Echo Lake Causation Study

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Muskoka's residents and District Council care about water quality. This important topic impacts the environment, economy, and desirability of the District as both a place to call home and a destination. In an effort to enhance water quality and resident/visitor experience in Muskoka, the District is undertaking causation studies on lakes considered as vulnerable from a water quality perspective. One of these causation studies will be on Echo Lake.

Echo Lake is 2.23km2 in size and is located in the jurisdiction of the Township of Lake of Bays. Echo Lake experienced a blue-green algae bloom in 2019, located at the east end of the lake, which was confirmed by the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) on October 11, 2019. This led to the lake being classified as vulnerable in Schedule E2 of the Muskoka Official Plan (MOP). As outlined in the MOP, when a lake is listed as vulnerable, a waterbody-wide causation study should be initiated to determine the causes and relative contributing factors which lead to the identified water quality indicator, as well as to produce recommendations and mitigative actions that can be taken by stakeholders, the District, and others to ensure water quality may be enhanced in the long-term.

To receive project updates and to stay informed of the outcomes of the Echo Lake Causation Study Project, enter your email address in the "Stay Informed" tool (located at the top right-hand corner of this page on your desktop or scroll down on your mobile device) and click the subscribe button.

Muskoka's residents and District Council care about water quality. This important topic impacts the environment, economy, and desirability of the District as both a place to call home and a destination. In an effort to enhance water quality and resident/visitor experience in Muskoka, the District is undertaking causation studies on lakes considered as vulnerable from a water quality perspective. One of these causation studies will be on Echo Lake.

Echo Lake is 2.23km2 in size and is located in the jurisdiction of the Township of Lake of Bays. Echo Lake experienced a blue-green algae bloom in 2019, located at the east end of the lake, which was confirmed by the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) on October 11, 2019. This led to the lake being classified as vulnerable in Schedule E2 of the Muskoka Official Plan (MOP). As outlined in the MOP, when a lake is listed as vulnerable, a waterbody-wide causation study should be initiated to determine the causes and relative contributing factors which lead to the identified water quality indicator, as well as to produce recommendations and mitigative actions that can be taken by stakeholders, the District, and others to ensure water quality may be enhanced in the long-term.

To receive project updates and to stay informed of the outcomes of the Echo Lake Causation Study Project, enter your email address in the "Stay Informed" tool (located at the top right-hand corner of this page on your desktop or scroll down on your mobile device) and click the subscribe button.

  • CLOSED: This survey has concluded.

    Introduction

    Hutchinson Environmental Sciences Ltd. (HESL) is pleased to have been selected by the District Municipality of Muskoka (the District) to perform a causation study for water quality indicators on Echo Lake. HESL is a small team of highly qualified aquatic scientists with extensive experience working on lakes in Ontario and Muskoka in particular. They have partnered with EcoVue Consulting, a firm with extensive public consultation experience, who will lead the public engagement activities related to the study. 

    A causation study is a way to determine why the water quality of a lake may be vulnerable based on key indicators (such as a confirmed blue green algae bloom). Determining which causes are affecting water quality is essential for protecting Muskoka’s lakes. 

    Project work will include summarizing and analyzing existing information and completing additional water quality sampling and analysis to inform the likely causes of water quality indicators and determine the need for additional sampling, analysis or management activities. Findings will be documented in a detailed technical report to the District, which will be shared publicly. 

    The intent of this survey is to introduce HESL and EcoVue to residents, business owners, and others interested in the Echo Lake area.  The primary goal is to gather information on the public’s lake use and their observations of water quality in the lake and how it has changed over time. This survey is an important opportunity for lake residents to provide historical or other relevant information to HESL and the District to inform our understanding of the lake’s history.

    This survey is anonymous unless you choose to add your contact information at the end, which is completely optional. 

    This Survey is Now Closed
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