On November 19, 2013, the Muskoka Conservancy presented a workshop on problem Canada Geese. The workshop gave interesting facts about the bird such as its near extirpation from Ontario fifty-six years ago and the rebound to over 7 million birds in North America. The reason for the rebound is often cited as a result of climate change and an altered landscape. The workshop also outlined problems associated with too many geese (unaesthetic and public health) and options to manage Geese on waterfront property. Being mindful that Canada Geese are protected under the Migratory Bird Convention Act many property owners get creative when dealing with problem geese - from motion-sensor sprinklers to cannons on timers. The Conservancy’s workshop outlined a need to first identify why Geese come onto shoreline properties and a strategy on limiting what geese like best – a safe space and lawns.
When geese find expansive lawns there is a clear view of potential predators. It is there that they will congregate because the plan of escape is back into the water. The waterfront owner’s goal then, is to break up the large groups of geese and take away safe plentiful habitat. Some ways include a line of string across shoreline (at the right height); electric fences (the wire must be make contact at the breast bone); letting the dog out; and most importantly, managing property with a buffer strip of vegetation to cut off geese’s view of your property from the water. The higher and thicker the buffer, the more geese are intimidated to cross. It takes time to create a sufficient buffer for early spring when geese are looking for nesting sights yet, if property owners commit for the long term, the numbers of geese will drop off over time. The buffer needs to be 3 metres deep and the best approach includes a winding path to or from the buffer.
What has your experience been for managing problem geese?
The Lake Vernon Association works toward similar goals as other associations concerning the protection of natural shorelines and improving water quality in our lakes. The Kawartha Lakes Stewards Association for example, represents 24 cottager associations on more than a dozen lakes along the Trent-Severn Waterway. Kevin Walters (B.A.Sc., P.Eng.) the Director of the KLSA, has written an article addressing buffer zone, lawns and maintenance, run-off and grading, trees, leaves, septic systems, and shoreline protection from erosion.
Kevin’s article is an excellent vehicle to prompt dialogue about topics such as these. Please feel free to post a comment on any aspects of Sustainable Lakeshore Living and Shoreline Naturalization.
A SUMMARY OF THE 2012 LAKE VERNON ASSOCIATION WATER QUALITY REPORT - PREPARED BY GEORGE CRAWFORD - JUNE 2013
This year’s LVA Water Quality Report (posted on the LVA website here) has two main objectives. The first is to inform and educate the LVA membership of any new data, trends, issues or concerns discovered during the past year. The second objective is to solicit feedback from the membership regarding what we would like to see within future LVA annual water quality reports. This year’s report identifies the sources of most of our water quality data, and much of that data and information is provided in Appendices to the report. The report then provides a very high-level summary of key conclusions that could be drawn from the data. This report structure is a “draft” for the future – the LVA membership is invited to comment on what we would like to see in our annual report: Should we show more data? Should we emphasize data analysis, discussions and conclusions? Should we have more graphs, pie charts and pictures? Should we emphasize the effects and significance of the various water quality data and trends? Should we include a “primer” on the meaning and impact of particular data? Should we include, in Appendices, as much of the source data and information as we can? Send your thoughts through the Frog Blog, the LVA Environmental Committee or directly to George Crawford at georgeVcrawford@gmail.com . We appreciate all feedback and we will create next year’s report so that it provides the information that the LVA membership wants to see!
This summer your Lake Association installed three large signs
depicting Lake Vernon and environments as well as advocating
the protection of our beautiful natural habitat and water quality by avoiding invasive species. Regretfully, someone has stolen the sign erected at Avery beach, leaving behind the post.
I suppose we might regard this theft as a compliment to our artistry, but in the final analysis it is a selfish act which impoverishes all others who enjoy and respect both our environment & all lake users.
Any casual reader of our blog might reflect on these sentiments and either return the sign or advise the executive of information on its removal. I do NOT think this is a member of LVA.
I would like to update everyone on the research I have been conducting on reports of "black sooty fallout" typically found on surfaces such as boat decks/hulls, patios, patio furniture, etc. ,as well as occasional "sawmill, bonfire or noxious" odours.(which may occur during the evening or night). This would depend on wind direction and your location.
Last year I spoke at the LVA meeting and indicated that via discussions with the Ministry of Environment(MOE), one likely source of this fallout/odour was Panolam Industries (old Domtar plant) located just beyond the south shore of Lake Vernon. I will provide a more detailed description of this for the next newsletter. Briefly, Panolam uses formaldahyde (potentially carcinogenic) as well as other toxic substances in their processes,along with incineration,to produce "particleboard". Apparently they have had difficulty complying with their Certificate of Approval (C of A) on several occasions. This information is available through "Freedom of Information". Those concerned with water and air quality need to take special note of the emissions from this company as they may end up in the water as well as the air. Apparently this company will be applying for a new/updated C of A, perhaps indicating that they are expanding their processes.
The MOE has requested that anyone smelling or seeing what I described above should immediately contact the "24 hour spills hotline" at 1-800-268-6060, and get an incident report #. This will allow the MOE to track any suspected violations of environmental limits, and take action when required.
Large fish (e.g.20 lb salmon), good for eating, used to be caught on Lake Vernon. With the global decrease in wild fish stocks would there be any interest in increasing stocks of fish on Lake Vernon for our dinner tables?
Apparently the Ontario Govt. in a survey found only 2 respondents interested in fishing on the Lake, (but without information about the survey methodology this is meaningless) and as a result has decided not to stock the Lake with walleye. Is this what we really want?
How has everyone’s cottage openings been going this year? Any things you’ve noticed on the lake that have changed since last year... water level, water quality, shoreline erosion, your cottage or dock, etc? Post a comment!
Frogs are interesting creatures! Their resounding calls in the spring remind us that summer is just around the corner. But did you know, they can also tell us a lot about the health of our lake?
Frogs are an indicator species, as they are vulnerable to changes in the atmosphere, land or water. As they continue to disappear, they show how our activities interfere with not just their health and survival, but with the overall health of important eco-systems, such as Lake Vernon.
If you have a comment about our lake, some tips about how to improve our community, or would just like to post a great picture, please contact us.