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Tuesday, 11 June 2019 14:22

Scugog WATER Fund open for applications

JUNE 11, 2019 – Are you a property owner in the Township of Scugog, Brock or Clarington? Through the Scugog WATER (Water and Terrain Environmental Restoration) Fund, Kawartha Conservation provides financial assistance to property owners who undertake projects that contribute to the health of Lake Scugog and its watershed.

The goal of the Scugog WATER Fund is to address issues affecting Lake Scugog, including:

  • Contaminated urban and agricultural runoff
  • Extensive erosion on lakeshores and stream banks
  • Poorly functioning septic systems around the lake
  • Loss of natural cover along shorelines and stream banks

“The Scugog WATER Fund is a great opportunity for property owners to receive funding to support projects that positively impact the health of Lake Scugog,” explained Stewardship Coordinator Holly Shipclark. “There are a range of eligible projects under four key areas being On The Shore, In Town, On The Farm and In The Country.”

Projects are evaluated for their potential to positively affect the health of the Lake Scugog watershed. Acceptable expenses may include construction materials, licensed contractor and/or licensed technician fees, permit fees, design fees, native plant stock in conjunction with erosion control and urban runoff control projects, and other amounts as determined by the Scugog WATER Fund Review Committee.  

Other innovative ideas which contribute to the health of Lake Scugog and its watershed may be considered.

“To be eligible, Kawartha Conservation must conduct a site visit before the project begins,” said Ms. Shipclark. “Site visits provide an opportunity for the property owner to talk about their project and for stewardship staff to offer input, suggestions and work as a partner in the project to support the successful implementation of the project.”

Projects that are completed or which have started prior to submitting an application and receiving a site visit are not eligible for funding.  

Depending on the type of project being completed, funding through the program can be 50 percent or 100 percent.

“Taking advantage of the Scugog WATER Fund is simple,” added Ms. Shipclark. “It starts with a simple phone call or email to arrange a site visit and we can go from there.”

To learn more about the program you can visit the website at http://kawarthaconservation.com/scugog-water-fund or contact Holly Shipclark at 705.328.2271 ext 240 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Published in Shoreline

A strong low pressure system is predicted to pass through southern Ontario, including the Kawartha Conservation watershed, in the next three days, bringing significant amounts of precipitation. Rain is expected to start tonight persisting into Saturday. As forecast by the Ministry of Natural Resources, total precipitation of up to 50 mm can be expected over the next three days with locally higher amounts possible due to thunderstorms.

Flood OutlookWATERSHED CONDITIONS STATEMENT – FLOOD OUTLOOK

DATE:                   April 17, 2019
TIME:                   2:00 p.m.

Message sent on the basis of information received from:

  • Kawartha Conservation Flood Forecasting Network
  • Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry – Surface Water Monitoring Center
  • Environment Canada
  • Trent-Severn Waterway

A WATERSHED CONDITIONS STATEMENT - FLOOD OUTLOOK is now in effect for the entire jurisdiction of the Kawartha Conservation watershed. This message replaces Watershed Conditions Statement - Water Safety -Kawartha Lakes that was issued Tuesday, April 16th 2019.

A strong low pressure system is predicted to pass through southern Ontario, including the Kawartha Conservation watershed, in the next three days, bringing significant amounts of precipitation. Rain is expected to start tonight persisting into Saturday. As forecast by the Ministry of Natural Resources, total precipitation of up to 50 mm can be expected over the next three days with locally higher amounts possible due to thunderstorms.

Water levels in local rivers and streams within the watershed are still slightly elevated from the past precipitation events. The ground is saturated and does not have much capacity to absorb additional precipitation. Therefore, the forecast precipitation is expected to produce significant runoff.  

As a result, water levels and velocities in local watercourses will increase. Water accumulation may occur in low-lying areas, road ditches, and areas with poor drainage. Rivers and streams may reach or overflow in some locations, their banks. Smaller steams will react quickly, but larger watercourses will take longer to respond.

