Protecting the quality of our water is probably the single, most important element in cottaging. Your association has active phosphate testing every year in the spring to make sure we meet the criteria for healthy lakes. Phosphate is a common element in the environment and without it, nothing would grow in our lakes. But too much phosphate, and you get out-of-control growth of water weeds. This can lead to all of the oxygen being used up in the lake and a eutrophic condition as a result. This condition depletes the oxygen in the lake, causing fish to die and the lake potentially dying. More relevant though is the potential for algae blooms, especially the toxic blue/green algae.
We now have the 2016 water testing results from the Dorset Environmental Science Centre (DESC). The results for this year are within the historical signature of Loon and Turtle, a range of 7 ug/l to 8 ug/l -- Loon is 7.6 and Turtle is 6.8. When combined with the results from the Benthic testing that LTLCA conducts with the District of Muskoka and the Muskoka Watershed Council, it shows a healthy situation for our lakes.
Peter Helston, Loon & Turtle Lakes Cottage Association