How does the Leonard Lake “Eyes on the Lake” Programme Work?
For the past 5 years, we have encouraged Lake Front residents to report any observation of possible algae blooms or unusual changes in the lake water.
To make an” Eyes on the Lake” report, please include if possible:
A photo of what you observe
The location of the observation (a 911 address)
The date, time and short description of what you observe
Your permission for us to visit the site (if on your property)
A phone number or contact (optional)
Alternately, phone a Water team member:
Bill Heatlie 705-840-6421
Esther Giesbrecht 647-763-8677
Ken Riley 705-764-1695
Responding team member(s) will visit the site to make an initial assessment.
They will likely take a water sample, and record other details (extent of bloom, water temperature, weather, etc.).
This report will be logged for our records. The water sample will then be checked by our team. This includes: microscopic determination of algae or other contaminants, Phycocyanin levels (the tell-tail pigment found in blue green algae), and if needed, a sub-sample sent to our Winnipeg-based Algae Taxonomist expert.
If initial checking indicates a significant blue green algae bloom, the Spills Action Hotline of the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) will be contacted by the water team. A MECP Officer will visit the site, resample to determine if it is indeed a bloom and if it is toxic. The MECP in turn, may decide to contact the Simcoe Muskoka Health Unit if there is a possible health risk, The Health Unit, in turn, may decide to place a water Advisory on the affected part of the lake . The advisory does not include any addresses. This Advisory will remain in place for at least 2 weeks, or until the MECP has re-visited and determined that the bloom and any toxicity has disappeared. The Advisory will then be lifted.
While this process may appear complex, it serves 2 purposes: First, it helps us in our studies to understand more about the health of our lake. Second, by involving MECP and Health Unit, any possible risk to lakefront residents, children or pets can be assessed by competent government agencies, and advisories issued.
Examples of the 2022 Advisory issued by the Health Unit, followed by the “all clear” advisory.