Langford Lake, British Columbia, Canada

Lake Locations:

Canada - British Columbia -

Located at the southern tip of one of North America’s most scenic islands, Langford Lake is a mere 13 miles west of Victoria on Canada’s Vancouver Island. Langford Lake is found within the community of Langford, one of a series of bedroom communities stretching along the scenic coastline north and west of Victoria. View Royal, Highland, Langford, Colwood and Metchosin make up the “Greater Victoria’s Western Communities,” or “West Shore.” The ideal location of Langford Lake places it within miles of old-growth forests, a network of waterways and easy access to spectacular gardens and historic sites of Victoria, British Columbia’s beautiful capital city. With Langford’s population rapidly exceeding 22,000, it is easy to see why the area’s natural beauty and urban attractions draw residents and visitors to Langford Lake.

Found within the community of Langford, Langford Lake, Glen Lake and Florence Lake are three natural glacial kettles formed by glacial drift during the last ice age. Inflow to Langford Lake is provided through storm water ponds and weir located at the southeast shoreline. Langford Lake’s outflow from is through a channel and large culvert into Langford Creek. Overseen by the city of Langford under guidelines from British Columbia’s Ministry of Environment, the drainage system is set to maintain a constant level during the summer. With an average depth of 21 feet and maximum depth of 53 feet, Langford Lake reaches its highest water level during rainy winter months with levels dropping to its maintenance level during the summer.

The Coast Salish First Nations Group first settled the Langford Lake area where the climate is fairly mild and waterways were prized for their fisheries, just as they are today. Langford Lake and the community of Langford are named for Captain Edward Langford, a settler who arrived on Vancouver Island in 1851. Langford Lake was once a source of domestic water supply but today its three-mile shoreline is a source of recreation for lakeside property owners and area residents. Monitoring of 148-acre Langford Lake is a combined effort of the Langford Lake Area Protection Society and British Columbia’s Lake Stewardship and Monitoring Program.

Langford Lake is a user-friendly lake for water enthusiasts. Several swimming areas may be found around Langford Lake including two public beaches. Boaters, canoers and kayakers will appreciate the small parking lot with boat launch found at the lake’s southeast end. To help maintain Langford Lake’s quiet and peaceful setting, outboard motors and personal water craft are not permitted. Three wheelchair accessible fishing floats are provided by the community of Langford.

Anglers should note that Langford Lake is considered one of the best bass fishing lakes in British Columbia. The lake is stocked annually with rainbow trout and cutthroat trout. Smallmouth bass, pumpkinseed and yellow perch add to the potential catch. Other top-rated bass fishing lakes within easy driving distance of Langford Lake are: Elk Lake, located eight miles north of Victoria; St. Mary’s Lake on Saltspring Island, 22 miles plus a ferry ride north of Victoria; and Quennell Lake, located 55 miles northwest of Victoria. Before setting out on fishing expeditions, see the link below for British Columbia’s fishing regulations and consumption advisories.

The community of Langford maintains over nine miles of hiking trails including the Ed Nixon Trail running along the southern half of Langford Lake. Elevated boardwalks are wheelchair accessible and protect marshlands found along the trail. Galloping Goose Trail also passes through Langford. This 62-mile trail connects the West Shore communities and is used for hiking, cycling, rollerblading and horseback riding.

As part of British Columbia’s Vancouver Island Tourism Region and Canada’s Mountains West Tourism Region, Langford Lake is ideally located for residents and visitors who feel the urge to get out and explore the countryside. Drive a few miles northwest of Langford Lake and you will find yourself walking among ancient forests, a towering waterfall and abundant wildlife in Goldstream Provincial Park. Wildlife watchers, hikers, cyclists, campers and picnickers are attracted to the seasonal changes of the park’s diverse ecosystems. Naturalists will enjoy the wide variety of plant species including 600-year-old Douglas fir trees and western red cedar, western yew, hemlock, red alder, big leaf maple and black cottonwood, flowering dogwood and lodgepole pine. Of special importance is the arbutus, Canada’s only broad-leafed evergreen found only on Vancouver Island and the southwest coast of British Columbia. Visitors don’t have to stray far from civilization to observe black bears, cougars, deer, raccoons, minks, beavers and otters living within the park. Birdwatchers may spy hummingbirds, bald eagles, turkey vultures, ducks and gulls. The most popular attraction runs from October through December when chum, coho and Chinook salmon come from the Pacific Ocean to run the Goldstream River. Exhibits interpreting the park’s ecosystems can be found in Freeman King Visitor’s Center with nearby picnic areas, campsites and summer concessions adding to the park’s amenities.