The water levels in the large Kawartha Lakes will continue to increase as a large amount of water is passing through the system toward Lake Ontario. As reported by Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry and Trent-Severn Waterway, flow in the northern tributaries will keep increasing as a result of intensified runoff from the snowmelt and precipitation. As those rivers flow into the Kawartha Lakes, water levels of Balsam, Cameron, Sturgeon and Pigeon Lakes will continue to rise.

Under current watershed conditions and expected precipitation, all local rivers, streams, and lakes should be considered extremely dangerous. Riverbanks will be slippery and unsafe, and may be undercut. Kawartha Conservation is warning all residents to stay away from water bodies, as well as water structures such as bridges, culverts, and dams.

Children should be warned of dangerous conditions and caregivers should maintain a close watch on children who are outside.
Municipalities are advised to monitor areas known for minor flooding and be prepared to respond to high water situations as they occur. Residents are advised to contact their municipalities should a flood threat develop. Local municipalities are first to respond to and assist with flood emergencies.

Trent-Severn Waterway officials are monitoring water levels and flows throughout the system very closely and make adjustments to the water control structures as required. Additional information from the TSW is available at the Water Management InfoNet web page https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/lhn-nhs/on/trentsevern/info/infonet .

Water levels of northern tributaries such as the Gull and Burnt rivers continue increasing. For additional information on Gull and Burnt River conditions please refer to the messages issued by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) at https://www.ontario.ca/law-and-safety/flood-forecasting-and-warning-program  or contact the Minden Area office at 705-286-5207.

Kawartha Conservation will continue monitoring local watercourses and notify the public and municipalities within its watershed jurisdiction of any changes. We are in close communication with partner agencies such as the Trent Severn Waterway, Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, and neighbouring Conservation Authorities on this situation.

If you are aware of or have concerns about flooding, please contact Kawartha Conservation at 705.328.2271 or 705.344.0155 after hours.
This Watershed Conditions Statement-Flood Outlook will be in effect through Tuesday, April 23rd, 2018.

Iryna Shulyarenko                                                                         Emma Collyer
Hydrologist                                                                                    Director, Integrated Watershed Management

Watershed Conditions Statement – Flood Outlook is an early notice of the potential for flooding based on weather forecasts calling for heavy rain, snow melt, high wind or conditions that could lead to high runoff, cause ice jams, lakeshore flooding or erosion.

A WATERSHED CONDITIONS STATEMENT - FLOOD OUTLOOK is now in effect for the entire jurisdiction of the Kawartha Conservation watershed. This message replaces Watershed Conditions Statement - Water Safety that was issued Thursday, April 11th 2019.

Flood OutlookDATE:                   April 12, 2019
TIME:                   3:00 p.m.

Message sent on the basis of information received from:
•    Kawartha Conservation Flood Forecasting Network
•    Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
•    Environment Canada
•    Trent-Severn Waterway

A WATERSHED CONDITIONS STATEMENT - FLOOD OUTLOOK is now in effect for the entire jurisdiction of the Kawartha Conservation watershed. This message replaces Watershed Conditions Statement - Water Safety that was issued Thursday, April 11th 2019.

A low pressure system is currently passing through southern Ontario, including Kawartha Conservation Watershed, bringing about 5 mm of rain. Another strong low pressure system is expected to move quickly through the region on Sunday and overnight into Monday, bringing additional 35 – 40 mm of rain.

Water levels in local rivers and streams within the watershed are slightly elevated from ongoing spring snow melt and past precipitation events. The ground is saturated or still partly frozen and does not have much capacity to adsorb additional precipitation. Therefore, the forecast precipitation is expected to produce significant runoff.  

As a result, water levels and velocities in local watercourses will increase. Water accumulation may occur in low-lying areas, road ditches, and areas with poor drainage. Rivers and streams may reach or overflow in some locations, their banks. Smaller steams will react fast, but larger watercourses will take longer to respond.

