Research

Updated:  January 30, 2021

Since its beginning, the Scugog Lake Stewards have been involved in scientific studies to further understand the lake.  This has included the plants and animals associated with it, the appearance of invasive species such as Eurasian watermilfoil, Zebra mussels and recently the pervasive alga, Starry Stonewort.

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES:  New, 2021-2023 (more to come)

STARRY STONEWORT MONITORING VOLUNTEERS:

(Open to 10 waterfront volunteers from various sites around Lake Scugog who have easy access to the Lake.) 

Kawartha Conservation (KC) was awarded funds to carry out a one year study of the invasive algae that has infested our lake and which has now moved to lakes northward in the Kawarthas and to Lake Simcoe, see:  Volunteer programs, SSW, 2021 This monitoring project, held in partnership with the Scugog Lake Stewards, will be administered by KC staff with the results part of a larger study funded by the Government of Ontario.   All equipment will be provided.  Sign up at: https://forms.kawarthaconservation.com/Learn-and-Get-Involved/Become-a-Citizen-Scientisthttps://forms.kawarthaconservation.com/Learn-and-Get-Involved/Become-a-Citizen-Scientist 

SENIOR CITIZEN CLIMATE CHANGE ACTION GROUP VOLUNTEERS:

(Open to seniors 65 years or older who live within the Lake Scugog Watershed. It is vital that we see and record changes that might be happening as a result of climate change. This project has been organized by Kawartha Conservation with a grant from the Government of Canada because data gathered over time is critical  to good lake and land management.)  PLEASE CONTACT:  info@scugoglakestewards.com  to apply or for additional information. 

(a) One senior Mentor position:  to work with Kawartha Conservation (KC) staff. You would communicate with other senior volunteers, lead some simple online training sessions for other volunteers as well as troubleshoot and give support to collect precipitation and temperature data, then do the data entry using smartphones, tablets and computers.  All volunteers for this position must be comfortable using apps to download and forward files.

(b) Nine senior volunteer positions:  Volunteers will attend one online workshop, attend online gatherings and provide feedback to the Senior Mentor, collect precipitation and temperature data all year, take photos and enter that data to the Mentor.

for more information see:  2021-03-29_Scugog_Climate_Change_Description.1

 

FINAL REPORT RE. OFF-SHORE WATER QUALITY ON LAKE SCUGOG

“An Assessment of Lake Scugog Offshore Water Quality and Ecological Condition (2017-2019)”

Prepared for the Scugog Lake Stewards Inc., by T. Harrow-Lyle and A. Kirkwood, PhD, Ontario Tech University.

The main ecological threats to clearly emerge in the 2017 to 2019 analysis of water quality and biological data from Lake Scugog include:  (1) Starry Stonewort has taken over as the dominant invasive macrophyte species; (2) Eutrophication of Lake Scugog is worsening, based on phosphorus concentrations and algal bloom events; and (3) High chloride concentrations are associated with the most urban areas around the lake, and several sites have average concentrations exceeding chronic toxicity guidelines. Therefore, priorities for lake stewardship should focus on managing invasive species and phosphorus inputs into Lake Scugog as well as mitigating the effects of urban development.

OTF Technical Report_Offshore Study_FINAL (1)

FINAL REPORT RE. NEARSHORE WATER QUALITY ON LAKE SCUGOG

“An Assessment of Lake Scugog Nearshore Water Quality and Ecological Condition (2017-2019)”

Prepared for the Scugog Lake Stewards Inc. by E. Smith, and A. Kirkwood, Ontario Tech. University and D. Balika, formerly of Kawartha Conservation

The nearshore zone of Lake Scugog was targeted not only for its importance for fish spawning, but also its proximity to run-off from the adjacent landscape. Twelve sites around the lake were monitored by trained community scientists who collected bi-weekly water samples, recorded observational data from late May to September. 7 water quality parameters were determined from these samples by the biology lab. of Dr. Kirkwood and recorded.  A sincere thanks to all those who conducted the sampling faithfully over those years.

See:  OTF Technical Report_Nearshore Study_FINAL VERSION (1)

COMPARATIVE LAKE SIMCOE STUDY

“Trends in submersed aquatic plant communities in a large, inland lake: impacts of an invasion by starry stonewort (Nitellopsis obtusa)

Brian K. Ginn, Emma F.S. Dias & Toshia Fleicshaker, Lake Simcoe, 2021. 

Aquatic plant and macroalgae (collectively, macrophytes) communities from Lake Simcoe (Ontario, Canada) were studied in lakewide, >200 site surveys in 2008, 20013, and 2018. Over this period, mean macrophyte biomass increased 5-fold, due to the arrival and expansion of invasive starry stonewort (Nitellopsis obtusa).  This is a must read to understand Lake Scugog as well.

2021_Brighton_SimcoeSSW_Ginn (1)

 

Climate change and the Kawarthas: Context, Issues and Response — published, January 2020

Kawartha Lake Stewards Association, 2020, Napier, W.A. 

Kawartha Lake Stewards Association (SLSA) members have identified climate change as an area of interest and concern. Federal and provincial government scientists have undertaken a number of studies and models to try to understand what the implications of a changing climate will be on the lands and lakes located in the the Great Lakes Basin and the Lake Ontario watershed and in some cases the Kawartha Lakes Region.  This attached report, while of special interest to the Kawartha Lakes Region is also relevant to the Scugog Watershed and indeed includes some information provided by the Scugog Lake Stewards.  It is well worth a read. climate-change-and-the-kawarthas-march-2020

Early reports : Research on and around Lake Scugog, as at October, 2020, a Ontario Trillium Foundation funded project

Dr. A. Kirkwood

In 2016, the Lake Stewards together with Dr. A. Kirkwood’s lab. at Ontario Tech. University, Kawartha Conservation, and York University obtained funds for a 3 year study of walleye habitat and the general health of Lake Scugog starting in the summer of 2017.  Current PhD candidate headed up the science. The results of the the partners’ work and that of many citizen scientists has been summed up in a presentation to Lake Stewards’ members at our recent Annual General Meeting held by Zoom. That presentation can be found on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yMuAGDtboiE  Dr. Kirkwood gives us all the information about the current health of Lake Scugog and its water quality.  It is 30 minutes in total, but well worth the time.  Dr. Kirkwood is an excellent speaker and makes difficult information very understandable. She ends presentation with conclusions as to what expect and what can be done.

Make sure you also check out the 40 or so smaller videos on our Scugog Lake Stewards’ YouTube site made as a result of the grant. Each video on the list given answers a specific question. https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=scugog+lake+stewards

For additional research findings and links to more research videos, go to https://scugoglakestewards.com/lake-scugog-research/past-and-ongoing-work/