Weed and Algae Studies

Aquatic Plants in the Kawartha Lakes

Weeds is the term most of us use to describe Aquatic Plants, as most people see them as a problem when it comes to enjoying swimming, boating and fishing. BPOA, along with other Associations throughout the Kawartha Lakes, has supported The Kawartha Lake Stewards Association (KLSA) and the lake water research that they have been doing in the area. One such research project was on the weeds in our lakes.

In 2009, KLSA and Trent University with the support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation, released an Aquatic Plants Guide, the result of a two year study of our lakes. This guide focuses on the Aquatic Plants in the Kawartha Lakes - their growth, importance and management. The Weed Guide is available through the KLSA website and you can view it by clicking here.

Most of us have noticed the changes in the distribution and location of the traditional weed beds. Now they seem to be located everywhere as a result of the changes happening to our lake ecosystem. The introduction of invasive species such as Eurasian Milfoil and Zebra Mussels has meant big changes to Clear and Ston(e)y Lakes. 

Tape Grass or Water Celery photo by Jeff Chalmers

Please Note: Milfoil is able to spread from fragments rooting and growing into new plants. Broken/cut pieces of Milfoil should be removed from the water so they can not spread the plant.
The Algae of the Kawartha Lakes

Algae is another concern of area residents in recent years because we have had some instances of "blue-green" algae blooms. When these are identified by the M.O.E., the local Health Units issue a "water use advisory" about being in or using the water. Some forms of blue-green algae are toxic and this can not be solved by boiling the water. Different people have different sensitivity and reactions can range from nothing, to skin itch/rash, to serious illness.

In 2010, KLSA in partnership with Trent University and support from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, undertook a three year algae study because the public wanted and needed to know more about the algae of our area. How do you identify the normal varieties of algae that are a necessary part of the lake food-chain vs. something that could be a potential health risk to persons and animals. There were a number of workshops on the topic in 2011


In late August 2012 the new Algae Guide was released. Printed copies were not available until after our AGM but Jeff Chalmers does have copies. Contact Jeff at jeffreychalmers@yahoo.ca if you would like a printed version. Copies are also available at various locations in the area. The Algae Guide is available through the KLSA website and you can view it by clicking here

After you have taken a look at the Algae Guide, KLSA would appreciate your feedback by participating in a short survey. Go to http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/WRHQ83Q to take the survey. The survey is also available through the link on the KLSA homepage.

Yellow Pond Lily photo by Jeff Chalmers
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