SLCO Newsletter - Summer is Here!

2022 May/June


Many cottagers are adding more powerful and larger boats to their flotillas on top of the usual kayaks, canoes and paddle boards. We encourage you to use all your toys and have fun!  But, at the same time, ensure that you minimize damage to shoreline structures (docks and boathouses), the lake, the shoreline, wildlife and their habitats.  Bow Down in either Displacement Speed or Planing Speed for the least impact.

Did you know ... 

The speed limit on Muskoka Lakes is 9 km/hr within 30 meters (100 ft) of the shoreline?

Recommended Practices for operating your boat.


        A Message from your President

        At long last, the ice is gone, the leaves (and the flies!) are out and the water is almost swimmable again!  I had the pleasure of my first real swim just the other day, the water was still a chilly 17 Celsius! 

        And what a relief it is to be able to return to normal conditions.  I’m personally looking forward to socializing with friends around the lake and participating in activities other than over Zoom!

        This year I’m pleased to announce that we are returning to a normal summer events schedule on Skeleton Lake. You’re all welcome to come out and join us - in person.  The big event, the annual Skeleton Lake Regatta, will be held on Saturday July 30th and you can see the full roster of summer events by visiting the website here.

        Speaking of the website, I hope you’ve had an opportunity to visit it recently.  The Communications Committee under Tim Lutton has done a fantastic job enhancing the site content over the winter.  Whether you’re interested in more history, facts about our fabulous lake or just interested in being a good steward, there’s something there for you.

        A few things about your SLCO as we cruise into 2022 cottage season.  We’re pleased to inform you that we have two new directors – Ted Warren and Lawry Simon. Ted will take over the role of Treasurer and Lawry has been making a major contribution to the content of the website (alongside Joanne Hutchinson) in Communications.  Both Ted and Lawry bring board and management skills and are passionate supporters of our lake and community.

        On important issues affecting water-access cottagers, I’m pleased to announce that The Village Harbour Marina has revised its plans and will remain in operation into the foreseeable future, providing full marina services, including slips, parking, storage and gas, but no convenience store.  In addition, the Skeleton Lake Marina was granted a zoning bylaw amendment to add another 12 slips, so water-access cottagers should be well served going into the future.  Also affecting water-access cottagers, the District of Muskoka will continue to offer two locations for “Lakeside Waste Collection” while they look for longer term solutions, such as a nearby transfer depot.  Details of the locations/times for 2022 waterside collection can be found in this newsletter.

        The Township of Muskoka Lakes has also just announced that Draft 3 of the New Official Plan is ready for review and will be the subject of a series of Special Planning Meetings commencing June 20th.  Information on participating in this important dialogue can be found here.  We encourage everyone in the community to participate in this important dialogue.

        Finally, with a return to normal, we are anticipating hearing from the Ontario Land Tribunal about the resumption of the Lippa Pit & Quarry appeals that have been sidelined since November 2019.  At time of writing, we have no further updates on this but we will keep you informed as we get more information.

        And lastly, this will be my last newsletter to you as your president.  My term as president will come to an end at the next AGM.  I’m very proud of the accomplishments our Board of Directors has made over these last few years, in especially trying times. 

        Our membership is at an all-time high of close to 300 members, our balance sheet is stronger than it’s ever been, we are deeply engaged with our local municipalities and strategic lake partners, and our Stewardship team is successfully building awareness about how we can each play a part in the preservation of this very special place we have. 

        And I want to thank all the volunteers and Board members who worked tirelessly on important causes like the launch of “The Bones of Skeleton Lake” (700 copies sold!), the inclusion of our Lake Plan into the Muskoka Lake’s New Official Plan and stopping an unsightly cell tower proposed on our shores. 

        As summer approaches, I hope to see you – either out on the water or at the community events!

        Jeff Crocker


        Committee Reports

        Governance Committee

        The Governance Committee will be reviewing the “Ontario Not For Profit Corporations Act” (ONCA) which came into effect October 19th 2021. All organizations that were under the previous “Corporations Act” will have three years to comply with the new Act. This will entail amending or changing the SLCO By-Law #1. Items such as maximum length of term of Directors will need to be updated. Directors will be appointed for a one year term rather than our present policy of a three year term. It is expected that this work will be completed by the Committee in 2022/23 and presented to the Membership at the 2023 AGM

        The Members of the Nominating Committee met and recommended to the SLCO Board the nomination of Ted Warren and Lawry Simon as Directors of the Organization. The Board of the SLCO unanimously approved the nominations. 

        Nominating Committee

        The Members of the Nominating Committee met and recommended to the SLCO Board the nomination of Ted Warren and Lawry Simon as Directors of the Organization. The Board of the SLCO unanimously approved the nominations. 

        Teddene Long

        Chair of Governance 

        Membership Report

        I wish to thank all of the members that have already paid their membership. And welcome the rest of the Skeleton Lake Cottagers to join us. Our goal is 300 members for this year. 

        Kelly Andrews

        Chair Membership Committee

        Merchandising Committee

        The SLCO Store has reopened! We have several new items in our catalogue like beach towels and crew neck shirts, as well as some of your favourite items from last summer. There are both the One Tree Island and Skelefin logos to choose from. Shopping will be just a click away! Check it out by going to the website and clicking on the link!  Please order by July 15 and pick up at the marina on or after July 29.

        For those who ordered last year and their items weren’t able to be delivered, you should have received an email from me  indicating the items not delivered, and a message that a refund cheque was being sent to you. If I’ve missed anyone, please let me know. 

        See our new merchandise!

        Let us know what you think of our new items. 

        Kathi Poupard

        Board Member

        SLCO Stewardship Committee:

        Welcome back everyone.  Tony Shevsky and I are getting ready for another Summer of water testing.  We will begin this weekend.

        As usual we will continue with the Secchi (clarity), water temperature, E coli and coliform every month

        We are required to do it 4 times a summer, but we always include September, and are curious to check on the water after the busy summer months. 

        Future tests this year:

        • June-end of the month
        • July-end of the month
        • August-end of the month
        • September-end of the month
        Test results from previous years and current testing from May is now up on our website!

        Current Test Results  How Do We Know?

        Phosphorous, Calcium and Chloride Trends  Pay Attention to What?

        Coliform TC/EC Trends  Can I Drink the Water?

        Let's all keep our beautiful lake clean!!!!!

        Jan Hunter
        Stewardship Committee  

        2022 Recreational Program

        The SLCO Board is excited to announce that we are back to all LIVE events for the first time in three years!  It will be great to see everyone back at the regatta once again!  Please register your event attendance in advance online at the Skeleton Lake Cottagers Organizations Event Page.  Stay tuned to purchase tickets for an exciting raffle, prize courtesy of Skeleton Lake Marina.

        Skeleton Lake Photo Contest
        Submissions now until September 1st, 2022 to
        Photographs celebrating the life and wonders of Skeleton Lake!  Two Themes: “Wildlife” and “Life at the Cottage”.  Please include the theme, title of photo, your name and SLCO membership number.

        Canada Day Antique Boat Lake Flotilla
        Saturday, July 2 at 11:00 a.m. from Twig Beach, west of Long Point and around the perimeter of Skeleton Lake.
        Contact Linda at for additional information.
        Bring your vintage boat and join in for the fun or enjoy the tour from your dock.

        BUGS in the Mud
        Saturday, July 16 from 10:00 a.m. to Noon at Wilson’s Lodge, Wilson’s Lodge - 1253 Skeleton Lake Road #2, Utterson
        Hosted by the Blue Lakes Project, participants learn about the cool bugs (benthic invertebrates) that live in the lake and support fisheries and wildlife.

        Skeleton Lake Marina Fishing Derby – It’s not just for kids!
        Saturday, July 30, 2022 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at Skeleton Lake Marina.
        A category based annual event concluding with a free Pancake Breakfast. All participants receive a T-shirt compliments of the Skeleton Lake Marina.

        45th Skeleton Lake Regatta
        Saturday, July 30, 2022 from noon to 3:30 p.m. at Newport Adventure Camp.
        This event includes canoe, kayak, land and swimming races along with the Scales Nature Park reptile experience.  BBQ lunch starts at noon.  Entertainment by Moose FM. 

        Skeleton Lake Sailing Race
        Sunday, July 31 starts at 1:00 p.m. at Rosebud Island
        This is the second year of this exciting new sailing race around the centre of the lake.

        Family Day –  Guided Hike
        Saturday, August 13, 2022 from 10:00 a.m. to Noon on Aspdin Road (more details to follow)
        A professionally guided hiking tour exploring the landscape, wildlife, flora and fauna hosted by the Muskoka Conservancy Group.

        Bob Smith

        Chair Recreation Committee

        News Summary from our Lake Partners – January 2022

        We’ve compiled a selection of recent news and information pieces from our Lake Partners.  Use the built-in links to find more details on the topics of interest to you.  More information on our partners, including these articles, is available on the Lake Partner News page of the SLCO Website.  Please contact with any suggestions you may have for this Lake Partner News Summary in these newsletters and on the SLCO website.

