Another summer season is about to start, the fifth since July 2004 when a group waterfront dwellers met to discuss the fact that ours was the only lake in our area that didn’t have an association. From that modest start, the Golden Lake Property Owners Association quickly became a vibrant and effective organization.
Since its inception, GLPOA has had excellent Boards of Directors who have worked together well and enjoyed each other’s company. The evidence of their effectiveness is all the successful programs it has initiated or participated in, such as waterway markers, boat launch billboards, Deacon boat launch public toilets, boat operators training, and cell phone service. The GLPOA has also collaborated effectively with other local organizations and with the provincial and municipal levels of government.
The Board recognizes the importance of renewal within its ranks and this year is particularly key for recruiting enthusiastic members. See the nominating committee report in this newsletter for details on board renewal and the nominating process.
Committed volunteers have been the backbone of our success. In this newsletter you will read about the work of the committees that deal with various issues. We always need more volunteers to maintain our levels of success. Participation in committee work doesn’t take much time. If you can commit three or four hours in the next six months to the Association, you can make a significant contribution.
The memberships of the board and committees of a healthy and successful organization are in constant evolution, as longer-term members step down and new volunteers step up to take their place. New volunteers bring fresh ideas and energy and ensure that no individual feels burdened by too much of the work. Please get in touch with any of the contacts on the last page of this newsletter to find out how you can participate.
I look forward to seeing old friends and new members at our general meeting in June and at Fun Fest in July.
Notices of Upcoming Events
Saturday, June 6: GLPOA Annual General Meeting, Killaloe Public School
The General Meeting is a great time to see friends and neighbors and catch up on activities and events around the Lake and River since our gatherings last summer. The Board of Directors has continued to meet over the winter and has plenty to report on. They also need to hear your thoughts and concerns. The meeting will start at 9:00 a.m., although you might want to arrive at 8:30 to get a coffee or tea and some of the delicious baked goods offered as a fundraiser for the Killaloe Youth Program. The meeting will adjourn before noon, so you can get on with your busy day. Our AGMs are usually well-attended because they are informative and efficient. See you there.
Saturday, July 4: Pleasure Craft Operator’s Course, Killaloe Public School
Last summer forty-eight people attended the GLPOA sponsored “boating school” at Killaloe Public and each successfully passed the test. The previous year there were eighty. The popular event will be offered again on July 4. From about 8:30 to 1:00 pm the experienced trainer, Jim Steeves of Safety Afloat, will again deliver a factual and entertaining course based on the Canadian Coast Guard accredited course manual. The course this year is special because September 15, 2009 is the deadline by which everyone operating a power boat will need their operator’s license. The course is inexpensive and efficient at $35 and all those who have taken the multiple choice test at the end of the session have passed and are issued their temporary license right on the spot.
Saturday, July 11: CPR Course, The Sands on Golden Lake
The Association is once again offering a course on CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) for anyone who wants to be prepared for health emergencies. The course will start at 8:30 a.m. and finish at 2:00 p.m. Please contact Kevin O’Connor for more information and to register for the course.
Saturday, July 18: GLPOA FunFest, The Sands on Golden Lake
FunFest will be held at The Sands on Golden Lake from 10 am to 2:00 pm on Saturday, July 18. GLPOA members and their guests are invited to attend. This event will not include a meeting – it will be all fun. Morning activities will be held in the parkland across highway 62 (driving range area) and will offer activities suited to children and teens. Lunch and afternoon waterfront activities will take place on beach side. The Sands will prepare a barbecue lunch of hamburgers and hot dogs. GLPOA Secretary Bill Clark is the main organizer and contact for Fun Fest. Get in touch with him if you need more information or wish to volunteer for one of the many tasks involved.
Thursday, August 27: GLPOA Septic System Seminar
This is one of the most important sessions for any home or cottage owner to attend. Learn about how to protect your investment and water quality by having a properly maintained and functioning septic system. Topics include Do’s & Don’ts for your system, approved technologies and care and use of your system. Septic 101 will be presented by Denis Orendt, Executive Director of the Ontario Onsite Wast Water Association. The seminar will start at 7:00 p.m. and end at 8:30 p.m. at the Killaloe Public School. This event will be open to all area residents.
