Fall arrived right on schedule this year, and much more spectacularly than usual. Recent rainfall has restored most watersheds to more normal levels after the summer drought.
All cages and pipes for the baffler were cleaned and restored mid-September, another cleanout will be undertaken once levels have risen and hopefully before the water is too cold. This is best done as a 2 person team, so any volunteers to be called on as and when are encouraged to provide contact information to the lake steward or president email addresses.
I attended the annual OPP/Lake Association meeting and include the following report.
OPP/Lake Associations Meeting, 20 September 2018
Tay Valley Township Offices
This annual meeting was attended this year by 2 OPP officers, Staff Sergeant McConnell and Traffic Sergeant Newell, who supervises the Eastern Region marine program. Roughly a dozen lake associations were represented. The format of the meeting involved the police officers addressing a set of questions sent in advance, leading in most cases to a broader discussion of related issues. A more complete set of minutes will be circulated at a later date; this note summarizes some of the more important issues to LSRL.
This year to date there have been 17 drownings in Ontario, and so safety is a continuing and overarching concern. OPP marine patrols will check all safety equipment, including assessing whether lifejackets are readily accessible, not just on board. Safety kits need to be fully functional, and it was noted that flashlights often are not. Open alcohol is forbidden on boats unless moored. Registrations also need to be carried on board. One item surprising many is that if anyone is on a towed item, from skis to rafts, the towing boat itself is required to have seating available for everybody involved. While the OPP will generally warn for a single minor infraction, they will ticket for multiple.
Boat speed near shore is a concern on many lakes, including ours. The township/county can be approached to put up warning/reminder signs near any public launch. Cottagers are encouraged to report persistent offenders to the OPP. Associations should use their websites and social media to reinforce the message.
Invasive aquatic species are also a continuing issue, and boats – and trailers – that do transfer between waterways should take measures to ensure that they are cleaned before entering a new lake or river. Lake associations should contribute to publicizing the need and the measures required.
Residents were reminded that any permanent or semi-permanent moorings or buoys should be approved by Transport Canada. A number of lake associations do put out buoys to mark navigational hazards. Forthcoming changes to legislation (proposed replacement of Navigable Waters Act) may increase restrictions; cottagers should keep track of this.
The police reminded residents that they will not patrol private roads unless they have due cause, such as a report of suspicious activity or another complaint. Otherwise they also respect the “private” and “no trespass” signs.