Lake Steward’s Report - by Anton Davies, Water Stewart MLPOA
1. Water Quality Test Results
E Coli Bacteria is low, and in two deep areas is zero. Note the level for swimming and other water activities is 100 while levels for drinking is ZERO.
Total phosphorous is 20 to 40% of the minimum, standard which is good. However, there is a growing concern that what we are measuring may not provide the whole picture. Recently The Lake of the Woods, where Phosphorous levels have traditionally been low, experienced Blue Green Algae Blooms that closed swimming for the summer! The initial thought was that the oxygen levels in the lake were also low, which had the effect of releasing phosphorous from the lake bottom, causing the bloom. The CHA has commissioned a study that will address the question of what should we be measuring to ensure a safe watershed for us all. Stay tuned!
2. Invading Species
At the CHA Lake Steward’s meeting there was a lot of discussion on Invading Species. Our efforts to clear some of the Mystery Snails from Haliburton Lakes has garnered worldwide recognition. Please get licensed and keep at it. Anton has provided me with a specialized rake that can be borrowed to help with the collection in sandy areas. However, Anton needs to return it on September 10 at the CHA Annual Meeting.
There are about 170 recorded invading species in Ontario. One that is gaining notoriety is the Starry Stonewort which is a macroalgae that can clog up a lake. Lake Scugog is currently fighting this one. This mass of vegetation can be thick down to 10 m deep. Look it up and ensure it is not transported by your boat! (Matt and Brook can talk about this.)
Spongy moth (formerly known as Gypsy moth) may have been slowed down due to the cold winter.
3. What to do with your wood ash
Friends of the Muskoka Watershed are doing a very interesting study. They have collected large amounts of wood ash and are spreading this in the forest in a predetermined way (cup per square metre). Apparently, the effects of the acid rain problems of the 80’s is still very much with us. The soil only contains about half the calcium that is needed by the forest. The study has shown that adding wood ash to the soil surrounding trees has resulted in a remarkable awakening of the trees. Maple trees are producing more sap for example. If you want to participate in the program or would like more information, it can be found at www.fotmw.org/citizen.scientist. Alternatively connect with Anton, as he has signed onto the study. Spread your ash around!