The water levels in the large Kawartha Lakes will continue rising due to higher inflows from northern tributaries such as the Burnt and Gull rivers. As reported by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry and Trent-Severn Waterway, flow in the northern tributaries will keep increasing as a result of intensified runoff from the snowmelt and upcoming precipitation. As those rivers flow into the Kawartha Lakes, water levels of Balsam, Cameron, Sturgeon and Pigeon Lakes will continue rising. The daily rate of water level rise is expected to increase, compared to recent conditions.  

Under expected watershed conditions, all local rivers, streams, and lakes should be considered extremely dangerous. Riverbanks will be slippery and unsafe; any remaining ice cover is unstable and hazardous. Kawartha Conservation is warning all residents to stay away from water bodies, as well as water structures such as bridges, culverts, and dams. Children should be warned of dangerous conditions and caregivers should maintain a close watch on children who are outside.

Municipalities are advised to monitor areas known for minor flooding and be prepared to respond to high water situations as they occur. Residents are advised to contact their municipalities should a flood threat develop. Local municipalities are first to respond to and assist with flood emergencies.

Trent-Severn Waterway officials are monitoring water levels and flows throughout the system very closely and make adjustments to the water control structures as required. Additional information from the TSW is available at the Water Management InfoNet web page https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/lhn-nhs/on/trentsevern/info/infonet .

Water levels of northern tributaries such as the Gull and Burnt rivers continuing increasing. For additional information on Gull and Burnt River conditions please refer to the messages issued by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) at https://www.ontario.ca/law-and-safety/flood-forecasting-and-warning-program  or contact the Minden Area office at 705-286-5207.

Kawartha Conservation will continue monitoring local watercourses and notify the public and municipalities within its watershed jurisdiction of any changes. We are in close communication with partner agencies such as the Trent Severn Waterway, Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, and neighbouring Conservation Authorities on this upcoming situation.

If you are aware of or have concerns about flooding, please contact Kawartha Conservation at 705.328.2271 or 705.344.0155 after hours.

This Watershed Conditions Statement-Flood Outlook will be in effect through Tuesday, April 16th, 2018.

Iryna Shulyarenko                                                                         Emma Collyer
Hydrologist                                                                                   Director, Integrated Watershed Management

Watershed Conditions Statement – Flood Outlook is an early notice of the potential for flooding based on weather forecasts calling for heavy rain, snow melt, high wind or conditions that could lead to high runoff, cause ice jams, lakeshore flooding or erosion.

APRIL 11, 2019 – A handful of citizen scientists are still needed for Pigeon Lake as well as for the north, east and south side of Cameron Lake for a water quality project this summer.

Volunteer citizen scientists will need to take samples and record the information once per month for a total of four samples during the summer months. All of the training and materials will be provided to the volunteers, and each volunteer will also be provided with a copy of the findings from the data collected at the end of the three year study.

Debbie Balika, Water Quality Specialist with Kawartha Conservation, said having representation from around the lakes is vital to ensure that the near shore data that is collected is representative of the entire lake, and not one specific area.

“It was identified that one of the information gaps we had around lake quality was the lack of data from the nearshore areas of the lake,” explained Ms. Balika. “This project is in partnership with UOIT (University of Ontario Institute of Technology), aims to bridge that gap and provide us with a more complete picture of the near shore situation of these two lakes.”

Similar citizen science near shore projects are taking place on Lake Scugog, Sturgeon and Balsam Lake.

“Factors from shoreline conditions, water flow, nearby tributaries, sediment and aquatic vegetation type and more can impact individual results,” explained Ms. Balika. “Which is why it is essential to have data samples collected from all areas of the lakes and not just focused in one particularly area.”

The Pigeon and Cameron Lake Citizen Science projects are a continuation of similar citizen science projects that are taking place on additional lakes in the watershed. Data from the individual lakes will help fill data gaps as well as help tell a larger story when viewed in conjunction with all of the other lake data.

“We appreciate the volunteers who have come forward and we look forward to working with new volunteers to help fill the lake gaps in the identified lake sections,” said Ms. Balika.

