6.0 Christie Lake Catchment: Accomplishments
Developed by the Christie Lake Association, the Farren Lake Property Owners' Association and the Little Silver and Rainbow Lakes Property Owners' Association and their partners, the Christie Lake State of the Lake Report (2009), 2011 Lake Stewardship Guideline (2011) and Christie Lake Brochure (a planned 5 year update of the Lake Stewardship Guide), Farren Lake State of the Lake Report (2009) and Little Silver and Rainbow Lake Stewardship Plan (2018) provide information on many aspects of the lake environment, as well as issues of concern and actions to be taken to maintain and improve the long-term health of the lake. The following list includes some of the accomplishments of the Christie Lake, Farren Lake, Little Silver-Rainbow Lake Associations and residents that have implications for the well-being of the land and water resources of the lake ecosystem. Specific achievements of the Christie, Farren, Little Silver-Rainbow and O'Brien Lake communities are indicated by an asterisk.
Christie Lake and Catchment Health
Mandatory septic system inspections for properties on Little Silver and Rainbow Lakes were approved by the Little Silver and Rainbow Lakes Property Owners Association at the 2016 AGM.*
Farren Lake properties are subject to a total septic system inspection of every home/cottage.*
510 septic system re-inspections have been conducted by the Mississippi Rideau Septic System Office as a service provided to Tay Valley Township.
Christie Lake Association has and continues to encourage shoreline naturalization and the re-planting of shorelands with native species. Working with the RVCA and Watersheds Canada, complimentary native plants have been provided at events around Christie Lake such as the Welcome Back Wine and Cheese event and the CLA Annual General Meeting.*
1,669 native trees and shrubs have been planted at 20 project sites in the catchment by the RVCA’s Shoreline Naturalization Program at an average buffer width of three metres along 582 metres of shoreline.
11,550 trees have been planted at three sites in the Christie Lake catchment by the RVCA Private Land Forestry Program, resulting in the reforestation of six hectares.
Christie Lake Association established a Water Level Committee in the Fall of 2017 - in the aftermath of the severe flooding experienced by Christie Lake residents during the summer of 2017 - to investigate fluctuating water levels on Christie Lake and liaise with agencies responsible for water level management and flood forecasting and warning along the Tay River.*
Water testing on Christie Lake in cooperation with RVCA has been ongoing for many years. Lake residents have assisted RVCA scientists by providing boats to facilitate sampling. Water sampling of inlet streams and creeks around Christie Lake and sampling for total phosphorous was conducted from 2004 until 2014 to assess influent quality.*
Sharing of water quality reports occurs between residents of O'Brien Lake.*
An interim control bylaw has been passed by Tay Valley Township putting a hold on development until a lake capacity study or other measures can be taken to address the factors contributng to the reported water quality on Farren Lake. The Township Council has been most co-operative on this and every other issue regarding water quality issues in Farren Lake.*
One Ontario Benthic Biomonitoring Network site is sampled yearly on the Tay River in the catchment with three replicates, monitored by the RVCA to assess instream biological water quality conditions.
Nine Rural Clean Water Program projects were completed by the RVCA.
Christie Lake, Davern Lake, Farren Lake, Little Silver Lake, O'Brien Lake and Rainbow Lake are each sampled by the RVCA for five parameters, four times a year along with one stream sampling site on the Tay River being sampled for 22 parameters, six times a year to assess surface chemistry water quality conditions.
Christie Lake and Catchment Habitat
Christie Lake Association worked with MNR to identify Crown-owned islands on the lake and post signs encouraging visitors to treat the islands with respect by applying good stewardship practices when using them.*
Fish and In-stream Habitat
Christie Lake Association has been placing artificial fish habitat along selected shorelines around Christie Lake since 2013. The Fishsticks program involves the placement of submerged trees along the shoreline of Christie Lake to provide enhanced aquatic habitat for a variety of fish species, as well as other invertebrates, amphibians and reptiles. Monitoring of the Fishsticks program's success was conducted by the RVCA in June of 2017 with underwater photos showing that the installed woody brush bundles are providing excellent fish habitat (see Section 5.4).*
5.2 kilometres of the Tay River in the catchment has been surveyed and 29 headwaters sites were sampled by the RVCA Stream Characterization Program.
Invasive Species Testing Program has occurred on Christie and Little Silver and Rainbow Lakes in partnership with Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters.*
Ongoing exchange of invasive species information takes place between residents on O'Brien Lake.*
Tracking of loons has been ongoing for years on portions of Christie Lake with enhancements in lake coverage having been undertaken over the last two years. This is part of attempts to raise Loon Awareness by enlisting volunteers to track loons and nesting success via the Canadian Lakes Loon Survey coordinated by Bird Studies Canada.*
Efforts by the Christie Lake Association and residents led to the re-designation of the Christie Lake Wetland from locally significant to provincially significant and mapping of its land-use status in the Tay Valley Township Official Plan (2016).
Lake Association Leadership
The Farren Lake Property Owners' Association has been a key player in efforts to have all septic systems around Farren Lake inspected for operational deficiences. It has also been instrumental in convincing the Council of Tay Valley Township to restict future development on the lake until the water quality problem can be addressed.
The Christie Lake Association, the Farren Lake Property Owners' Association and the Little Silver and Rainbow Lakes Property Owners Association and their partners have been instrumental in preparing the following resource management plans to guide lake community activities: the Christie Lake State of the Lake Report (2009), Christie Lake Stewardship Guideline (2011) and 2015 Christie Lake Brochure (a planned 5 year update of the Lake Stewardship Guideline), Farren Lake State of the Lake Report (2009) and Little Silver and Rainbow Lake Stewardship Plan (2018).