northeast and the Cascade Mountains leeward forests to the west. To the south lies the Columbia Plateau shrubland, the only xeric shrubland ecoregion in Canada. The lake itself hosts a variety of fish including kokanee salmon, rainbow trout, and smallmouth bass.

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