Leech Lake, Muskoka

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Sunday, June 07, 2009

Spring Potpourri

Potpourri

Winter Visit: We are basically summer cottagers. However, I ventured north in March to check the snow level on the roof. Luckily we had little snow on the roof while others had upwards of one to two feet of the white stuff. There was evidence of severe wind storms over the winter. Lying beneath our power line lay a huge branch torn from one of our white pines on the property. This branch was as large as some of the juvenile trees on our lot. How it got beneath the power line without damaging the line or the cottage stack is a mystery. As well a large branch came down and speared the bottom of a fiberglass row boat near the cottage. The weather was cold, crisp, and sunny. It was very serene to stand at the lake’s edge and be engulfed by the silence.

Spring Visit: In April we spent a day at the lake. In twenty odd years we have never experienced the ice break up. On this particular day we had some open ice near our shore. About noon a brisk wind kicked up and started driving the ice around the lake. It finally drove the ice on our shore and the ice began breaking up. It was quite a sight.

Lake Water Quality Report: I saw the 2008 water quality report for the Muskoka District and there is some disturbing data about our lake. The phosphorous content in the spring of 2008 was above the upper level of acceptable and trending in the wrong direction. This means that we all must be vigilant in curbing phosphorous in our lake. The largest contributors to phosphorous in the lake are cottagers through their septic systems. We should all be vigilant of our septic systems. If they are old and breaking down they should be replaced with technology that will minimize phosphorous in the lake. If your system has grey water by passing the septic tank then shame on you!

As well this report monitors dissolved oxygen in the water in the spring and again in August. Leech Lake shows a marked reduction in dissolved oxygen in the water as the temperatures rise in August. My untrained mind deduces that there may be many more living organisms, e.g. algae, vying for oxygen in the lake and thus the dissolved oxygen levels decrease in a small lake such as ours. Phosphorous is like a fertilizer and promotes growth of vegetation such as algae. Control the phosphorous and ensure the health of our lake.

Leech Lake Newsletter: The spring newsletter had a great deal about the road and its condition and nothing about the condition of the lake and how we can make sure it’s healthy. Without a healthy lake the road will be a secondary issue.

Beavers: Judging from the level of the lake this spring the dam at the end of the lake is not being attended to by beavers. Did our beavers fall ill or move somewhere else.

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