“Save Us! because we are not killed by the cold but from you!!! Pollution.” (spelling errors and omissions are my bad)
At least some of them care. I’m sorry I can’t credit the budding artists/activists who designed and posted this notice, but it made my heart sing to know that someone out there cares, and that someone is young yet, and hopefully will grow into their passion.
Blue green algae, Ninth Line, east shoreline of Musselman’s Lake.
But here’s the whole sad story. A few years ago, dead fish started turning up in spring (previously, this was NOT a noticeable occurrence). Folks were justifiably alarmed and the Ministry of Natural Resources was called in to investigate. The official story is as follows; after a long winter with significant ice cover, small lakes may be starved of oxygen, fish die—it’s natural, don’t worry. Then it happened again, and again. Our last winter, of course, was significantly shorter than most, which stretches the official story more than a little thin. About the same time as the fish kill, blue-green algae showed up in significant numbers. What I mean by significant, is that the lake turned a brilliant emerald green. The slime patch above is this years visible crop and the lake smells like an open sewer on the east shore (I’m not supposed to talk about this, I am sure. Property values may plummet) and sometimes on the west shore. I’ve lived on the lake for 15 years now, and while I wouldn’t call it the most pristine body of water, being weedy, shallow, and vaguely greenish, until recently, it never stank, it never had swaths of scum growing on it, and I never observed wreaths of dead fish on the shoreline in spring.
Of course no one wants to take ownership of this (and fortunately or unfortunately I don’t own lakefront so I can’t do much), but there are REALLY simple things people could be doing.
1. Stop using fertilizer’s that will run off into the lake; natural or man-made really doesn’t make a difference, if it has nitrogen or phosphorus, if the next rain will wash it into the lake, it WILL feed the algae.
2. Allow the shoreline to naturalize. Cattails, reeds, rushes, etc. absorb nutrients, and filter the water. These plants will EAT the fertilizer before it gets into the water. Along with that, you can relax and have a beer as you will have less lawn to mow.
3. Keep your septic systems in tact, of adequate size for your household, in good repair, and out of the water-table. I personally have a hard time believing any septic bed is functional if it’s on lake front property, but there are tests available to figure out if YOURS is polluting the lake.
4. It’s not the horse farm. People always blamed the horse farm for any algae and weed problems in the lake; well, the horses are long gone, and the problem worsens, so, guess what, it must be YOU!
Rant finished. Here’s the lake: