Espanola's Clear Lake Stewardship Association
First, I want to extend a warm welcome to the newest members of our community. Welcome Mark & Vicky, Mark & Barbara and Ellen & Monika – I know you are going to love this little slice of paradise we call home.
Let’s start with the good news; which is a bad news good news story in and of its self. An inordinate amount of activity had been noticed in and around Loon Island this nesting season. Loon populations are in decline and two of the many reasons are nest disturbance and nest swamping. The nest, if disturbed, can be abandoned and the nest being swamped – usually by wake from boats - can destroy the eggs. Last year our loons were not successful procreating and we want to do everything possible to increase the likelihood of offspring this year. We are seeing more guests on the water carrying small boats, canoes and kayaks across the beach which is all fine and dandy but we want to make sure they are aware of the loon nesting site so they do not inadvertently disturb it. So, an ad hoc committee researched methods to alert boaters/people that ask them to stay clear of the nesting site. After completing the research, then engineering, spending volunteer time and money two buoys have been deployed around the island. Signage at the beach and on the island itself is also planned. The hope is people will respect the signs and give the loons the space and protection they require. Let’s cross our fingers & toes and trust that loon school will commence in August.
On to the bad news – blue green algae. Two days ago the water was beautifully clear; yesterday the water column was full of algae. And when the green ribbons of algae appear on the surface it is likely to be blue green algae. Like most living organisms - heat (which we have had plenty of) light (also of abundance) and nutrients (from rain runoff – do I have to mention that large water sucking up buffers zones are the single best way to prevent that) are the known factors to promote a bloom. The algae can move around the lake, sink and dissipate. Not all blue green algae blooms are toxic and during a past bloom the toxicity level Clear Lake experienced was very low and well within accepted safe water parameters. But please take the precautions you feel most comfortable with. I for one will not be swimming or let our dog play in the water until the algae have subsided. There are links to fact sheets on the website for more information (right under BEST PRACTICES).
We are early into the summer and can only hope that this manifestation will not be this summer’s norm.
Thank you to those who have submitted their $50 membership fee for 2021. It is your support that makes our work possible and helps us protect Clear Lake as a natural habitat. If you haven’t submitted your membership fee yet please do so by etransfer to email@example.com or text/call 705-869-7534 to arrange a contact fee pick up.
I promise next time I will talk about un-encapsulated foam docks.
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