Water Quality Committee Report
Water Quality Testing
Water quality can be evaluated in a number of ways, including clarity and visual quality, odour, algae growth, bacterial concentrations (e coli is a key one) and nutrient levels. Measures of clarity and other visual indicators tend to be done at specific locations on a lake or river. Water bodies all contain bacteria like e coli, but their concentrations tend to be acceptably low, although levels can be higher at points of agricultural runoff. The most commonly used measure of water quality is nutrient levels as indicated by phosphorous concentrations. Phosphorus gets into the water mainly from agricultural runoff and from household use of detergents (phosphates) that find their way into the water through septic system leaching and water treatment plant effluent. High nutrient levels are revealed by excessive algae growth.
The water quality committee has organized the annual testing of nutrient levels through the Lake Partnership Program sponsored by the Ontario Ministry of Environment. The testing is free, and since so many other lake organizations around the province participate, the results allow comparisons. The nutrient levels (phosphorous) in samples taken in the centre of Golden Lake in May, 2008 were very close to results in the 2003 and 2004 testing. Each year two samples are taken from a location in the centre of the lake away from any inflow areas. In the table below the two samples each year are expressed as total phosphorus (TP) in micrograms per litre.
||TP Sample #1
||TP Sample #2
|May 28, 2003
|August 14, 2004
|May 25, 2008
A level below 10 is considered a low nutrient count. You can see the results for many Ontario lakes at the Lake Partnership web site and will notice that Golden Lake’s results are at the low end of the average phosphorus concentrations. So far, all indications are that the water in Golden Lake is of good quality.
Water Quality Fact Sheets
The water quality committee has produced three fact sheets to help answer some important questions that members might have. The three are:
* “Give Your Shoreline A Makeover“, which gives suggestions for how to manage your waterfront property to reduce work, pollution and improve wildlife habitat;
* “Mow it High and Let it Lie“, on how to produce a healthy and environment-friendly lawn; and
* “Septic System Care” on how to protect your septic system investment and how to tell if it is in good condition.
You can find all three fact sheets in the water quality section of the GLPOA web site.
Bill Clark chairs the nominating committee and is working to identify candidates for the four Board positions that must be filled at the AGM on June 6. The Board recognizes the importance of renewal within its ranks and this year is particularly key for recruiting enthusiastic members. At least two members of our executive have completed their terms and will be stepping down, so there will be a lot of adjustments to Board membership this year. If you would like to stand for election or nominate someone, or if you just have questions about the process, please contact Bill.
Cell Phone Progress
Kevin O’Connor and Dave Lemkay have worked for years with Bell and Rogers, the two main cell signal carriers. Rogers have five of their towers up and providing service covering our entire area. Bell has three towers servicing some of our area, and has plans to provide full coverage. However, completion of the Bell system to give full service to our area may be delayed until next year. We will keep you informed of developments.
High Water Levels in Spring
Every spring the water level in the Bonnechere River and Golden Lake rises as the runoff from snow melt, combined with spring rains, adds more water (called the freshet) to the system than can be released through the dam at Pikwakanagan. Our section of the watershed between the dams at Tramore and Pikwakanagan is the seventh “reach”, or level between dams, counting from Castleford near Renfrew where the Bonnechere enters the Ottawa River.
Last spring (2008) near-record water levels were experienced in both Round Lake and Golden Lake. There was very minor property damage around Golden Lake as a result of the high water levels, but there was serious damage to properties on Round Lake. The Round Lake Property Owners Association has been pushing for amendments to the Bonnechere River Water Management Plan for several years in hopes that the changes will make spring flooding less severe. The general strategy with the amendment is to lower the level in Round Lake further in winter so there is a greater capacity to absorb the spring runoff. The GLPOA has been actively involved in these discussions, represented by Kevin O’Connor, Dave Lemkay and Lucy King.
If the spring water level on Round Lake can be kept below crisis levels, the pressure on Golden Lake is also reduced. This is because high water levels in the River and Lake are the result of the spring freshet inflows around the reach, and the outflow from Round Lake at the Tramore dam. Therefore, the peak flow at Tramore during the freshet period has a direct bearing on flood prospects in the Golden Lake reach. If the release rate from Round Lake can be kept moderate, the likelihood of flooding on Golden Lake is reduced. If things go as anticipated, the peak level on Golden Lake during freshet should be lower in the future than was experienced last year.