Take another short five-mile drive northeast of Langford Lake and you will be hiking the hills of Thetis Lake Regional Park, Canada’s first nature sanctuary. Here you can swim, fish or canoe the peaceful waters of Upper or Lower Thetis Lake. Scenic nature trails connect Thetis Lake Regional Park to adjacent Francis/King Regional Park, where hikers can enjoy the quiet setting of woodlands and meadows. A raised boardwalk makes this park accessible to visitors with disabilities.

Two waterways and a ferryboat ride separate Langford Lake and Vancouver Island from dramatic changes in scenery. Cross the Georgia Strait to the east and you will find the city of Vancouver and the magnificent mountains surrounding Whistler, home of the 2010 Winter Olympics. Cross the Strait of Juan de Fuca and enter the world of rain forests, beaches and mountains of Olympic National Forest in Washington State.

Canada’s natural wonders are prized among residents of Vancouver Island so it is not surprising that development around Langford Lake has met with controversy. Efforts to balance preservation and development have led to more than 50 percent of the shoreline being developed. Beautiful lakeside real estate properties and vacation rentals are concentrated along Langford Lake’s southeast and northeast shorelines with a park-like setting along portions of the opposite shore. Additional developments can be found along the southwestern shore running from Langford Lake to neighboring Glen Lake. To live in close proximity of shopping, dining and museums found in Victoria and still have access to whale watching along the Pacific and winter skiing in Whistler is to know Canada at its best. Whether you come to Langford to stay on the lakeshore or reside within view of Langford Lake, you will open yourself to the spirit of adventure and the wonders of Vancouver Island.

Things to do at Langford Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Camping
  • Picnicking
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Horseback Riding
  • Waterfall
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • Provincial Park
  • National Forest
  • Museum
  • Shopping

Fish species found at Langford Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Chinook Salmon
  • Cutthroat Trout
  • Perch
  • Pumpkinseed
  • Rainbow Trout
  • Salmon
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Sunfish
  • Trout
  • Yellow Perch

Langford Lake Photo Gallery

Langford Lake Statistics & Helpful Links

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Water Level Control: City of Langford

Surface Area: 148 acres

Shoreline Length: 3 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 226 feet

Average Depth: 21 feet

Maximum Depth: 53 feet

Water Volume: 3,081 acre-feet

Water Residence Time: 3.6 years

Drainage Area: 1 sq. miles

Trophic State: Eutrophic

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Trophic State | LakeLubbers

Trophic State measures the level of algae and nutrients in a lake.

An oligotrophic lake is very clear (blue in color) and does not support much plant or fish life. A hyper-oligotrophic lake is the clearest of all lakes, and is nearly devoid of plants and fish.

A mesotrophic lake is slightly green and supports a moderate degree of plant and fish life. A lake's most desired trophic state is generally this mid-point - the mesotrophic state.

A eutrophic lake is somewhat murky and supports a large amount of plant and fish life. A hypereutrophic lake is clouded with algae, plant life, and fish life. A eutrophic or hyper-eutrophic lake can be difficult to navigate by boat - and is often an unpleasant place to swim.

The use of phosphorus-rich and nitrogen-rich fertilizer on lawns and golf courses surrounding a lake can cause it to become eutrophic or hypereutrophic.


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Catchment or Drainage Area | LakeLubbers

This is the surrounding area that drains into a lake, including land, rivers and their tributaries. This is also known as the lake's "catchment basin".

Small lakes at the highest peaks of mountains have small drainage areas. The world's oceans have the largest drainage areas.


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Lake-Area Population | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated number of people who live in a house with a view of a lake, plus those who self-describe the lake as their home, for example: "I live at Smith Mountain Lake."


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Water Residence Time | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated time that it takes for an amount of water equal to the entire volume of a lake to flow out of - or evaporate from - the lake.

Residence Time can be as short as a few days for fast-flowing small lakes, and can exceed 100 years for slow-flowing large lakes.


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Completion Year | LakeLubbers

This is the year that a reservoir was first filled to the reservoir's normal elevation - or the year that a natural lake was first dammed. A large reservoir can take more than a year to fill after its dam is first closed.

The Grand Anicut in southern India is generally considered the world's oldest dam that still operates. Grand Anicut was constructed in the second century BC. It now impounds an irrigation network that includes roughly one million acres.

You can find many of the the world's newest reservoirs on LakeLubbers. Many of the world's oldest reservoirs appear on the last page of that list.


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Water Volume | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated volume of water that a lake contains -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. By this measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal.

You can find many of the the world's largest lakes (by water volume) on LakeLubbers.

Water Volume can be measured in acre-feet, in cubic miles, or in cubic kilometers. One acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover one acre (43,560 square feet) to a depth of one foot. One cubic mile equals 3,379,200 acre-feet. One cubic kilometer equals 810,713 acre-feet.

