8.0 Eagle Lake Catchment: Actions/Opportunities
Developed by the Eagle Lake Property Owners’ Association and its partners, the State of the Lake Report - Eagle Lake Update 2015 provides information on many aspects of the lake environment, as well as actions to maintain and improve the long-term health of the lake. The following list includes some of those identified actions that have implications for the land and water resources of the lake ecosystem. Specific actions noted by the Eagle Lake community are indicated by an asterisk.
Eagle Lake and Catchment Health
Work with approval authorities (Central Frontenac Township, Frontenac County, Kingston Frontenac Lennox and Addington Health Unit, Mississippi Rideau Septic System Office, RVCA and South Frontenac Township) and waterfront property owners (including the Eagle Lake Property Owners' Association and Leggat Lake community) to consistently implement current land use planning and development policies for water quality and shoreline protection adjacent to Eagle and Legatt Lake, Eagle Creek 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 Committee 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 Township 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).
Establish RVCA regulation limits around the 100 percent (437 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.
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". Consider concentrating stewardship efforts on Eagle Lake waterfront properties shown in orange on the Riparian Land Cover map (see Figure 77 in Section 4.4 in 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 natural shorelines and 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, Eagle Lake Property Owners’ Association, Frontenac County, Leggat Lake community, Kingston Frontenac Lennox and Addington Health Unit, Mississippi Rideau Septic System Office, RVCA and South Frontenac Township).
Consider further investigation of the Poor to Fair instream biological water quality conditions in Eagle Creek, 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 Eagle and Lleggat Lakes and their tributaries (e.g., livestock fencing, septic system repair/replacement and streambank erosion control/stabilisation).
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 Eagle 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).
Eagle Lake and Catchment Habitat
Eagle Lake Property Owners’ Association will continue to interact with staff at MNR to see if, following recent investigations, stocking of Lake Trout can be resumed. Rehabilitation of the potential spawning sites identified at the north end of the lake might also be given consideration. MNR will also ensure that Eagle Lake remains on the list of lakes that should be considered for lake trout habitat rehabilitation.*
Resume Purple Loosestrife manual removal and perhaps release of the Neogalerucella species of beetles, particularly at the Oconto Creek site where major regrowth of this plant has occurred. These beetles were released at this site in 2005 with much success*.
Arrange for a second phase of drone mapping of the lower sections of Eagle Creek to assist with fish and wildlife habitat improvement (and other initiatives).*
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.
Eagle Lake Property Owners’ Association Leadership
Eagle Lake Property Owners' Association is leading the coordination of the implementation of the recommendations of the State of the Lake Report - Eagle Lake Update 2015.
Use the information contained in the Tay River Subwatershed Report 2017 and Eagle Lake Catchment Report 2017 to assist with implementation of the State of the Lake Report - Eagle Lake Update 2015.
Possible better control of lake water levels on Eagle Lake by installing beaver bafflers at two additional and extensive beaver dams on Eagle Creek. A meeting has been arranged with a representative of Ducks Unlimited for advice on beaver bafflers. Additional meetings should be arranged to discuss beaver bafflers with board members of the Greater Bobs and Crow Lakes Association, since a rehabilitated walleye spawning bed is located where Eagle Creek empties into Bobs Lake.*