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Caring for Loon Lake

Caring for Loon Lake

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Published by dudmanlake

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Categories:Types, Research, Science
Published by: dudmanlake on Mar 02, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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05/12/2014

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Caring for Loon Lake
You arrive up here on a Friday night after a long drive and settle in for thenight. When you wake up in the morning, the lake is there, shimmering likeit always does, and gives you a sense of relaxation, of escape from the cityworld. You spend the day lounging around on the dock watching the watersplashing against the shore and perhaps going out for a boat ride. If there'sgrand kids, perhaps you'll spend a few hours pulling them around on tubes.You'll perhaps have some dives off the dock and then, after a long day, headup to the cottage for a barbeque. After dinner, you'll go out fishing for anhour or so. Then you'll come in and settle down for a movie or some TVbefore going to bed.That seems like a fairly typical busy day at the cottage - enjoying the lake.Something you repeat several times over the summer season.But what if that day wasn't as nice as it's always been? What if the lakedidn't shimmer but instead had patches of algae floating offshore andbuilding up on your beach? And what if the algae had a distinct odour ? Whatif the shoreline was all eroded away with rocks and tree roots showing? Whatif there were weeds in front of the dock where you wanted to dive or float ona tube? What if you cut your feet on the zebra mussels on the lake bottom?What if your whole body itched after you went in swimming ? And the ladderon the side of the dock had long green slimy, mossy fibres that got all overyour legs when you tried to get out of the water ? What if going fishingyielded no fish and you were constantly getting snagged on weeds?Sounds pretty bad doesn't it ! Think it can't happen in Loon Lake - thinkagain! It's happened just south of here in the Kawarthas. And it only took afew decades to happen!And that's what this article is all about - preventing a disaster fromhappening on Loon Lake.
 
It doesn't take much to start it all going. Shore lands being over clearedwhen clearing a lot for building; dumping extraneous fill into the lake;removing shoreline stumps; taking out rocks to make a swimming area;destroying fish habitat with the wrong type of docks; extending lawns to thewater and spreading fertilizer on them to improve their appearance; notpumping out septic tanks regularly; using unfriendly cleaning chemicals;taking boats into other lakes to fish and putting them back into Loon Lakewithout properly rinsing them off first; making changes around the lake thatcan affect water levels; and perhaps bringing up those different lookingminnows that you bought at a bait shop down south. The list goes on.......These things can all happen, quite innocuously, and usually through a lack of knowledge about what can cause problems.Many years ago, a change took place on the north west side of the lake thataffected nor only the Burnt River, but the entire lake. Following that change,our year end water levels are higher than they once were. And since thattime , there has been noticeable shoreline erosion and a significant build upof sediments on the lake bottom.Currently, another change is being planned on the Burnt River and I hopethat it will be well engineered and with no adverse effects.Caring for Loon Lake is not really difficult. All you really have to do stop andtake the time to do some research about the problems that can occur andwhat you have to do to prevent them from happening here.And then you have to ask yourself a question each time you are about to dosomething."Will what I'm about to do affect Loon Lake ?"Your sources of learning are many and one of the best places to start is atthe web site of the Federation of Ontario Cottager's Associations [FOCA], attheir Environment Program:http://www.foca.on.ca/environmentThe Ministry of Natural Resources has an excellent web site:http://www.mnr.gov.on.ca/en/Business/Biodiversity/2ColumnSubPage/STEL02_166972.html
 
As does the Ministry of the Environment:http://www.ene.gov.on.ca/environment/en/local/lake_partner_program/index.htmAnd then there's Peterborough Green Up:http://www.greenup.on.ca/index.phpThese are but a few of the places you can go to learn how you can protectLoon Lake.You can attend conferences during the summer months. An excellent one isput on each year by the Lakeland Alliance; here's the link:http://www.lakeland.greenup.on.ca/Almost endless....Once you know what can happen and how to avoid problems, you will bebetter prepared to do your part in protecting Loon Lake's  biodiversities forfuture generations.Talk it up with your friends and neighbours and get them interested in howthey too can help care for Loon Lake.We're not talking about complicated rocket science.But we are talking about work that does take some time; some conviction,some stamina, and some people skills to work on projects that at times bechallenging.Loon Lake is precious and it still is in pristine condition. Don't let it change!
Mike
DisclaimerThis article is published by me as a service to my readers and other interested parties. It is based on my ownfindings and interpretations.  No scientific validation has been performed. No one should act upon comments madewithout considering the facts of specific situations and/or consulting appropriate professional advisors.I assume no responsibility for errors or omissions and will not accept liability of any nature whatsoever that maybe suffered by use of the information contained in this article.

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