The amendment to the management plan will be the subject of public consultation in the next few months and it is hoped that the new operating regime will be in place this fall. The proposed regime could mean slightly lower levels in Golden Lake during the winter months, although the proposal has not yet been finalized. It is not anticipated that a lower level would have any detrimental effect on GLPOA properties.
The amendment process is being managed by the Ministry of Natural Resources Pembroke district office and the levels specified in the management plan are implemented by Renfrew Power Generation.
A GLPOA water levels committee headed by president Kevin O’Connor is being formed to participate in the consultation process.
Boat Launch Billboard Sponsors
The four public boat launch billboards are attractive and highly visible to visitors to Golden Lake and the Bonnechere River. The billboards are located at Deacon Bridge, Tramore Bridge, Bonnechere Lodge and Island View Drive. Surrounding the large maps (which display waterway hazards) are ads for the program sponsors. The waterway marking and billboard programs were costly to create and have ongoing expenses, even though the work is done by volunteers. The participation of our billboard sponsors provides the resources for these important programs. We are pleased to present their names and contact numbers here.
|Bikini Cups Cafe
|Bryan Fraser Contracting
|G. Kranz Insurance & Real Estate Ltd.
|George’s Marine & Sports
|Golden Lake Chinese Restaurant
|Golden Lake Park
|Golden Lake Variety Store
|J. Stephen McCann Insurance Brokers
|Killaloe Pro Hardware
|Killaloe Sports Plus
|Killaloe Village Pharmacy & IDA
|M. Foy & Sons
|McCarthy Fuels (Killaloe) Ltd.
|The Sands on Golden Lake
|Township of Bonnechere Valley
|Township of Killaloe, Hagarty & Richards
|Township of North Algona Wilberforce
Ruby Road Waste Site News
The Township of the Bonnechere Valley is examining the feasibility of expanding the Ruby Road Waste Transfer Station into a land fill site that would handle all the waste from the entire township, including the town of Eganville. All the costs for environmental protection, engineering and managing the Ruby site will be calculated within this study. At the same time, the Township has agreed to provide a cost estimate of having the waste sent to the large Ottawa Valley Waste Disposal Centre near Pembroke as an alternative to the Ruby Road site. Both sets of calculations are expected soon, setting the stage for decision-making by Council. GLPOA has representation on the Public Liaison Committee, and the Committee for the Preservation of Bonnechere Valley is monitoring the Environmental Screening closely. We will keep you informed.
Waterway Hazard Marking
Gord McMillan heads up the waterway hazard marking program. He reports that all the existing buoys were recovered last fall and are accounted for and that he has recruited a number of volunteers to help him to place them this spring. The main hazards on the waterway are now marked. This year special attention will be focussed on channel marking at narrows and in the River. Seven sets of red and green buoys have been purchased to properly identify the safe channel at critical locations including Beattys Island, the mouth of the Bonnechere River and upstream at Kilby Road and Boyle Lane Narrows and below the Kokomis Road Bridge.
Issue Update: Cormorants
Golden Lake is one of many lakes in Ontario that have seen an increase in the number of nesting cormorants over the past few years. These birds are not really an invasive species in the normal sense because they are indigenous to our region. However, toxic contamination in the lakes caused egg shell thinning and just about eliminated the birds from the province. In some ways the return of the cormorant is a sign of improved water quality.
However, the populations have increased so fast that their status as an endangered species is being challenged. Bill 62, regarding this change to the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Amendment Act (Double-Crested Cormorants), 2008 has had its first reading and is scheduled to be debated in the Ontario Legislature on December 3rd, 2009.
New Map of Golden Lake and Bonnechere River
We have created a totally new map for the convenience of our members and for visitors to our area. The map shows details of the lake and river, including waterway hazard locations, channel markers, names of bays and islands and contour lines showing depths in the lake. The road network surrounding the waterway is named and colour-coded to show maintained and seasonal status and there is a key to identify and locate local businesses, boat launches and other facilities.