For more information or to volunteer for the summer sampling project, contact Debbie Balika at Kawartha Conservation by calling 705-328-2271 ext. 227 or emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Published in Media Releases

February 28, 2019 – Kawartha Conservation is reminding residents of the dangers that exist near bodies of water, particularly around this time of year, and urges people to keep family and pets away from the edges of all waterways.

Spring is quickly approaching and with warmer temperatures, people look forward to getting outdoors. However, warmer temperatures will bring higher water levels and faster flowing water in local watercourses.

Although we have experienced a few thaws this winter, the snow cover that is currently observed throughout the Kawartha Conservation watershed is typical for the beginning of March. The ground remains frozen and local rivers, streams and lakes are covered in ice. With warmer weather, comes melting snow, and potential rain will contribute to higher water levels and increased velocities in local watercourses.

As well, slippery and unstable streambanks and extremely cold water temperatures can also lead to very hazardous and dangerous conditions close to any body of water. Ice cover will weaken and become unstable.

Be safe this spring by remembering the following tips:

•    Keep family and pets away from all bodies of water
•    Avoid all recreational activities in or around water
•    Always stay off closed roads. If you do come near to flooded roads or fast-moving water, do not attempt to drive or walk through the current.
•    If you live close to the water, move objects such as chairs or benches away from the water’s edge to avoid losing them during the spring high water

For more information, contact your local Conservation Authority.

•    Kawartha Conservation    (705) 328-2271
•    Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority    (905) 895-1281
•    Toronto & Region Conservation Authority    (416) 661-6514
•    Conservation Halton    (905) 336-1158
•    Credit Valley Conservation     (905) 670-1615
•    Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authority    (905) 579-0411
•    Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority    (905) 885-8173
•    Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority        (705) 424-1479

Published in Media Releases

EmilyPPWeatherStationAugust 30, 2018 – A new partnership with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) will enhance weather monitoring in the eastern portion of the Kawartha watershed, filling a gap in precipitation data.

Kawartha Conservation, in conjunction with MNRF has installed a new weather monitoring gauge station in Emily Provincial Park, which will provide critical weather and climate data for the eastern most portion of the watershed.  

The Emily Provincial Park weather monitoring station will enhance the existing weather monitoring network across the Kawartha Conservation watershed that includes real-time precipitation gauges at Indian Point Provincial Park near Coboconk, Port Perry, Ken Reid Conservation Area in Lindsay and a number of additional locations across the watershed.
 
“The new weather monitoring station in Emily Provincial Park will provide important real time precipitation data,” explained Kawartha Conservation hydrologist Iryna Shulyarenko. “We will have access to real time information ranging from air temperature and humidity to precipitation and snow depth.

“Having access to real-time weather and climate data across the watershed allows us to track, predict and understand impacts throughout our watershed based on weather events,” added Ms. Shulyarenko. “The new weather station is an important tool in helping us better understand what is happening throughout the entire watershed.”

Ms. Shulyarenko said the addition of the Emily Provincial Park monitoring station will enhance Kawartha Conservation’s flood forecasting ability as well as recognizing and addressing low water level conditions.

Looking at the long-term perspective, the collected data will help staff understand changes in local climate and how those changes will impact the local ecosystem and communities across the watershed.  The data provided by the monitoring station will be used by both Kawartha Conservation and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.

Published in Media Releases

August 14, 2018 – This is the final week to order rain barrels for pick-up on August 25 as part of the 2018 Kawartha Conservation rain barrel sale.

“We’ve had a lot of interest this year and a lot of orders already,” said Stewardship Coordinator Holly Shipclark. “Especially with the drier conditions earlier in the summer, a lot of homeowners are interested in water harvesting and being able to capture rain water to sustain their gardens.”

Kawartha Conservation’s 2018 Rain Barrel sale orders end on Monday, August 20. Interested residents have until end of day on August 20 to take advantage of the great pricing offered and finalize their 2018 orders.

“There are a number of rain barrel options and accessories at great prices,” said Ms. Shipclark. “Interested residents can order 180 litre (47 Gallon) or 220 Litre (55 Gallon) Terracotta rain barrels and a number of accessories from wooden rain barrel stands to downspout diverters, hose and more.”

