Glossary of Terms - DOC 2

					9. Impacts of Boating
Recreational boating, whether you like to fish, water ski, sail, or simply enjoy relaxing and cruising on the water,
provides a great opportunity to enjoy family quality time, reduce stress, and explore and enjoy the lake. In the 2007
survey, 80% of respondents ranked boating as a very important recreational activity they enjoyed on the lake.

Survey respondents raised concerns around boating safety, including the safety of swimmers using rafts and toys.
Other concerns around the impacts of boating activity included shoreline erosion from boat wake, noise, air and
water pollution, unintentional interference with wildlife, and the introduction and spread of invasive species.

In order to better understand the amount of motorized boating activity on the lake, an informal visual survey was
carried out by a lake resident during the first two weeks in July 2008. The survey was based on observations of
225 properties that were visible around the lake. The survey count did not include the camp properties (Jordan’s,
the Marina, Scouts, and Christie) which have approximately 40 motorized boats in various engine sizes. Survey
results are listed below:

                      Table 1: July 2008 Visual Motorized Boat Survey Results
 Number of boats counted in total                         265
 Number of boats counted at properties                    196 motorized boats
 visible from the lake                                    12 jet skiis/jet boats

 Area of Lake                                             Boat Motor Horse Power (average)
 North shore                                              60
 South shore                                              54
 Island properties                                        93
                                                          200 (6 boats with 200 horse power motors were observed
 Observed on water
                                                          during the time of survey)


9.1.     Boating Safety
A sound knowledge of boat operation can help keep the many people sharing the lake for different recreational
                                  th
activities, safe. By September 15 , 2009, all recreational boaters will require a Pleasure Craft Operators Card to
drive a boat powered by a motor, regardless of age. For more information on how to receive your Pleasure Craft
Operators Card check out www.boaterexam.com, or contact the CLA for information about the next training
opportunity near the lake.

The Lanark County Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) marine unit enforces boating regulations and ensures safe
boating practices on our local waters, although many survey respondents did not want a greater presence of the
marine unit on the lake. Most on-water enforcement follows a zero-tolerance policy regarding missing safety
equipment, and unsafe boating practices. Activities such as careless operation of a vessel, or ignoring posted
speed limits can result in a fine. Based on the OPP marine statistics for 2007, 20% of all Liquor License Act
charges laid by the marine unit occurred on Christie Lake, and 40% of all boats inspected throughout the area

Christie Lake ‘State of the Lake’ Report 2008                                                                          1
resulted in warnings or fines. In order to continue to make the lake a safe environment for the use and enjoyment
of all, the community needs to continue to educate themselves on the rules and regulations that govern safe
boating practices.

The OPP administers the Criminal Code of Canada and the regulations under the Canada Shipping Act, including:
Private Buoy Regulations, Collision Regulations, Navigation Safety Regulations, Boating Restriction Regulations,
Small Vessel Regulation, Competency of Operators of Pleasure Craft Regulations and Aids to Navigation
Regulation. For more about the Acts and Regulations that regulate boating activity, go to
http://www.tc.gc.ca/marineSafety/menu.htm

For more information about boating safety, refer to Transport Canada’s Safe Boating Guide. An Owner’s Guide to
Private Aids to Navigation, developed by the Canadian Coast Guard, offers information about proper buoy marking.

9.2.     Shoreline Erosion

Of the 2007 survey respondents, 84% indicated concern about boat wake causing shoreline erosion and impacts to
water quality. When boat wake hits the shore, the impact can cause erosion of exposed soils, resulting in the
suspension of soil particles in the water, also known as sedimentation. Sedimentation can reduce water clarity,
affecting the ability for fish to find food. The settling of soil particles over spawning areas along the shore and in
shallow bays can also negatively affect fish populations. The extent to which boat wake contributes to shoreline
erosion around the lake is currently unknown.

9.3.     Noise, Air and Water Pollution

As boating activity on the lake increases, noise, air, and water pollution may become potential issues. The
residents and users of the lake value peace and quiet, however, many are also owners of motorized boats. Noise
from boat activity was reported as a concern by 14% of survey respondents. Overall, boating activity on the lake
does not appear to be affecting the majority of lake users.

Boat motor emissions were a concern to 81% of the survey respondents. Boat emissions can include
hydrocarbons, unburned or partially burned fuel, airborne particles, nitrogen oxide, and carbon dioxide. Many boat
owners use two stroke engines, which can pass up to 30% of burned or unburned fuel emissions into our air and
water. Since the late 1990s, to comply with emission standards, new technology for two-stroke engines and the
mass production of four-stroke engines has resulted in much cleaner and fuel-efficient outboard motors, and are
becoming more widely used. There is no information available to determine if current boating activity is a
significant source of air and water pollution for the lake.

