The summer of 2020 brought some changes to the LBPOA Board. Firstly, we’d like to again welcome Sherrie Berdusco to her new board role of President. Secondly, we’d like to thank Bob Attwell, Kathryn Maclean, Vicki Whitmell and Erin Fleger for their service to the Association and wish them all the best. Finally, we are excited to announce a new Board Advisory Panel. The Board agreed it would be helpful to have the support and advice from individuals who have extensive history and experience with the LBPOA and/or issues affecting our Lake Health. These people will be non-voting members and will advise the Board on specific projects. Therefore, we are proud to announce that Doug Cuthbert, Steve Jones and Dale Klodnicki have offered to serve as our first LBPOA Board Advisors. We are grateful for their contributions and experience and passion for a healthy lake.
Your Board is here for you. Please let us know if you have any other ideas of things you’d like to see from your board and/or for your association. We appreciate your helpful feedback.
We love Lake Bernard and we proud to serve on the Board.
Your LBPOA Board of Directors:
|Wendy Blackwell Crane
||Internal Communications/FOCA Liaison
||External Communications/ Information Technology
Lake health roundtable
Over the years, there has been a lot of talk about having efficient septic systems on our lake. The impact of septic systems was included in the 2013 Conservation Guide, written in part by Doug Cuthbert and Jocelyn Palm. In Summer 2019, Doug Cuthbert presented to both the town and the township the need for septic inspections. Research has shown that septic leakage can contribute to the growth of blue green algae (BGA). As you probably already know, BGA can be toxic and there were confirmed sightings of it in Lake Bernard in early July.
One initiative we are very proud of was the September start up of a Roundtable on lake health. This LBPOA initiative includes:
- The Township of Strong
- The Village of Sundridge
- Near North Enviro-Educational Centre
- North Bay-Mattawa Conservation Authority
- Almaguin Highlands Chamber of Commerce
- LBPOA (President, Lake Steward and Board Advisor)
This Roundtable will be meeting on a regular basis and will collaborate on lake health issues, the first of which is septic systems and its contribution to BGA. Please call/email Sherrie if you have any questions or would like more information. 647-300-7732 / firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lake health report
by Alan Burt, Lake Steward
The North Bay Public Health unit collected E. coli (bacteria) samples from Lion’s Park Beach and South Lake Bernard Beach in June, July and August. We had a clean result for bacteria so beaches were all open. The bacterial levels measured as of 12 August 2020 indicated that the lake water was safe for all uses except drinking – it’s not potable (safe to drink). For that you can only use the municipal source or the water from the well at the library in town or your own well.
During the summer of 2020 the annual Lake Partner Program (LPP) water quality sampling for Lake Bernard was cancelled due to COVID-19 related laboratory closure. This included water quality sampling for total phosphorus (TP) and calcium which usually takes place a few weeks after ice out.
Secchi disc readings, a measure of water clarity and indirect measure of lake productivity, were taken by the LBPOA on 4 occasions during July and August in the four long term sampling locations around the lake. Results indicated an increase in clarity at all four lake stations to just over 5m.
In addition, there was one blue green algae bloom in July. This bloom followed a period of hot, calm conditions as predicted by the Farmer’s Almanac. The North Bay Public Health Unit posted signs around the lake. Please note that the Northwest Health Unit based out of Sudbury indicated that water was likely safe to use 2 weeks after a bloom was no longer visible.
The conditions leading to increasing negative pressure on the lake’s lake trout population as well increasing the likelihood of blue green algal blooms still exist. The community around the lake needs to limit overall algae and macrophyte production to reduce the levels of oxygen depletion in the deeper waters. This can be accomplished by decreasing sources of TP from all accessible sources to limit plant productivity. To accomplish this we need to find the major sources (e.g., septic systems) so that we can control TP contributions to the lake. As part of this, a water quality study to determine the inputs and output of TP from lake sources is planned to start in the spring of 2021. The potential input streams around the lake have been identified and relative flow rates established.
Over the winter, other parts of the TP budget will be obtained, including estimated TP inputs from different land uses around the lake.
by Deb Booth, Treasurer
Bank Balance to Date: $3194.42
GIC Balance at Renewal: $2652.81
Total Assets: $5847.23
The board has decided to renew the GIC for another year.
We appreciate that this year has been a very different one for all our membership. Typically members pay their annual dues at our new Cheers to Summer! event or at our Annual General Meeting. Many have either paid via FOCA, e-transfer or by cheque. We appreciate receiving these funds and would ask those of you that have not paid yet, to please do so. Your funds allow us to purchase important lake health equipment such as flow meter rental costs.
Thanks to all who have paid your dues for 2020-2021! If you haven’t, please go to https://foca.on.ca/product/lake-bernard-property-owners-association/. Don’t forget, your LBPOA membership also entitles you to benefits offered through FOCA with Cade Insurance, Dock in a Box, Sawmill Structures, Cottage Life Magazine and more! Please see the FOCA website for a full offering of benefits or click here.
Over the past year, we have worked to improve communication with our members. We were able to arrange a transfer of the lakebernard.ca domain from our friends from Lac Bernard in Quebec, and have built a new website, which we can build upon in the future, including a members only area that is planned for this winter. We created new email accounts, including email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org, and have sent several communications to members over the course of the summer.
To keep in touch with us, please:
Phragmites Working Group
We have been working closely with the Phragmites Working Group (PWG). By attending PWG meetings, your board is able to advise members of all of the cut dates as well as any of their events. We are very grateful for all of the hard work of LBPOA Member, and PWG Lead Marilee Koenderink. She is incredibly organized and mobilizes so many volunteers to do very important work: eradicating phragmites from Lake Bernard.