The Lake Kashagawigamog Organization (LKO) mission statement is:

… to promote the maintenance of a healthy lake environment and ensure a long-term quality of life for cottagers and residents alike – and other such complementary purposes not inconsistent with these objectives

At the direction of LKO membership, the LKO has commissioned this lake plan to address these questions:

  1. What is the state of the lake now?
  2. What do we want Kashagawigamog to look like in 10-20-50 years?
  3. What do we value most about the lake and what do we feel is worth preserving?
  4. How can we ensure future generations will be able to enjoy what the lake has to offer today?

There are many lakes associations in Ontario which have successfully undertaken lake planning processes and are addressing their particular challenges. It is important for the LKO to do the same.

First – A Survey 

The initial step in the development of the lake plan was to survey property owners on the lake and in the community at large, to find out their concerns and priorities for the lake. The survey was released in 2010 and 241 property owners responded.

The respondents were equally distributed between Minden Hills and Dysart. On average, they had been coming to the lake for 34 years and so, when answering the survey questions, had knowledge of the lake then and now.

The survey showed great concern among owners about water pollution, development, weeds, boating practices/personal watercraft and water levels .The actions they saw as vital to meeting these concerns included improving water quality (especially septic issues), enforcing safe boating practices, identifying and preserving wetlands, protecting/improving fish and wildlife habitat, protecting/improving the lake shoreline, promoting shoreline rehabilitation, developing/enforcing privacy bylaws, discouraging lawns and reducing impact of outdoor lighting.  The results of the survey are appended to this lake plan document.

Second – A Report on the Health of the Lake

In response to those concerns, in the summer of 2011 the LKO contracted with Leora Berman, Manager of Aquatilus and The Land Between. Her task was to gather baseline data on the lake, to form the foundation of a lake plan to address not only the survey concerns but also other issues identified by her research. Specifically her tasks were to:

  • identify, estimate and communicate the basic parameters that influence the condition of Kashagawigamog Lake in Haliburton County;
  • assess the historical, fundamental and natural baseline condition of the lake and where possible assess trends in lake health and/or the current condition of the lake;
  • identify, estimate and communicate the conditions of the surrounding environment (the lake’s upland basin), which have an impact on the lake and which affect residents’ health and enjoyment;
  • highlight and characterize areas of sensitivity and to list and, where possible, evaluate activities that may be having a negative impact on the lake and its residents; and
  • provide a foundation of knowledge which forms the basis for public orientation towards assigning solutions.

The full report begins on page 11 of this document.  It shows that Kashagawigamog Lake is an important body of water. It lies within an area of Ontario known as The Land Between (TLB), a region of distinct ecology, culture, and economy which extends from Georgian Bay to the Kingston area. It is what ecologists call an ecotone – a transition area between two ecoregions: the St. Lawrence Lowlands and the Canadian Shield. Consequently, it is home to a diversity of species that are found north and south but also a number of species that rely entirely on the region and are unique to this area.

Kashagawigamog is an Anishnaabeg name meaning “lake of long and winding waters.”

As well, the report tells us that Kashagawigamog (an Anishnaabeg name meaning “lake of long and winding waters”) has been used by man for centuries. It was an important passageway for First Nations travelling to traditional hunting grounds and for early European settlers who arrived on the lake in the late 1800s. It was a chosen transportation route for lumber to be delivered south during the early lumbering years. Kashagawigamog Lake and adjoining Canning Lake were also the first waterway links between the villages of Minden and Haliburton before the primary roads were completed in 1868. With the completion of the roads linking this area to southern Ontario, Kashagawigamog became the lake with the oldest cottaging history in the county and the highest development.

Herein lies the challenge: our activities on and around the lake are contributing to the decline of the water quality and the species with which we share this place. The report outlines some specific activities that can be seen as contributing to this situation: shoreline development and alterations (management practices, and removal of native shoreline plants), boat traffic and related boat wakes, septic system effluents, pollution from industrial activities (landfill (“dumps”) and roadways) and fluctuating water levels, especially drawdowns. Other problematic issues identified include the conversion of wetland habitats and removal of natural forest cover, with an increasing development footprint, and lawn fertilization.

Third – Solutions Developed by Property Owners and Community

It was important that the solutions to these problems come from all who live on and around the lake. Consequently, during the spring and summer, 2012, the LKO organized three public consultation sessions. At these sessions, KashagawigamogLake property owners and community members learned more about the challenges facing our lake and contributed to defining the solutions.  102 action were identified to address the concerns raised in the report on the health of KashagawigamogLake. Those items now form the Kashagawigamog Lake Plan which follows.  The lake plan will guide our actions from this point on.

Board of Directors
Lake Kashagawigamog Organization
November, 2012