Muskoka’s lake water quality update

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The District Municipality of Muskoka carries out a recreational water quality monitoring program with approximately 193 sample locations across Muskoka. The purpose of the program is to identify water quality trends by maintaining a long-term record of key water quality parameters, including water chemistry and nutrients, clarity, temperature, biological information, and land use. The annual report, containing an overview of the 2015 program and results, is available on the DMM website at http://www.muskoka.on.ca/en/live-and-play/Lake-System-Health.aspx.

Generally, the health of Muskoka’s lakes continues to be very good to excellent. Phosphorus concentrations in the 70 lakes sampled in 2015 continue to be stable. The shoreline land use surveys carried out on 5 lakes last surveyed between 2003-2005 indicate very little shoreline alteration has occurred, though there was a loss of between 5% – 20% natural cover in the 30 meter buffer area around each surveyed lake. On all lakes surveyed, the number of structures along the shoreline (including docks, boathouses, sheds, etc.) increased. Continued stewardship efforts from all levels of government will be required to ensure that Muskoka’s recreational water quality continues to be protected and, where possible, enhanced.

 

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