The annual rain barrel sale benefits Kawartha Conservation while providing area residents with a number of rain barrel options.

“Rainwater is much better for your plants and soil which makes it perfect for watering hangers and baskets, and it also helps keep your water bills lower in urban areas with water systems,” said Ms. Shipclark.

With the extreme low water conditions in 2016, and the already dry start to summer 2018, more and more people are recognizing the value of rain water harvesting and the cost benefits to using naturally occurring rain water to water lawns and gardens rather than relying on water from the tap.

All rain barrels and accessories will be ready for pick up on Saturday, August 25 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Kawartha Conservation field centre, next to the administrative centre.

For those who have not already placed their 2018 order, visit us online at www.rainbarrel.ca/kawarthaconservation/ or contact Holly Shipclark by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phone at 705-328-2271 Ext. 240.

Published in Media Releases

PhramitesRemovalJune 25, 2018 – Work has begun on a $30,000 BlueScaping project to improve the Omemee beach. The joint project with the City of Kawartha Lakes Parks and Recreation Department is supported by two grants from the RBC Foundation and the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change.

On Wednesday, Kawartha Conservation Stewardship staff joined the City’s Parks and Recreation staff to remove a large section of phragmites from the Omemee beach area.

“For the first phase of this multi-phase project, we were joined by City parks staff to cut down the phragmites patch that has taken over a portion of the east side of the Omemee beach,” said Stewardship Outreach Technician, Emily Johnson. “Using hand tools to remove the highly invasive plants, we removed a total of 20 bags of biomass that were subsequently disposed of at the landfill. This is the first step in an eradication plan that will take place throughout the summer.”

Kristie Virgoe, Director of Stewardship and Conservation Areas explained the project will not only positively impact the community from an environmental perspective, but a beautification one as well.

“We are excited to be able to work with the City’s Parks and Recreation Department, as well as community members and volunteers to beautify the Omemee beach through this BlueScaping initiative,” Ms. Virgoe said. “The Omemee beach is a popular destination for residents and visitors during the busy summer season, as well as shoulder seasons, and being able to address a lot of the invasive species and storm water runoff through this project will benefit the entire community for years to come.”

Working closely with City parks staff, the BlueScaping project will engage residents across the community while developing shoreline benefits, education, awareness and improved water quality.

Kawartha Conservation Stewardship Coordinator Holly Shipclark explained the multi-phase project will address a number of issues at the Omemee beach.

“The project will involve creating a rain garden at the Omemee beach, naturalization on the shoreline, removal of more than 500 square feet of invasive plants, adding more than 250 native plants, and installing interpretive signage,” said Ms. Shipclark. “Funds will also support three public workshops and a rainwater harvesting demonstration at the Omemee beach.

“This is the seventh year in a row that we have benefitted from RBC Foundation support for lake plan implementation projects,” said Ms. Shipclark. “RBC’s support has been, and continues to be, invaluable in helping to improve lake health and the environment throughout Kawartha Lakes. It is great to have their support and the support of our municipal partners to make these types of projects a reality across our communities.”

Published in Shoreline

March 9, 2018 – With March Break just around the corner, Kawartha Conservation is reminding residents of dangers that can exist near streams, rivers, ponds and lakes around this time of year and urges people to keep family and pets away from any water’s edge.

Spring is quickly approaching and with warmer temperatures, people look forward to getting outdoors.  Warmer temperatures, however, also usually bring rain, melting snow and shifting ice which can contribute to higher, faster flowing water in watercourses.

Although Kawartha Conservation’s watershed received a typical amount of snow this past winter, the warmer temperatures experienced through February has resulted in an early snowmelt.  Notwithstanding, the ground within Kawartha Conservation’s watershed remains saturated in many places and in periods of intense rain, there could be a higher amount of runoff in a much shorter interval than usual.  In addition, slippery and unstable streambanks and extremely cold water temperatures can also lead to very hazardous conditions close to any body of water.

Please keep family members and pets safely away from any water’s edge.