        Cottage Life

        The surprising way woodstove ashes can help your forest
        The soil in Muskoka is typically low in calcium that has been leached out by acid rain.  The Friends of Muskoka Watershed's ASHMuskoka Program, hopes to replenish the calcium deficient soils of the region to boost forest productivity.  What are the benefits of woodstove ash?  An increase in sap volume from sugar maples, healthier trees, an environmentally-friendly alternative to road salt and eliminates outhouse odours!

        What restrictions can you put on your rental cottage? 
        “There are rules and policies that each host sets for their vacation home,” says Alison Kwong, a spokesperson for VRBO. “It gives hosts that peace of mind.”  Restrictions can include guest and pet policies, primary renter age, length of stay, and local rules.

        FOCA and Safe Quiet Lakes

        Safe Boating
        The organizers of this year's annual safe boating awareness campaign want to remind everyone of their five key messages:  wear your lifejacket, boat sober, take a boating course, be prepared and be cold water safe.  Have a look at each of these priorities along with video resources.


        Take a Stand for Muskoka – Vote on October 24:  Municipal elections matter - the outcome can impact water quality, blasting and tree cutting along the waterfront, disruption from short term cottage rentals, your municipal tax bill, garbage pickup, road maintenance, and building and land development. Muskoka needs Councillors who will advocate for no more clear-cutting, excessive blasting and residential subdivisions on our shorelines; appropriate by-law enforcement; protecting water quality and mitigating flooding; responsible and transparent budgets and taxation; and no conflicts of interest.  

        Muskoka Lakes Association

        Spruce Up Your Boating Skills This Spring! 
        Surveys reflect growing concern about the safety of our lakes and the preservation of Muskoka’s shores as the result of boating.  To help promote safe and enjoyable boating, MLA has provided access to six 9- to 19-minute E-Learning modules.  Topics Include: Boating Law, Safety and Courtesy; Safe and Enjoyable PWCing; Towing Human Beings; Safe and Enjoyable Night Boating; Boating Basic Navigation; Departing and Landing.  

        Muskoka Lakes Association

        Spongy (LDD or Gypsy) Moths
        To reduce the impact of gypsy moths on your trees: remove and discard egg masses, wrap your trees with burlap bands and/or collect the caterpillars by hand (wear gloves) and kill them in soapy water.

        Ticks:  On the Look Out
        You may be bitten by a tick and not even know it!  Here’s what you can do to avoid getting a tick bite:  wear light-coloured clothing so ticks are easier to see, closed-toed shoes, long-sleeved shirts, long pants tucked into your socks, and special clothing designed to repel ticks.

        Muskoka Ratepayers Association - Skeleton Lake Marina

        Regarding the application submitted to rezone land for a parking area and expand docking facilities, a resolution was read at Committee and carried unanimously to approve subject to site plan control and that the natural heritage site be rezoned to Environmentally Protected 1.  More details are available on the Skeleton Lake Website.

        Reform Gravel Mining Coalition

        Moratorium on New Aggregate Mining Applications Eighteen Ontario Municipalities now support a moratorium on new gravel mining approvals in Ontario with more in the process of signing on.  SLCO has brought this Moratorium to Councillors at Township of Muskoka Lakes (expressed interest in signing) and Huntsville (no response), FOCA (no response) and MLA (published an article in the March edition of  NewsBites newsletter).  Additional information: FAQs on why this Moratorium is needed, The Moratorium Statement and Update on the Proposed Lippa Quarry.

        Safe Quiet Lakes 

        Wake Aware Committee Update
        Have a look at the Safe Quiet Lake's video featured at this year's Spring Cottage Life show.  New Wake Awareness materials will be available this summer, hopefully at in-person events and beyond.  Contact SQL to get your No Wake signs, available for $20.00 and check out these articles featured on My Muskoka Now and

        Decibel Coalition Update  
        Transport Canada, responsible for regulations on Canadian waterways, invited public consultation on its Let’s Talk web portal by presenting five options regarding boat muffler and noise emission levels. Almost 2,000 responses were in favour of decibel limits.  The Decibel Coalition supports the introduction of performance standards for both manufacturers and operators to ensure vessels don’t exceed certain decibel limits. The Coalition believes that the decibel limits must be accompanied by efficient, effective enforcement procedures that make it easy for police to use on the water. This process has sent a very loud and direct message to Transport Canada that action must be taken.   The Coalition also asked that you write to your local politicians - again there has been great response from across the country with more than 380 letters sent to over 70 MPs.  If you have not yet sent a letter to your MP(s) please use this link to do so.

        Please contact Tom Grajnar at with any suggestions that you may have for this Lake Partner News Summary.

        If you have any suggestions for future newletters, please let me know. 

        Tim Lutton

        Chair, Communications Committee 

        Please continue to follow us on Facebook or visit the SLCO website to get the latest news.