9.4.     Fish and Wildlife

Boating activity can disturb many animals found in and around the lake. Disruptions from human activity can alter
an animal’s behaviour, and affect their feeding and breeding locations. Breeding water birds can be affected by
boat wake, which can drown nesting sites. Frequent noise or visits to nesting areas by curious boaters may result
in waterfowl abandoning their eggs or young chicks, leaving them unprotected and open to predation. As
mentioned earlier, sedimentation caused by boat wake can affect fish spawning beds found along the shore. Due


Christie Lake ‘State of the Lake’ Report 2008                                                                            2
to limited information about boating activity and wildlife around the lake, it is difficult to determine if there are any
trends or long-term effects on the lake’s wildlife from current boating activities.

9.5.     Invasive Species

Invasive species can be readily transferred from waterbody to waterbody through the movement of watercraft, toys,
fishing gear and other equipment that may still have water droplets on or moisture on them. There are a number of
access points to the lake through private boat launches, all of which are potential avenues for the introduction or
spread of invasive species such as Eurasian watermilfoil, spiny waterflea, zebra mussels and zebra mussel
veligers. Christie Lake has been invaded by Eurasian watermilfoil, and evidence of zebra mussels has been
observed.

Motorized boats can inadvertently help spread Eurasian watermilfoil throughout the lake system. When a boat
travels through a mat of Eurasian watermilfoil, the propeller can cut the plant into smaller fragments. Each one of
those fragments has the potential to spread to new locations around the lake develop into a new plant. The area of
lake affected by Eurasian watermilfoil can increase 8 to 10 times in one year through the spread of plant fragments
alone. For more information about Eurasian watermilfoil refer to the Aquatic Vegetation Section.

Thorough cleaning of boat, trailer, bilge, other equipment, and toys prior to visiting other waterbodies is necessary
to prevent the introduction of invasive species. Continued invasive species monitoring and education for property
owners, businesses and visitors is needed to help reduce the spread or further introduction of other invasive
species. For more information about invasive species affecting Christie Lake refer to the Wildlife and Aquatic
Vegetation Sections.




Christie Lake ‘State of the Lake’ Report 2008                                                                               3
10. Building a Sense of Community through Stewardship,
    Improved Communications and Recreation
The Christie Lake community is diverse. Approximately 35% of the lake community is currently made up of
permanent residents, with a growing number of seasonal residents converting their cottages into permanent
homes. At the time of the 2007 survey, 12% of survey respondents were considering converting their cottage into
permanent homes in the near future. Annually, hundreds of visitors come to enjoy the lake through the many
recreational opportunities offered by summer camps, cottage rentals, marinas, and campgrounds.

As users of Christie Lake, we can all have an impact on the lake. Residents, cottagers and visitors, together with
businesses and government and non-government agencies have a responsibility to protect our investment and the
long-term health of the watershed. As the Christie Lake community grows and more pressure is placed on the lake
and its natural resources, the community must work together to sustainably use and enjoy what the lake has to
offer.

Social and recreational activities such as wine and cheese parties, ‘Halloween in July’, and fishing derbies have
been hosted by the CLA to build and maintain a sense of community around the lake. Coming together to enjoy the
lake as a community is an important step in understanding that we are all emotionally connected to, and personally
invested in, the lake. Building a sense of community is essential if we are to successfully work as a group to
protect the lake’s health for future generations to enjoy.

10.1.    History of Stewardship on Christie Lake

Volunteers on the lake have been busy! Beginning as early as 1934, the Perth Fish and Game Protective
Association was involved in fish restocking on the lake. In 1960, the increased pressure of the lake’s fishery
resources resulted in the creation of the Christie Lake Hunters and Anglers Association with executive members
Russell Robertson, Lloyd Wilson, Ivan Bird, Len Gilhuly, Allan James, Neil Stewart, Alvin McMasters, Joe
Borthwick, Wib Noonan, and John Jordan. This active conservation club carried out numerous activities to
enhance the lake’s fish resources including coarse fish netting and installation of marker buoys. Both of these
organizations worked hard to engage the lake community in their activities, to help build a sense of responsibility
among the lake users and residents for protecting the lake and its resources for the long-term. The work carried
out by these early groups has been the foundation on which education and stewardship action continues on the
lake.

In 1975, reports prepared by the MNR outlined concerns around the increase in shoreline development and the
need for effective resource management for lakes in the Tay Valley area. In 1984, the MNR developed the Christie
Lake Management Plan. The report’s recommendations focused on the protection of water quality and the lake’s
fishery resources. It also provided guidelines and recommendations for protective land use and development
policies for incorporation into municipal Official Plans and Zoning By-laws. For more information about the land
use development around the lake, refer to the Development Pressures Section.

