The focus of this year's FOCA Fall Seminar event for lake associations was Strong Associations for Future Generations. The presentations provided plenty of ideas for how lake associations could engage volunteers, particularly a new generation of younger volunteers. Keynote speakers were Alex Mifflin and Tyler Mifflin from the television series, “The Water Brothers.” The day concluded with the launch of the 2017 video “Lake Associations”, which ends with a clip of OLA Past President, Karen Hunt. Christine Kilburn has provided a summary of the day.
October 2017 - Our fourth annual "State of the Lake Report" was produced by the OLA to summarize the condition of our lake and the environmental activities that have been completed on Otty this summer. Notes on water quality, water levels, algae, wildlife, and invasive species are included. (8 page PDF.) See the Environment page for past reports.
If there is a tree on your property line that has died, or is in danger of falling where it would be a hazard, check if it is near a Hydro main line (Hydro's responsibility), a secondary Hydro line leading to your house (your responsibility), or in the Township's right of way (possibly Public Works' responsibility).
A ten-year snapshot into boating and off-road incidents investigated by the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) has revealed that capsized boats and lack of safety equipment have been the most common factors in fatal boating incidents, while alcohol leads the list of factors in off-road vehicle (ORV) incidents.
Thirty Otty Lake families were recognized through the Lanark Legacy Cottage program for having been in their family for at least 50 years. Most of the families were on hand at our July 9th AGM to receive their personalized 8 x 10" plaques. Twenty families in Tay Valley Township and 10 families in Drummond North Elmsley were recognized. Since the AGM an additional 13 cottages were recognized by the program, administered by Tay Valley on behalf of the participating municipalities. See the updated list. This is a commemorative designation only, there are no legal restrictions associated with it.
You’ll want to learn to recognize this plant, wild parsnip, which is spreading rapidly in Eastern Ontario. People coming in contact with the plant’s sap have developed severe skin irritations. This plant has a yellow umbrella-like top and saw tooth leaves. Wild parsnip can be controlled by pulling or digging, or by mowing if done at the right stage of its development. Wear protective clothing and be extremely cautious when handling it, and be wary of picking wild flowers.
The annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count (CBC) took place locally on December 16th. Birders volunteer to count and record their observations. Section 1 of the Rideau Ferry Christmas Bird Count area (a 24 km diameter circle centred in Rideau Ferry) includes the north and north eastern parts of Otty. The south and western shores of Otty are covered in Area 2. Bird Studies Canada and its partner, the National Audubon Society in the United States, rely on data from the Christmas Bird Count database to monitor bird populations.
The condition of the Otty Lake shoreline directly impacts on the health of Otty Lake. The recently completed Otty Lake Shoreline Assessment Summary Report is a new resource that provides baseline data that will help in the planning of future Otty Lake shoreline stewardship activities. The Report is a lake-wide summary of the information gathered through the 2013 Love Your Lake surveying of 474 Otty Lake shoreline properties (totaling 93.3 % of the Otty Lake shoreline).
If you have one of these boxes, be sure to clean it out and put in a fresh supply of wood shavings (not sawdust) this fall or winter. Cavity-nesting ducks do not carry nesting materials and won’t choose an empty box. Boxes are often not used the first year, but a duck may check it out for use the next year, so make sure it passes inspection! (Photo at left is the interior of the nesting box at the Maple Glen recreation area, taken by Jennifer Lamoureux.)
From Around the Rideau, May/June 2016: RVCA staff surveyed the installed spawning beds and brush bundles this spring. In
2016, 55 percent of the installed spawning nests were considered active as they were guarded by a male smallmouth bass, compared to 43 percent in 2015 and 41 percent in 2014. Several species of fish were observed around the installed brush bundles including largemouth bass, yellow perch, pumpkinseed, bluegill, rock bass and various minnows. The brush bundles appear to be providing excellent feeding habitat and cover habitat for a wide variety of fish. From more information contact Jennifer at email@example.com.
If you get this inexpensive concoction brewing, you will have some ready to keep deer from munching away at your garden this spring. You just need some eggs and a sealable jug to get started.
Tay Valley Township has announced the designation of an important tree in Maberly as the first to be recognized in the township’s new 200th Anniversary Legacy Tree Program. A heritage plaque will be placed at the site in a ceremony next summer.
The new Legacy Tree Program, one of the 200th Anniversary celebration activities, will recognize the role that trees and forestry played in this area’s early development. Trees that have a unique value, because of age, size, or significant historical or social importance to the community, will be designated and receive a certificate and, where appropriate, a plaque.
Carbon monoxide (CO) detectors are now required near sleeping areas in all residential homes in Ontario. This includes summer cottages, cabins, RVs, trailers or boats with sleeping quarters. CO comes from the incomplete burning of carbon-based fuels . It is a colourless, odourless, tasteless, toxic gas that when breathed in can lead to illness and even death. People are most at risk while they sleep. Batteries should be tested monthly, and replaced yearly. The CO legislation came into effect October 15, 2014.
There are a number of ways that concerned citizens can help monitor wildlife and other natural phenomena in their own communities. If you are a keen observer of birds, butterflies, bumblebees, frogs, loons, or turtles, for example, consult this list.
We normally only think about algae when they “go bad,” and because this tends to attract press, we might think it’s a fairly common occurrence. The simple and largely unrealized truth is that we’d be stupid, hungry and dead without algae.
So says Norman Yan in the FOCA's August 2014 Lake Stewards newsletter. Read how algae are a vital part of the lake ecosystem.
Waterfront property owners at Otty lake are entitled to cut and remove aquatic vegetation in a specified area in front of their properties, provided they comply with certain provincial regulations. One of the requirements is to place the cut plant material “on dry land”. See Other Water Issues page.
However, if you see free floating weeds, do not assume a neighbour has cut them. It may also be the result of natural die-off or the weeds having been cut by motorboats.
Small, confined, supervised fires used to cook food (such as campfires) do not require a permit, but are not allowed during a burn ban. Any other open air burning, including burn barrels, requires a permit, although a new permit is not required every year. Prior to the date the burning is to take place, the person with the permit is required to contact the Administration office of the Fire Department. You could be liable for costs incurred if you do not obtain a permit, or do not meet the conditions for burning laid out in the permit. Note that most years there is a Lanark County-wide fire ban between April 1 and May 15.
Permits can be obtained through Drummond/North Elmsley Tay Valley Fire Rescue Administration Office at 14 Sherbrooke St., Perth, 613-267-2596, or through the Tay or Drummond/North Elmsley Municipal offices. Drummond/North Elmsley Tay Valley Fire Rescue Services operates with one full time Fire Chief, two volunteer Station Chiefs and 60 volunteers.