It is important that Chandos maintains and supports the research activity and interest in our lake that we are currently fortunate to be the beneficiary of. After a while such activity can be somewhat self-perpetuating in that there becomes a base level of historical data and analysis that could attract and support further research by other scientists. Having scientists interested in our lake can alert us to potential problems before they become actualities. Also, if a serious problem ever did occur here, then there would be a cadre of informed scientists that we could hopefully call on for help.
And the availability of good science helps to educate and encourage all of us to be better stewards.
In addition, the governments of recent years have drastically scaled back their own departments that used to do this kind of work.
The research undertaken since 2014 at Chandos by Western University has been financially supported by the CLPOA and also privately.
One of the ways to encourage research here is for the CLPOA to offer some kind of financial award to students who are interested in doing lake research.
Here are some possible criteria:
The research must be supported and guided by a recognized faculty member from a recognized water lake lab/department. Queens, Western, Trent, Waterloo all have such programs.
The student must be in their 4th year or in a graduate program
The student must somehow be connected to and endorsed by a CLPOA member or must be from North Kawartha Township.
The subject would be of the supervising professor’s choosing but must involve Chandos Lake, and should result in a report being made available to the CLPOA.
The value and frequency of the award would be at the CLPOA’s discretion, but typically would be an annual award valued at $5000.
Now is the time for all good folk to come to the aid of the party…”
It is with some reticence that I write this post. There are lots of people who are quick to offer their opinion about what needs to be done or what direction should be taken, but who, for their own reasons, are unable to roll up their sleeves and pitch themselves in. Methinks I am one of those.
The CLPOA is looking for volunteers to serve on its board. I am very supportive of the Association and know how necessary it is to have hardworking and committed folk carrying out its mandate. One of its “raison d’ȇtres”, surely, is to protect and promote lake health. To make a positive dent requires different strategies and skills than planning a social function. It is hard, and any success depends on how well others can be co-opted to the cause, particularly those outside of the CLPOA. Such initiatives are typically multi-year and may involve coordination with other associations and governmental bodies.
Anyway, here’s a list of initiatives, that if successful, would help protect the lake.
We are pretty much at the limit of what anthropogenic interference the lake can withstand, and that reversing any deterioration is well nigh impossible. (It is hard to uncook an egg).
1) bylaws to control the commercialization of rental properties. (See Feb 20 post)
2) restrictions on back lot development
3) restrictions regarding multi-unit Condo development (density)
4) requirement to have septic systems inspected and brought up to code as a condition of sale. (Similar to vehicle safety cert)
5) municipal requirement for periodic proof of septic health (e.g. every 5 years)
6) prohibition of commercial fishing derbies
No doubt the CLPOA board has other worthwhile ideas for protecting the lake.
We also have a wonderful “Love Your Lake” program run by Alex Haney that would always welcome volunteers.
So, if you are passionate about Lake Health, and are the type that “can make things happen”, please consider running for a board position, or making it known that you would serve on a committee.
Lake Capacity Studies attempt to estimate how much “human load” a lake can be saddled with before its trophic status declines. The CLPOA had a lake capacity study done in 2008/09. See the 2009 MIchalski Report. A questionnaire was sent out (2004) to which about 400 cottagers replied. On page 87 is a table summarizing the responses to how much a cottage is used, in terms of “person-nights” per year.
My sense is that the results would be different today. Even though not many vacant lots have had new cottages built on them, there are: – more people living here full time. – there is a trend towards “working from cottage” – many cottages are being enlarged or replaced by larger ones, – the number that are being rented out has increased.
These factors have likely significantly added to the number of “person-nights” being loaded onto the lake. It would be informative to have another questionnaire to see what the actual load increase has been. It could well be 25% higher in 2020 vs 2004.
One of the concerning factors is the jump in short term rentals. Renters obviously want to get full value for their money, and so their “loading” is likely higher than that of a typical cottager. In addition, many cottages are rented out when the owner would normally not be at the lake. Although it is certainly everyone’s right to occasionally rent out their place, the concern comes when it becomes a business; eg, owning multiple properties for the purpose of “air-bnb’ing”.
Perhaps there should be zoning bylaws to prevent this type of commercial activity. A permit to rent would be required. If the owner (or corporation) owns more than one property, then in any given season only one property can be rented at any given time. Unless there are special circumstances, then the number of days per year that any owner can rent is limited (say maximum per property of 50 days).
The Township of North Kawartha would administer the permit process. The costs could be covered by charging a permit fee, plus a special levy against all cottage owners on the tax bill. (all cottagers benefit)
Another comment is that we should probably have stricter regulations regarding Gilmour Bay, as it is pretty much at, or over capacity, as compared to the rest of Chandos Lake.