Clear Lake Stewardship Association

Espanola's Clear Lake Stewardship Association

It has been another long and lonely winter.  It has been a while since I have been in touch with you and  I hope this finds you and your family happy and healthy

First a few administration items:

Fred Yackman has, with regret, resigned as Chair of the CLSA. Fred has decided to focus on other endeavours but will remain a dedicated and involved member of our Association.  Thank you for your time and energy over the past years Fred.

The CLSA Executive Council will be resuming our activities over the next few weeks.  Now is the time to put your hand up and volunteer to participate on the Council.  There are many new and let’s just say it – younger- residents on the Lake.  The time has come for us to start passing the torch of meaningful caring of the lake.  If you are interested in getting involved, please let me know – I truly hope you are.

Spring, I know it is coming.  The stores are full of Easter goodies, patio furniture, planting seeds and bulbs even bug spray.  And this week the weather is promising that spring is indeed nearing – seriously, it can’t come soon enough! 

Early spring will hopefully see the renewal of the CLSA Community Yard Sale.  In the past this has always been a fun fund-raising activity – lots of catching up and meeting neighbours that have been hidden from us for so long.   So, as you consider any de-cluttering goals that you might have put those unwanted items aside and donate them to the Yard Sale.  There will be lots to follow on this and I let you know as “things” firm up. (Tentative Date is May 14th)

Spring often means it is time for your 3–4-year septic tank pump out.  That is generally how often a well-maintained tank requires attention.  For some hints as to how to keep your system well maintained check out the following link to discover, or re-discover, what should never ever go in your septic tank. Spoiler alter – two much water, fat/grease, hygiene products, harsh chemicals & antibiotic soaps, meat or road kill and medications.

6. Medicines. Never flush unneeded medications down the drain (at the cottage or at home). Not only do you risk impacting the bacteriological activity in the tank, if they flush all the way through the system, they can end up in the lake where research has shown that some drugs have negative impacts on local wildlife.


Also, let’s not forget field bed maintenance.  The basics are: to avoid compacting - never ever drive anything over it, to avoid clogging - ground cover should be shallow rooted, and to absorb nutrients -the distance between it and the lake should be loaded with natural vegetation.

Which brings us to the lake itself and its semi-annual flip – long-time lake dwellers are very familiar with this phenomenon – but some of our new arrivals might not.

Lake flipping 101:

Plant debris (leaves, dead weeds and the like) sink to the bottom of the lake into cold water where bacterial decay is slow – locking up their nutrients. Normally the water column does not mix.  In summer the warm water sits on the cold and vice versa in the winter.  Twice a year - in the spring and fall- when the water temperature throughout the water column is the same - either warming or cooling - the water, oxygen and nutrients circulate through the entire lake body.  When the lake is flipping it often appears, well – yucky.  This is because the decaying matter from the bottom is circulating freely. If you draw your household water from the lake – which most of us do - the water is murky.  You may notice that your water filters require more frequent changing you might also notice that the water has a slight fishy smell during the flip cycles.  The effect is short lived and once the water column re-establishes its warm/cold zones the debris will once again sink to the bottom and the water will clear.

None the less, an abundant amount of nutrient is released into the water during these cycles.  Adding to the nutrient load due to spring runoff and spring (or fall) rains.   Meaning the likelihood for an algae bloom – especially a toxic blue green one- is high.  The nutrient load released during a flip is part of the natural cycle of lakes.   However, the added nutrients from runoff can be reduced by naturalized shorelines – stop cutting and mowing – plant & grow your buffer zones - they are the first and best defence lake water has. 

I would like to leave you with a thought.  We consist of about 70% water thereby becoming part of the lake water we drink. To protect ourselves we must preserve and protect the quality of that water.  Adhere to the best practices listed on our website.  The water we drink, bath and play in depends on it.  

Another Spring ritual - membership dues. Please e-transfer your $50 membership fee to  

​Thank you.

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