The information below is an update of research activities proposed by local universities (3) and Fleming College (3). This is addition a lake research information for the Lake Managment Plan for Pigeon Lake. As academia partners plan and undertake more specific studies, university professors look to us for a letter of support as they develop a funding proposal for a specific area of study, the sharing of our data a Such additional research greatly builds on current knowledge as well as working towards answering certain questions.
Proposed University Research:
Dr. Catherine Eimers
Agriculture and Climate Change: Impact on Ontario’s water resources.
Dr. Eimers is examining the relationship between agricultural land use, tile drainage and an increasing trend of nitrate concentrations in streams studied in a previous investigation. This study would positively contribute to the lake management planning process and monitoring recommendation process through this study’s examination of historical agricultural shifts and practices and their effects on water quality and quantity. Furthermore, this study will complement existing data, but more so aid in the creation of a very robust dataset which could provide support for new policies and best management practices for future changes in agriculture and climate for the long term protection of water quality and quantity within this region.
KRCA will be supporting this research through long term data access (GIS mapping, water quality & quantity) and sampling sites.
University of Ontario Institute of Technology
Dr. Andrea Kirkwood
Scugog Lake Stewards (Partnership)
Assessment of invasive macrophytes and water quality in Lake Scugog and implications for fish habitat.
Dr. Kirkwood’s study will include the following objectives: Documenting macrophyte community composition and dynamics in Lake Scugog over 2 years; Assessing the occurrence and impact of dense Starry Stonewort meadows on submerged macrophyte community structure and diversity, including interactions with Eurasian Watermilfoil; assessing the influence of invasive macrophyte community dominance on macroinvertebrate diversity and; determining the role of water quality conditions in influencing the occurrence and abundance of invasive macrophytes in Lake Scugog, and conversely, determining how dense stands of invasive macrophytes influence trophic state conditions. This study will complement KRCA existing data, but more so aid in the creation of a very robust dataset which could provide support for new policies and best management practices including nuisance aquatic vegetation (i.e. onset of starry stonewort), nutrient load mitigation, future shoreline development and metrics of lake management plan implementation success.
KRCA will support this project through long term dataset access and technical support.
Dr. Nanda Kanavillil
Trent-Severn Waterway research program: Dynamics of abiotic and biotic components in Canada’s National Historic Site.
Dr. Kanavillil will be examining anthropogenic loading via nutrient dynamics, phytoplankton species composition including toxic algal blooms, eutrophication and pathogenic and non-pathogenic heterotrophic bacterial flora along the TSW waterway, including lakes within the KRCA district. Additionally, he will use caffeine and a nitrogen stable isotope to identify human mediated nutrient inputs.
This study will assist in determining ‘hot spots’ within our watershed, which could ultimately lead to action items including remediation and lake plan implementation strategies. Furthermore this study will complement and enhance KRCA’s dataset to include quantifiable biotic parameters such as phytoplankton and pathogenic and non-pathogenic heterotrophic bacterial flora, which are identified as data gaps within our Lake Characterization reports.
KRCA will support this study through long term dataset access and technical support.
Fleming College – C-Links Program
– students undertaking these studies have been mentored and supported by Brett.
#1 – Tentative project title: Greywater discharge into the Kawartha Lakes; potential water quality impacts and current management framework.
The purpose of this project is to obtain a better understanding of the potential impact of discharging greywater from large vessels into the Kawartha Lakes, and the management challenges associated with proper greywater disposal.
There is a perception among many lake-stakeholders that large vessels are negatively impacting water quality in the Kawartha Lakes through improper disposal of their greywater (i.e., on-board water that is used for showering, rinsing, washing, etc.). However, it is currently unknown to what extent grey water is flushed into the lakes, and if in fact the water has elevated levels of contaminants that could potentially impact lake health. Obtaining this information would better inform lake managers, and lake stakeholders, as they develop best management practices for boating along the Kawartha Lakes system.
#2 – Tentative project title: Shoreline stabilization and lake health – practical approaches for existing waterfront developments
The purpose of this project is to research and describe practical approaches for enhancing the stability of shorelines along waterfront properties while maintaining their ecological functions that contribute to lake health.
The shorelines along the Kawartha Lakes are heavily developed because they are attractive destinations for seasonal and permanent communities, as well as many businesses. Property owners and managers are constantly interested in maintaining a stable shoreline because existing or desired infrastructure is under constant threat from being damaged through the natural processes inherent along lake shorelines, in particular erosion due to steep slopes, high wave energy, ice heaves, surface water runoff, among other risks. Shorelines are also a significant component of a lakes ecosystem, by providing biological hotspots because they are productive transitional zones between land and water environments. As such an ideal management scenario is one where developed shoreline communities have protected infrastructure while maintaining features and functions that contribute to lake health. Since most shorelines within the Kawartha Lakes are already developed, there is a need for practical approaches that can be implemented by waterfront owners and managers to achieve this balance.
#3 – Tentative project title: Coordinated Lake Monitoring Program
The purpose of this project is to develop a framework for a coordinated monitoring program for the Kawartha Lakes. This will based on researching the roles and responsibilities of each partner (including all of the different types of data that they each collect), and identifying opportunities to better achieve multi-partner coordination in terms of lake health monitoring to the benefit of all lake stakeholders.
There are multiple organizations that are actively monitoring certain aspects of the Kawartha Lakes, including but not limited to: Ministry of Natural Resources, Kawartha Lakes Stewards Association, Parks Canada, Conservation Authorities, local municipalities, among many others. Important data is collected on various indicators such as water quality, water quantity, climate, and natural heritage features; however, there is no coordination among all groups. This can lead to duplication of efforts, reduced efficiencies, and general lack of partner communication and interpretation of results.