Protecting Our Lake
The shallow water at the lake’s edge and first 10 metres of shore land around our lakes is where much of the lake life is born, raised and fed. Many landowners in some lakes, unaware of the importance of this area, have cleared the shorelines of native vegetation and replaced it with lawns, non-native ornamental vegetation, retaining walls and boathouses. This has had a negative effect on fish and wildlife habitat and water quality. Natural vegetation retained or restored along the shoreline helps prevent erosion and improves water quality by binding nutrients before they can enter the lake.
Wells and Septic Systems
Improperly maintained septic systems can contribute to excessive nutrient pollution of our lake. The Ontario Onsite Wastewater Association is a great resource for cottage and home owners about building and maintaining wells and septic systems
Maintaining a healthy vegetative buffer along the shoreline is important for the health of our lake. The North Frontenac Township’s zoning bylaws lay out a number of restrictions against cutting trees in the 30 metre vegetation buffer along the shoreline of waterfront properties.
Lake Stewardship is an ethic that embodies the responsible planning and management of resources. The concepts of stewardship can be applied to Palmerston Lake regarding lake water quality, flora, fauna, aquatic life and water fowl, taking place within the context of our enjoyment of playing and living on the lake. The Shoreline Owner’s Guide to Healthy Waterfronts is a great resource about lake stewardship prepared by the Federation of Ontario Cottagers’ Associations.
Ontario has the largest number of invasive species in Canada, with more than 180 aquatic invasive species, around 500 non-native plants, 39 known forest insects and 10 tree diseases. On Nov. 3, 2016 a new Ontario’s Invasive Species Act went into effect, giving officials in the province a stronger mandate to prevent new species from arriving and to control – and where possible, eradicate – those that are already here.
Although there is a report from the late 1990s of an invasive Rusty Crayfish found in Palmerston Lake, there do not appear to have been reports of other aquatic invasive species such as zebra and quagga mussels or the spiny waterflea, or aquatic plants such as Eurasian Water-Milfoil, but these species are found in many surrounding lakes. These and other species can be inadvertently introduced into a lake in an improperly drained and cleaned live well or bait bucket or attached to boat hulls, motors, trailers or even angling equipment.
The Federation of Cottage Associations has put together a very useful Invasive Species Guide that includes tips for helping prevent the spread of invasive species. The Invading Species Awareness Program website and the Early Detection and Distribution Mapping System website provide descriptions of and tips to help identify Ontario’s invasive species, instructions about how to report sightings and shows the geographical distribution of reported invasive species in Ontario.