We need to pay attention to ...  

These are the key factors that affect our lake's health!


Phosphorus

Total phosphorus reading measure all forms of phosphorus in a sample. The many sources of phosphorus which are both man-made and naturally occurring in the environment. 

Why is this important?

Phosphorus is an essential nutrient for all living organisms but elevated levels can affect aquatic ecosystems that lead to algal blooms, increased plant growth resulting in decreased water quality.


LPP TTL P - Lake Partner Program results  for Phosphorous 
MAX P - Value of P  below 5 ug/L deemed very good  

What the results show

Lakes with a phosphorus concentration less than 10 µg/L are considered oligotrophic or nutrient poor (Dillon et al. 1986).

With levels below 5 ug/L, Skeleton Lake's results are considered very good!  Our lake is deep and very clear with minimal aquatic plants and algal blooms and high levels of dissolved oxygen. Levels below 5 ug/L are difficult and hard to accurately record.

These low levels are good news!  But ... the trends show numbers are increasing, an indicator for concern.

What can you do?

Humans are a significant contributor to phosphorus but you can help control it:

    • Ensure your septic systems are in order
    • Use low phosphorus soaps and detergents
    • Stop using fertilizers
    • Don't bathe in the lake 

Learn More ...


Calcium

Calcium is also an essential element for all life forms. It promotes healthy teeth and bone formation in animals and enhances growth in plants. Daphnia, for example, are very sensitive to declining calcium levels. These tiny organisms called zooplankton, use calcium in the water to form their calcium-rich body coverings and are a primary food source for many fish. Mollusks, clams and crayfish are other examples of aquatic life that rely on calcium. 

What the results show

There is reason for concern when calcium levels fall below 1.5 mg/L.  Research is showing that these tiny organisms do not survive well below this level.  Calcium levels on Skeleton Lake are a good news story!  Although they are considered low, they are above the minimum threshold and remaining relatively stable.




Chloride

Salt is accumulating in the environment and poses an emerging threat both to ecosystems and human health. Once introduced into an ecosystem, salt can become a persistent problem and there are really no biological processes that will remove it. Reducing  the amount of salt entering waterways is an important way to protect our aquatic ecosystems.  The principle culprit is road salt.

What the results show

Although at low levels, like other lakes in Ontario our lake is seeing a steady linear rise in salt water year over year!  This is a negative long term trend!


What can you do?

    • Reduce or eliminate the use of road salt on our cottage roads
    • Eliminate the use of salt
    • Use more sand or sand-brine mix as required

Municipalities are already doing this by optimizing how and when they apply salt while keeping the roads safe.  As we see more year-round residents, the tendency is to apply salt to the road surfaces increasing in frequency and amounts.  Please eliminate the use of salt!

Learn More ...


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