The full-colour map was produced with the expert services of the Development and Property Department of the County of Renfrew under the direction of G.I.S. Coordinator Jason Davis and G.I.S. Technician Angie Schultz. They worked with us over the winter months to get every last detail correct and they also worked with Pembroke District of the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources to supply data such as the water depth contours. The maps are available either in folded or unfolded format and one will be distributed free to each GLPOA member household. They will also be carried and offered for sale to the public for $5.00 by local businesses in the area. We are sure you’ll be pleased with this totally up-to-date rendering of our waterway and surrounding area.
2008 – 09 Board of Directors
|Kevin O’Connor, President
|Bill Gardner, Vice President
|Bill Clark, Secretary
||Island View Drive
|Kathy Lampi, Treasurer
|Dave Lemkay, Past-president
||Tranquility Bay Drive
||625-2112 or 649-2616
||Twin Maple Lane
||Great Heron Lane
Committee Chairs for 2008 – 09
Gail McPhee 613-757-0257
Mike Johnson 613-757-2701
Mike Cayer 613-625-2555
Kevin O’Connor 613-625-9937
Shoal Marking (Buoy) Program
Gord McMillan 613-625-2711
Dave Lemkay 613-649-2616
Kevin O’Connor 613-625-9937
Pleasure Craft Operators Course
Dave Lemkay 613-649-2616
Bill Clark 613-625-2004
Kevin O’Connor 613-625-9937
Bill Clark 613-625-2004
Dave Lemkay 613-649-2616
John Gulland 613-757-2208
John Gulland 613-757-2208
Membership is Important
There are more than 700 waterfront properties along the Bonnechere River and around Golden Lake. We are pleased that about 400 of these properties are represented as members of our association. Achieving a strong representation of the property owners through membership in the Association has been one of the three main objectives of GLPOA since its formation. At 400-strong we have a clear collective voice with which to communicate with all levels of government. Our geographic area is divided into eleven zones, each looked after by volunteer representatives, to canvass the property owners in their zone and sign up members. We trust you agree that $20 each year is good value for your money and that you are proud to be a member of an active organization like GLPOA.
||Golden Lake Village and Pikwakanagan
||Village: Rick O’Brien 625-2707
Pikwakanagan: Jim Meness 625-2014
||Island View Dr, Abby W.
||Kate O’Hara 625-1050
Nancy Singleton 625-2452
Dean Bergstresser 625-2723
||Hwy 60, Mundts Bay Ln, Fish Hut Rd, Log Cabin Tr, Twin Maple Ln, Burnchberry Ln, Red Pine Camp W
||Doug Yourth 625-2725
||McMillan Rd, Goldfinch Dr, Kasdorff Ln
||Brenda Maunder 625-1324
Robyn Richards 625-2979
||Hwy 60 at Deacon, McNee Dr, Browns Cr, Sleepy Hollow
||Gary Yeldon 625-2735
Lyle Kauffeldt 625-1651
||L’Escale Ln, Great Heron Rd, Harrington Rd, Black Point Rd
||Ken Kruger 7572233
Gail McPhee 757-0257
Karen Utronkie 756-0168
||Hawkins Dr, Nien-Mar Ln, Bob’s Ln, Sheedy Ln, Skelly Rd, Gorman Rd
||Norm Edwards 625-9961
Marion Fudder 625-2076
Terry Ryan 625-2313
||Bonnechere Lodge Rd, Billena W, Lynch-Reid Ln, Richards Ln, Cedar Beach Ln, Golden Mile W, Golden Lyn W, McSearsull W
||Mike Cayer 625-2555
||Rocky Point Dr, Tranquility Bay
||Dave Lemkay 625-2112
Doreen Dunn-Scully 625-2407
||Tramore Dr, Bonnechere River Ln, Boyle Ln, Eady Ln, Jeffries Ln, Narrows Ln, Okum Ln, Libby Ln
||Michael Johnson 757-2701
Terry Howard 757-3456
Ed Gionet, Carol Anne Zohr 757-1952
||Carty Rd, White Church Rd, Karmak Haven Rd, Griffith Wagner Rd, Musky Bay Ln
||Bill Gardner 757-2909
Tom Connolly 757-3154
[toggle title=”Fall 2008 Membership Letter”]