In 1976, the Christie Lake Association Inc. (CLA) was created, headed by Terry Brooks, Don Rasmussen, John
Oliver, Arthur Keith Jordan, and Neil Stewart as directors. At that time, the CLA had two subcommittees. The

Christie Lake ‘State of the Lake’ Report 2008                                                                         4
Anglers and Hunters Committee focused on promoting fishing, hunting, boating, and the safety of these activities,
as well as other sporting and social activities around the lake and the Tay River. The Land Use and Water
Committee worked on behalf of members to ensure that the municipal Zoning By-laws that protected the lake
environment were uniformly applied to land use and development applications around the lake. The committee
also promoted the protection of water quality, and overall protection of the lake, the Tay River and its rural and
recreational character.

Since July 2003, the CLA’s represents the interests of its members relating to:

    1. Land use and development of the shorelines of Christie Lake and its islands, and preservation of their rural,
        residential and recreational character;

    2. Protection of the environment of Christie Lake, the Tay River and their shorelines, including the purity and
        quality of their waters;

    3. Promotion of aquatic and other sporting, cultural, and social activities among its members ; and

    4. Promotion of safety in boating, and other activities on the lake.

10.2.    Water Quality Testing and Monitoring

For many years, the CLA has been monitoring the lake’s surface water quality in order to measure trends over time.
From 1971 onwards, the CLA has been involved with the MOE’s Self Help Program. Since 1996, the CLA paid for
the completion of approximately 500 water quality tests and donated volunteer time towards intensive water testing,
including invasive species testing from 1998-2002. CLA volunteers, in partnership with the Canadian Museum of
Nature, completed detailed water quality data from 1998 – 2002. Since 2003, the CLA has partnered with the
RVCA’s Watershed Watch Program. In 2008, ongoing surface water quality monitoring included phosphorus
testing of all tributaries. Benthic invertebrate sampling was conducted again in 2008 (last done in 2004), and an
aquatic vegetation analysis was also carried out. These additional monitoring efforts will help build on the current
information database we have for the lake. For more information about the lake’s surface water quality monitoring,
refer to the Surface Water Quality Section.

10.3.    Shoreline Stewardship

The CLA and its volunteers have been promoting the protection and enhancement of the shoreline vegetation
around the lake for many years. It is important to maintain a natural buffer of trees and shrubs around the lake.
Buffers help retain nutrients, reduce erosion, provide wildlife habitat, and assist in the overall protection of water
quality. Without a buffer, overland and underground transport of nutrients, such as phosphorus from faulty septic
systems, fertilizers, and detergents, can more readily reach the lake and contribute to the natural aging
(eutrophication) of the lake. With more nutrients reaching the lake, aquatic plants growth can increase and the
recreational value of the lake may be impacted as bays become more choked with aquatic vegetation. Erosion
from exposed soils along shorelines can impact water clarity and fish habitat. With subsequent loss of water quality
and fish and wildlife habitat, the overall quality of life and aesthetic beauty of the lake will decline, resulting in lower
property values.



Christie Lake ‘State of the Lake’ Report 2008                                                                              5
In 1995, a M.A.P.L.E (Mutual Association for the Protection of Lake Environments) Shoreline Classification Survey
was carried out by the CLA. At the time of the survey, the collection of septic system information was also
gathered. The purpose of the survey was to determine the present state of the lake’s shoreline, and outline
restoration actions that could be carried out to enhance or rehabilitate the shoreline on a property-by-property
basis. This was achieved by mapping and photographing the shoreline, classifying it into categories based on the
definitions outlined below (definition excerpts from the M.A.P.L.E. Shoreline Classification Survey Manual, 1994),
and listing recommended restorative action for each property. The results of the 266 properties surveyed, are
outlined in Table 16.

                        Table 2: Christie Lake Shoreline Survey Results (1995)
     Shoreline Classification                   Number of Properties                        % of Total
            Category
             Natural                                     123                                   46.2
          Regenerative                                    67                                   25.2
            Degraded                                      21                                    7.9
           Ornamental                                     55                                   20.7


Natural: No significant human disruption, shoreline in natural state, buffer of indigenous species, development
generally not visible due to vegetation buffer.
Regenerative: Property which has been developed with the local environment in mind; effort made to preserve the
natural character of the property.
Degraded: A property which may be impacting lake ecology. The natural vegetation has been cleared, evidence of
runoff and shoreline erosion; active and immediate protective/ remediation work needed to stabilize shoreline.
Ornamental: Natural vegetation has been removed and replaced with turf grass and other non-native vegetation;
docks, decks, and gazebos occupying up 20 – 25% of shoreline.


Wise use and enjoyment of the lake’s resources and the sustainable development of the lake’s shoreline continues
to be the focus of stewardship efforts carried out by CLA volunteers, with ongoing monitoring and education of
property owners and visitors through newsletters and brochures. Recent stewardship activities include the
completion of a second shoreline classification survey conducted in 2008, fish habitat restoration projects
completed in partnership with the MNR, construction of loon nesting platforms, and shoreline vegetation restoration
efforts in partnership with M.A.P.L.E. and RVCA.

Currently, the lake community is involved in enhancing lake stewardship through communication and education.




Christie Lake ‘State of the Lake’ Report 2008                                                                        6

				
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