For more information, contact your local Conservation Authority.

•    Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority    (905) 895-1281
•    Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authority   (905) 579-0411
•    Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority       (905) 885-8173
•    Otonabee Region Conservation Authority        (705) 745-5791

Published in Media Releases

AlgaeJuly 26, 2017 – The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change has confirmed the presence of blue green algae in the Port Perry area of Lake Scugog in front of Palmer Park. The Township of Scugog has posted the area of concern with support from the Durham region Health Department.

The public is cautioned not to use the water containing blue-green algae for any uses.

The toxins released by blue-green algae when it is dying or disturbed can pose health risks for anyone using the water, including pets. Drinking the water may result in headaches, fever, diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. Bathing or showering in the water can result in skin rashes, swollen lips, eye irritation and redness, ear ache and itchiness, sore throat, hay fever-like symptoms and asthma. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should seek immediate medical attention.

Concerns should be directed to the Durham Health Department’s Environmental Helpline: 1- 905 723 3818.

Stay up-to-date on blue-green algae outbreaks

It is difficult to predict when and where a bloom will occur and for how long the toxin associated with the algae will be present, as environmental conditions continually change.
The local health unit will release a water-use warning when the presence of blue-green algae is confirmed by the Ministry of the Environment. Reports and updates are posted in the news sections of the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit, Peterborough County-City Health Unit and Durham Region Health Department.

What to do if blue-green algae has been confirmed

Do not use water containing blue-green algae for any uses. The toxins released by blue-green algae when it is dying or disturbed can pose health risks for anyone using the water, including pets.
Drinking the water may result in headaches, fever, diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. Bathing or showering in the water can result in skin rashes, swollen lips, eye irritation and redness, ear ache and itchiness, sore throat, hay fever-like symptoms and asthma. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should seek immediate medical attention.
 
Boiling water does not help in these situations, as the process just kills the algae resulting in the release of more toxins into the water.
 
For areas where an advisory has been lifted, you should not use the water if you see a large, dense algae bloom.

What to do if you suspect blue-green algae

If you suspect a blue-green algae bloom, assume toxins are present and call the Ministry of the Environment Spills Action Centre at 1-800-268-6060.
Reduce the likelihood of health risks by avoiding activities that increase exposure to these toxins during algae blooms; call the local Health Unit for information and follow their advice.
 
If you are unsure about the safety of water for drinking during an algae bloom, then use alternative water sources such as bottled, carted or tanked water.

Impacts on wildlife

Blue-green algae have been known to cause death in many different types of animals. Animals drink from the shorelines where algae tend to collect; therefore, they ingest large amounts of any toxins released. There have also been deaths reported in water-dwelling animals such as otters and waterfowl. Cattle are often highly impacted by the algae; however, there are not as many deaths due to the size of the animal.
Animals with smaller body masses are more affected by the toxins and tend to be the ones reported dead.
 
Fish can intake toxins from the algae as well, so when eating any fish caught in or near a water body affected by the algae, remove all the internal organs where any toxins would collect.

Causes of blue-green algae outbreaks

Blue-green algae occurs naturally during hot periods of weather in fresh water lakes and reservoirs with shallow, slow-moving, or still water that is rich in nutrients such as phosphorous and nitrogen. The algae thrive in areas high in nutrients, which can be elevated in lakes and streams due to human activities.
Some of the human sources of these nutrients include storm water runoff, fertilized lawns around the lake, shoreline erosion, industrial effluent, agricultural runoff, faulty septic systems, and sewage treatment plants.
 
Algae blooms, which can often give the water a pea soup appearance, can last up to three weeks and be pushed around the lake by the wind and currents.   

More Information

For more information regarding the presence or health impacts of blue-green algae contact the Health Units below.

City of Kawartha Lakes
Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit
1.866.888.4577
 
Peterborough County (includes Galway-Cavendish and Harvey)
Peterborough County-City Health Unit
1.877.743.0101
 
Durham Region (includes Scugog)
Durham Region Health Department
1.800.841.2729

Published in Media Releases
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