Porter Lake is located 20 km northeast of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. With the exception of the southern end, where native prairie still grows, cropland surrounds this shallow and ephemeral lake. There are several adjoining intermittent creeks that connect Porter Lake with surrounding temporary wetlands. Similar to other shallow saline lakes in the province, this site is highly susceptible to drought, as it is largely dependent on spring run-off and seasonal rains. Shorebird habitat, such as mudflats, results from the receding shoreline during periods of lower water levels.
During fall migration, Porter Lake often supports significant numbers of staging Hudsonian Godwits. In surveys conducted in 1997 a peak number of 997 godwits was recorded; the peak occurred after a build up of numbers during July and August. In the 1970s, greater than 800 godwits were recorded on three occasions: 847 August 1971; 1,150 August 1973; and 1,978 August 1979. All of these numbers represent about 2% of the global population of the species. It should be noted that the number of shorebirds, such as the godwits, using the site varies depending on the water conditions. During drought years, very few shorebirds are recorded.
Drought is a major problem during years with low spring runoff and little seasonal rains. Additionally, increased salinity may affect primary productivity and subsequent use of this lake by birds. This wetland has been identified as a potential Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network site as a result of its large concentrations of Hudsonian Godwits.IBA Criteria Habitats Land Uses Potential or Ongoing Threats Conservation Status