2019 Flood Increased Phosphorus Levels In Muskoka Lakes
The environment is changing across Canada and Muskoka is no exception.
That was the message to Muskoka Lakes council recently from Christy Doyle, the District of Muskoka Director of Environmental and Watershed Programs.
Doyle made a presentation to council wherein she ran through the District’s Recreational Water Quality Monitoring Program and climate change linked water quality trends.
Doyle prested 2019 data to councillors which indicated that the late spring ice-off and flooding combined to create increased phosphorus in the water. However, she also noted that long term data does show that phosphorus levels have stabilized and are expected to decrease.
Doyle said climate events that were once considered extreme are now the new normal. This past winter Muskoka’s snowpack was three and a half times higher and intense storms are much more frequent. By mid-century it is expected that water levels in Muskoka will be two to three percent higher and there will be increased precipitation – particularly from November to May.
Council heard that staff are also working on a new policy set related to algae blooms. They are undertaking causation studies on lakes with increased phosphorus and algae blooms, namely Leonard Lake, Stewart Lake and Three Mile Lake.