8.0 Bobs and Crow Lake Catchments: Actions/Opportunities

Developed by the Greater Bobs and Crow Lakes Association and its partners, the Stewardship Plan for Bobs and Crow Lakes (2007) provides information on many aspects of the lake environment, as well as actions to be taken to maintain and improve the long-term health of the lakes. The following list includes some of those identified actions that have implications for the well-being of the land and water resources of the lake ecosystem. Specific actions noted by the Bobs Lake community are indicated by an asterisk.

Bobs and Crow Lake Catchments Health

Development

Work with approval authorities (Central Frontenac Township, Frontenac County, Kingston Frontenac Lennox and Addington Health Unit, Mississippi Rideau Septic System Office, RVCA, South Frontenac and Tay Valley Townships) and waterfront property owners (including the Greater Bobs and Crow Lakes Association and Rock Lake community) to consistently implement current land use planning and development policies for water quality and shoreline protection adjacent to Bobs and Crow Lake and headwater streams in the catchment (i.e., a minimum 30 metre development setback from water).

Explore ways and means to more effectively enforce and implement conditions of land-use planning and development approval to achieve net environmental gains (particularly with respect to rehabilitating or protecting naturally vegetated shorelines and water quality).

Encourage Committees of Adjustment to take advantage of technical and environmental information and recommendations forthcoming from planning and environmental professionals.

Municipalities in the Tay Watershed are encouraged to strengthen natural heritage and water resources official plan policies and zoning provisions (pertaining to water setbacks, frontage and naturalized shorelines and wetland protection) where deemed appropriate. 

Work with Central Frontenac Township, Frontenac County, South Frontenac and Tay Valley Townships and agencies to ensure that development approvals around lakes and along watercourses take into consideration the protection of fish habitat (including the near-shore nursery and spawning habitat).

Municipal and agency planners together with development proponents are to use the 2014 Site Evaluation Guidelines to inform decision-making about the application of development setbacks on lots with shallow soils/bedrock, steep slopes and sparse vegetation cover along with the use of the appropriate, development related, best management practices.

Utilize RVCA subwatershed and catchment reports to help develop/revise official plan policies to protect surface water resources and the natural environment (including woodlands, wetlands and shoreline cover).

Use 1:100 year flood elevation information now available for Bobs Lake as an additional factor to be considered when assessing development setbacks at the shoreline and protecting property owners from flood hazards.

Establish RVCA regulation limits around the 82 percent (1465 ha.) of wetlands in the catchment that are unevaluated. Doing this will help protect landowners from natural hazards including mitigating surface water flow by storing water during periods of peak flow (such as spring snowmelt and heavy rainfall events) and releasing water during periods of low flow (this mitigation of water flow reduces flood damage), as well as contributing to the stabilization of shorelines and to the reduction of soil erosion damage through water flow mitigation and plant soil binding/retention.

Shorelines

Take advantage of the RVCA Shoreline Naturalization Program to re-naturalize altered creek, lake and stream shoreline identified in this report as “Unnatural Riparian Land Cover". Concentrate stewardship efforts on Bobs and Crow Lakes waterfront properties shown in orange on the Riparian Land Cover map (see Figures 126/127 in Section 4.4 of this report). Other stewardship opportunities in the catchment may be determined based on septic system inspections and surface water quality monitoring results.

Promote the use of bioengineering methods (using native shrub/tree planting, fascines, live stakes) as a shoreline erosion mitigation measure as well as a cost effective alternative to shoreline hardening (with rip rap, armour stone, gabion baskets, walls)

Educate landowners about the value and importance of headwater drainage features, natural shorelines and waterfront property best management practices with respect to shoreline use and development, septic system installation and maintenance and shoreline vegetation retention and enhancement (Central Frontenac Township, Frontenac County, Greater Bobs and Crow Lakes Association, Kingston Frontenac Lennox and Addington Health Unit, Mississippi-Rideau Septic System Office, Rock Lake community, RVCA, South Frontenac and Tay Valley Townships).

Water Quality

Greater Bobs and Crow Lakes Association will work with the Township of South Frontenac to establish a septic system re-inspection program on Bobs and Crow Lake along with an associated educational program.*

Consider further investigation of the Poor to Very Good surface chemistry water quality rating on Bobs Lake as part of a review of RVCA's Watershed Watch, Baseline and Benthic Invertebrate surface water quality monitoring.

Offer funding provided by the RVCA Rural Clean Water Program to landowners with potential projects that could improve water quality on Bobs and Crow Lakes and their tributaries (e.g., livestock fencing, septic system repair/replacement and streambank erosion control/stabilisation). Concentrate efforts at septic systems requiring remedial work or replacement, including the 28 identified as needing additional maintenance/remedial/replacement work since 2004.

Educate waterfront property owners about septic system care by providing information about sewage system maintenance (i.e., when to pump out septic systems and holding talks) through initiatives such as the Septic Savvy Workshop and services provided by the Mississippi Rideau Septic System Office.

Reduce pollutant loadings to Bobs Lake through education about the application of shoreline, stormwater and agricultural best management practices; also consider using low impact development (LID) methods to improve the quality and reduce the amount of stormwater runoff directly reaching the lake ecosystem. This will be particularly beneficial in areas with extensive impervious surfaces (i.e., asphalt, concrete, buildings, and severely compacted soils) or on sensitive waterfront properties (with steep slopes/banks, shallow/impermeable soils).

Bobs and Crow Lake Catchments Habitat

Aquatic Habitat/Fisheries/Wildlife

Increase boating enforcement in established high hazard areas (e.g. narrows, environmentally sensitive areas like wildlife and fish nesting sites and high density population areas) and post signage in sensitive shoreline and wetland habitats to discourage intrusion by personal watercraft.*

Educate waterfront property owners about: 1) fish habitat requirements, spawning timing and near-shore and in-water activities that can disturb or destroy fish habitat and spawning sites 2) the causes of excessive algae and aquatic vegetation growth (see the RVCA publication entitled Algae and Aquatic Plant Educational Manual) and 3) healthy lake ecosystems and associated water level fluctuations in a natural environment.

Greater Bobs and Crow Lakes Association Leadership

Lake Planning

The Greater Bobs and Crow Lakes Association is leading the coordination of the implementation of the recommendations of the Stewardship Plan for Bobs and Crow Lakes (2007).

Consider a ten-year review of the Stewardship Plan for Bobs and Crow Lakes (2007).

Use the information contained in the Tay River Subwatershed Report 2017 and Bobs Lake Catchment Report 2017 to assist with implementation of the Bobs and Crow Lakes Stewardship Plan (2007) and an update to it.

Water Levels

Surface water flows and levels at the new Bolingbroke Dam on Bobs Lake will be better monitored as a result of input from the Greater Bobs and Crow Lakes Association. This information will help to ensure that management of the water control structure will more closely align with Parks Canada's existing rule curve (and any subsequent revisions to it) for this reservoir lake of the Rideau Canal.*

Continue dialogue with the Parks Canada - Rideau Canal Office (RCO) and others to ensure that water levels are managed in a manner that balances fish and wildlife habitat needs within the riparian zone along with recreational and aesthetic uses of Bobs Lake, while recognizing the need to maintain downstream water levels and accommodate other uses of the lake. Establish an education and communications program about managing water levels so that people are aware of the possibilities and limitations inherent in the operation of the new Bolingbroke Dam.*