8.0 Long Lake Catchment: Actions/Opportunities
Specific opportunities noted by the Long Lake community to improve the lake ecosystem are indicated by an asterisk.
Long 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 and RVCA) and waterfront property owners (including the Carnahan Lake Association and Long Lake Property Owners' Association) to consistently implement current land use planning and development policies for water quality and shoreline protection adjacent to Carnahan and Long 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 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 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 (1822 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
Long Lake Property Owners Association may wish to approach the two landowners on the lake who own over four miles of natural shoreline to see if they might consider an ecological gift of their lands. This would help to maintain and protect the lake's long term health for future generations.*
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 Long Lake waterfront properties shown in orange on the Riparian Land Cover map (see Figure 90 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 (Carnahan Lake Association, Central Frontenac Township, Frontenac County, Kingston Frontenac Lennox and Addington Health Unit, Long Lake Property Owners' Association, Mississippi Rideau Septic System Office and RVCA).
Long Lake Property Owners' Association supports working with the Township of Central Frontenac to establish a septic system inspection program on Long Lake along with an associated educational program.*
Consider further investigation of the 1) Poor to Fair surface chemistry water quality rating on Carnahan Lake; 2) Fair to Good surface chemistry water quality rating on Long Lake and 3) Fair surface chemistry water quality rating in Uens Creek as part of a review of RVCA's Watershed Watch and Baseline 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 Carnahan and Long Lakes and their tributaries, including Uens Creek (e.g., livestock fencing, septic system repair/replacement and streambank erosion control/stabilisation).
Educate waterfront property owners about septic system care and maintenance 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 Carnahan and Long 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).
Long Lake and Catchment Habitat
Long Lake Property Owners' Association is looking into what government programs may exist to once again complete spawning bed enhancement projects and other fish and wildlife habitat improvements, which it will be asking the RVCA to advise on.*
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.
Carnahan Lake Association and the Long Lake Property Owners' Association may wish to consider a lake planning process to develop a Lake Plan that:
- Is an action plan developed by a lake community that identifies and preserves the natural and social characteristics that are valued by the lake community for future generations
- Helps to promote community discussion, education and action
- Sets goals and objectives for the protection and enhancement of the lake
- Recommends land use policies/practices that influence development on the lake
- Promotes stewardship actions to improve the environmental conditions of a lake so it can be enjoyed by future generations.
Consider the need for a community-driven lake management plan for Carnahan Lake and Long Lake that can:
- Bring the lake community together
- Engage the community beyond the lake residents and lake association members and develops partnership
- Identify and bring together common values and concerns
- Provide a baseline of data on water quality, shoreline development, fisheries management, etc., that can help to inform water resources management, land use planning and stewardship actions
- Range in complexity from a comprehensive living document to a simplified list of priorities that can be carried out by the lake community to protect the lake environment.