Leech Lake, Muskoka

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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Lake Water Quality

2006 water quality report has been published on the District of Muskoka web site. Leech Lake is doing poorly, we are designated as 'Moderate' and 'Over Threshold'.

Moderate means we are at risk to algae growth during the summer and new construction should be limited on the lake. Over threshold means our lake has too much phosphate in it based on a mathmatical module developed by the District of Muskoka.

Our lake threshold is 9.51 micrograms of phosphate per liter of lake water, in May of 2006 the records show the lake had 11.6 micrograms of phosphate per liter of lake water. The recommended goal (as per the District) for our lake is 6.34 micograms per liter.

Why are we so high? Recent (last summer) District studies have identified the primary source of phosphates contamination is coming from the cottage waste systems, septic and grey water treatment systems are allowing too much phosphate into our lake. Second is the rain water running off from our properties and into the lake. The buffer zone around the lake is not retaining enough of the nutrients caught up n the rain water, therefore these nutrients are carried into the lake further contaminating it.

The Stewardship Committee at the lake is running 3 programs with the District to monitor and report on the quality of the lake water. The data collection and reporting will tell us the lake is getter better, worse or breaking-even with any attempt on correcting the problem.

Correcting the problem, we have been told by the District that the property owners and property users with lake frontage need to produce fewer phosphates, which in turn will reduce the level of phosphates entering the lake. The more property owners and the more property useage around the lake will require even more phosphate being restricted into the system. Secondly, it has been recommended that we do not use anymore than 10% of our lake buffer zone for decks and water access. Rebuild the buffer zones and retuen the shorelines to the way it was found.


Thursday, February 15, 2007

Danger on the Lake Ice

It seems there is a bubbler located in the east end of the lake that is keeping the ice from forming in that area. The cottage that is using the bubbler (to protect their dock) has a red light glowing from the control post on the water shore line. You can see the light easily in good weather.

The major concern is the area ice is unstable and you cannot actually see where the ice is not safe to walk on to where it is safe. There has been a couple of reports that some snowmobliers have found it by accident and were very lucky to get out of the area before sinking, or much worse.

THE LAKE IS NOT STAKED OR GUARDED leaving opportunity in any weather for someone to fall through the slush into the water. The police have been notified and I have been told they say it is not a police matter until someone falls in.

A couple of perminent residendent have offered to put signs up at the boat ramp and lake entrance to let everyone know the east end of the lake has open water, dangerous area. They and our association have no liablity in case of injury but I'm told the owners do. They have been contacted and I beleive they will take appropriate actions to safe guard the area effected.