1 acre-foot is equal to 325,851 US gallons. Siberia's Lake Baikal contains about 6,276,367,740,000,000 gallons of freshwater - nearly 1 million gallons for every living person on earth.

The other - and more widely used - measure of a lake's size is the lake's surface acreage. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is North America's Lake Superior.


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Maximum Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated greatest depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. The world's deepest lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal; that lake's maximum depth is estimated at 5,314 feet.

You can find many of the the world's deepest lakes on LakeLubbers. If you select the last page of that list, you will find the (maximum depth of) the shallowest lakes in our database.


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Average Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated average depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. If the water volume and surface area of a lake are known, an estimate of the lake's average depth can be calculated:

Water volume ÷ Surface Area = Average Depth

Example: 1,000,000 acre-feet ÷ 20,000 acres = 50 feet average depth


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Maximum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's highest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can occur during flooding. A lake's highest possible maximum elevation is usually the top of the lake's dam or spillway.

At lakes that include residential development, government regulations usually forbid the construction of homes below a lake's maximum elevation.


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Minimum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's lowest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can be reasonably expected to occur. Low lake levels can occur due to deliberate seasonal draw downs for irrigation or impending snow melt, reduced water inflows, drought and evaporation, residential or commercial water demands, and hydropower generation.

Some lakes' minimum and maximum elevations are virtually the same. Lakes that generate hydropower may vary by several feet - according to power demand. Lakes whose primary purpose is to prevent flooding can seasonally vary by 100 feet or more.

When some lakes reach their minimum elevation, their boat ramps may not be long enough to permit boat access - and boats docked on shallow parts of the lake may end up on dry ground. In those cases, kayakers and shore-based anglers may be among the few happy recreational users of the lake.


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Normal Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's normal water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level. For a reservoir, this water level is also known as "full pond" or "full pool".

You can find many of the world's highest-elevated lakes on LakeLubbers. Lakes with the lowest elevations (known by LakeLubbers) are shown on the final page of that list.


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Shoreline Length | LakeLubbers

This is the length of the exterior shoreline around a lake - measured at the lake's normal elevation. The shoreline length can be considerably shorter or longer when lake water levels are lower or higher than normal.

A lake with many coves has a much longer shoreline than a lake of similar surface area that is nearly circular in shape.

When known, the shoreline miles that we report in our statistics include only the lake's exterior shoreline, and exclude the shorelines of islands located within a lake's boundaries. In lakes with many islands, those islands' combined shorelines may exceed a lake's exterior shoreline.

You can find many of the world's longest-shoreline lakes on Lakelubbers.


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Surface Area | LakeLubbers

This is the area (acreage, square kilometers, etc.) of the top surface area of a lake - measured at a lake's normal elevation. The surface area can be considerably smaller or larger when lake levels are lower or higher than normal. North America's Lake Superior is the world's largest freshwater lake by this measure.

The other measure of a lake's size is the lake's water volume. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Lake Baikal in Siberia.

You can find many of the world's largest lakes (acres) on Lakelubbers. There is no widely-accepted minimum surface area that defines a lake. What Lakelubbers describes as a lake, you might call a pond. The smallest lake that Lakelubbers currently includes is Hawaii's 2-acre Lake Waiau.


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Water Level Control | LakeLubbers

This is the organization that controls water releases or outflows from the lake or reservoir. In the USA, this is often the US Army Corps of Engineers, a power company, a municipal water system, an irrigation district, or a paper manufacturing company. In the case of private or gated lakes, a homeowners' association may be the lake's controlling authority.

Many lakes cross borders, including North America's Great Lakes. The control of such lakes and their coveted freshwater may be amicably shared - or hotly disputed.

"Water wars" continue at many lakes as growing populations and crop irrigation needs compete for the freshwater that lakes contain.


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Lake Type | LakeLubbers

There are 3 basic types of lakes that are currently included on LakeLubbers. 2 types may be dammed or not dammed, producing 5 classifications.

- A Reservoir is a man-made freshwater lake that is usually created by damming rivers.

- A Natural Freshwater Lake occurs naturally - often by glacial activity - and has a salinity of less than 30 parts per thousand. It may be dammed to produce electricity or for other reasons.

- A Natural Saltwater Lake occurs naturally and has a salinity of more than 30 parts per thousand (ppt). It may be dammed.

"Brackish" water may be categorized as freshwater or saltwater, depending on its salt content (salinity). Oligohaline water has less than 15 ppt of salt. Mesohaline water has 15-29 ppt. Polyhaline has 30-335 ppt.


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