Leech Lake, Muskoka

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Monday, September 20, 2010

State of Leech Lake Project

Over the past 3-4 years the Lake Stewardship Committee has been taking water quality measurements, monitoring aquatic life (bugs and invertebrates) that is a strong indicator of the health of the lake and encouraging the township to strictly monitor the septic systems on the lake. All of the activities of the Lake Stewardship Committee are directed toward keeping abreast of ecological trends on the lake and recommending and implementing improvements to ensure that our lake quality trends are positive. This committee is comprised of Valerie McCoy handling aquatic life measurement, Don Hill on water quality and Larry Jacobs on septic tank monitoring

Larry Jacobs made a presentation to the 2010 Leech Lake Cottagers Associations' Annual General Meeting (AGM) recommending that we invest in a project to engage experts to measure the state of Leech Lake in a variety of critical ecological areas. Once we have a report on the state of our lake we can develop a long range plan of action to work toward established ecological bench marks, ensuring a completely healthy lake. The ultimate goal is to return the lake to the background characteristics before human development.

The two options that were presented to register the current state of the lake were:
1. The use of a consultancy company.
2. The use of the Ecomanagment Program at Flemming College in Lindsay.

The AGM approved the funds necessary for Flemming College option.

Fleming College offers a post secondary Environmental Technicians Program, one of three in Ontario accredited by Environmental Careers Organization (ECO) Canada

Larry Jacobs has had a number of meetings with the Ecomanagement Program folks at Fleming College promoting the benefits of the college conducting a study at Leech Lake. On August 3rd Fleming accepted Leech Lake as one of 11 projects it will complete this fall.

On September 13th Larry Jacobs attended a meeting at Fleming College to match project teams and assignments. At that meeting Larry made a presentation focusing on Leech Lake, our situation and objectives for this project. Also at that meeting project mentors made presentations. The Leech Lake project was rated number 1 priority for 6 of the 11 project teams. Our project team has been chosen and will complete their field work before the snow flies.

The activities of the team will be as follows:
1. Inventory of state of shoreline development on each property (to be completed from canoe).
2. Identify key sites to conduct benthic inventories and recommend yearly schedule for collection of benthic data.
3. Conduct benthic inventories at each site identified, tally, and analyze data (Compare to Muskoka average census data).
4. Conduct zooplankton inventory, sort and analyze data.
5. Collect water chemistry data (pH, conductivity, dissolved oxygen, temperature, calcium and phosphorus. Compare to Muskoka averages and Leech Lake trends).
6. Preliminary inventory of aquatic invasive species and shoreline plant communities. Compare and report versus Muskoka data, and or ideals if feasible.
7. Determine key spots for establishing a water level measurement station, take baseline readings and potentially set up a station with Leech Lake equipment.
8. Perform seine netting in concert with Fish and Wildlife in preparation for advice on future fish stocking.
9. Liaise with other agencies as required.
10. Prepare interim reports as needed. Prepare a final report on findings and prepare a Power Point presentation for Leech Lake Executive and for other agencies as required.

During the team’s work on the lake Larry Jacobs and Valerie McCoy will be feeding and housing the team.


At 8:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Larry, Valerie and anyone else whose name I'm unaware of that has been working very hard getting this up and running. Thanks also in advance for the many hours to come to complete the study.
Sherri Youngman

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