Barb Elliot, a professor in the ecosystem management program at Fleming College, said Kushog Lake is healthy and doing well, at the annual Kushog Lake Property Owners Association general meeting.  

Elliot brings four students to the lake every fall to complete tests and she said the results show no major issues or decline in the health of the water and surrounding habitats.  

One of these tests is called a ‘secchi disk’ and it is used to measure the clarity of the water. Throughout her presentation, she showed cottagers tools, such as the disk, that researchers use to collect samples and measure levels from the water.

She also described the four main problems with the lake and how people can help.

 According to Elliot, the four major challenges are: water temperature, habitat loss, excessive nutrients and non-native species. She said cottagers and property owners can help alleviate these problems by not using fertilizers, making sure their septic tank isn’t leaking, cleaning their boats before putting them in the lake and keeping a natural shoreline. 

 Brenda Pearcey, a property owner on Kushog Lake, said the information was very enlightening but not enough people showed up to hear it.  

“I think it’s great but the people that are here are the considerate people,” she said. “It’s the ones that aren’t attending the meetings that this information should be getting to.”  

Pearcey says she keeps a natural shoreline at her property so she doesn’t disrupt the habitats of native wildlife. Her property is on the narrows where the trout spawn and she is very concerned about their numbers.

 “It was terrible last year. I saw maybe three mates. Three females and two males and that was because they lowered the water the year before when the fish spawn hadn’t hatched yet,” she said.  

Elliot said the turnout for the event was very good considering the nice day and was happy to have so many questions from people concerned about the environment.  

To find out how your lake is doing, the Coalition of Haliburton Property Owners Associations recently released a report on 118 lakes in Haliburton County.

The Lake Health Report for the Haliburton Highlands is available for purchase for $10.

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