May 2015
Register now for our FREE FrogWatch Workshop!

Paddling Week Comes to Muskoka!

National Paddling WeekPAUSE for a PADDLE is a celebration for Canadian Rivers Day during National Paddling Week on June 14 at beautiful Bowyer's Beach in Bracebridge. Greater Opportunities and Muskoka Paddle Shack are teaming up to offer guided canoe trips in support of healthy watersheds in Muskoka.

Experience free virtual canoe trips of Muskoka rivers with Algonquin Outfitters, test out different canoes from Muskoka Paddle Shack and get answers to all of your paddling related inquiries throughout the day. Meet Hap Wilson of Eco Trailbuilders during lunch as he plays music and shares his "10 Best Canoe Tips Ever". Information on safe boating, protecting Muskoka's waterways and local canoe trips will be available as well.

A BBQ lunch and refreshments will be provided to registered paddlers and will be available for purchase to visitors to the beach. Proceeds will support the Muskoka Watershed Council's efforts to "champion watershed health" in the region.

Each trip (2 trips, each approximately 1.5 hours in length) will begin with a basic lesson on paddling safety. Each group will consist of up to 14 paddlers; the first group will begin at 10:00 am and paddle into Lake Muskoka from Sandy Bay. Participants will be treated to a complimentary lunch upon returning to Bowyer’s Beach at noon, and the second group will begin their paddling adventure after 1:00 pm. Life jackets, canoes and paddles will be provided by Muskoka Paddle Shack.

Learn more about PAUSE for a PADDLE at Cost is $50 for the general public; children 3 and under are free; and members of Friends of the Muskoka Watershed as well as students and seniors 65+ are $40. Parking, washrooms, and picnic tables are available for visitors Bowyer’s Beach throughout the day. Contact MWC for more info or to register for a guided canoe trip at 705-646-0111 or

Check out the Events Calendar section below for more events during National Paddling Week!
Register now for our Taking To The Water Lecture

Love Your Lake Continues in Muskoka

Love Your LakeMuskoka Watershed Council is excited to continue assessing shorelines on Lake of Bays with the help of the Lake of Bays Association (LOBA) through the Love Your Lake program.
Love Your Lake is a shoreline assessment and stewardship program that provides shoreline property owners with resources to help improve the health of their shoreline and their lake. This program is developed and coordinated by Watersheds Canada (WC) and the Canadian Wildlife Federation (CWF), who work with regional partners and lake organizations to deliver it locally.
Since 2013, more than 9,500 shoreline properties on 34 lakes across the province have been assessed through the Love Your Lake program. This year, Watersheds Canada and the Canadian Wildlife Federation are partnering with the City of Greater Sudbury, Muskoka Watershed Council, Coalition of Haliburton Property Owners’ Associations and Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve to bring the Love Your Lake program to Sudbury, Muskoka, Eastern Ontario, Haliburton and the Kawarthas.


Love Your Lake in Muskoka
Muskoka River X supports healthy watersheds in Muskoka
L-R: Peter Sale, MWC Chair; Rob Horton, MRX Race Director; Randy Mitson, Algonquin Outfitters; Christy Doyle, MWC Director of Environmental & Watershed Programs; and Norm Yan, FMW Chair.


Muskoka River X supports healthy watersheds in Muskoka

Our local environment got a boost last week with another donation of $1,000 from organizers of the Muskoka River X to support the work of the Muskoka Watershed Council.

After receiving much recognition in its first year and pushing teams to their limits in its second, the Muskoka River X (MRX) is back for its third year. The 128 km race, sponsored by Algonquin Outfitters, runs along idyllic stretches of Muskoka’s waterways and is considered the longest, and toughest, single day expedition paddling race in the world.


Register now for the 2015 AGM!

Research on the Effects of Road Salt in Muskoka Continues

Research on the effects of road salt in Muskoka will continue this summer through a $5,000 student research award which is funded by Hutchinson Environmental Sciences Limited (HESL) and administered by Friends of the Muskoka Watershed (FMW).

This is the third year in which HESL has made the award to a university student working towards their Honours Degree in the environmental science field to assist with ongoing research in any aspect of aquatic ecosystem management in the Muskoka River Watershed. "The award is intended to stimulate interest in aquatic science as a career choice for students and to help replace the loss of the government student programs that were so important to me as an undergraduate” says Dr. Neil Hutchinson, President of HESL.

On May 15th, the 2015 HESL Award was presented to Michael Schmidt, of Trent University, who will be working on his Honours thesis project “Road salt effects on road-side soils and potential impacts on surface water quality” in the Muskoka-Haliburton region.

“Impacts and implications of sodium from road salt application on our environment is an important, distinctive, and deserving area of study” says Dr. Norman Yan, Chair of Friends of the Muskoka Watershed. “We eagerly await the results of Mr. Schmidt’s work” he continues.

Schmidt’s interest in studying the interaction of sodium in soil chemistry and its mobility in groundwater in the region aligns with the strong community interest in – and need for – local research and analysis. At the end of summer, he will attend a meeting of Muskoka researchers and make a brief presentation on his research and summer experience.
Norman Yan, Chair of Friends of the Muskoka Watershed; Michael Schmidt; and Neil Hutchinson, President and Principal Scientist of Hutchinson Environmental Sciences Limited.

L-R: Dr. Norman Yan, Chair of Friends of the Muskoka Watershed; Michael Schmidt; and Dr. Neil Hutchinson, President and Principal Scientist of Hutchinson Environmental Sciences Limited.


2015 Muskoka Stewardship Conference a Success!

The 2015 Muskoka Stewardship Conference was held on Saturday, May 2nd at Nipissing University in Bracebridge. Over 80 participants gathered to learn about a variety of topics related to living sustainably in Muskoka from a number of excellent speakers.

The Muskoka Stewardship Conference is held every two years by the Muskoka Watershed Council and The District Municipality of Muskoka. The next conference is scheduled for the spring of 2017.

As an added bonus, presentations and select videos from this event and past conferences are posted on the MWC website as they become available. Check it out at
Keynote speaker Robin Tapley used stunning photography to engage MSC participants
MSC speakers Robin Tapley and Howard Smith enjoy time to chat during breaks
MSC participants enjoying the sunshine during lunch
MSC participants take the opportunity to browse the many exhibits during breaks
Gloria Woodside holds up a spruce seedling handed out by CedarCoast Timber Homes
2015 MSC Thank You!

S.T.A.R.T. Helping Turtles in Muskoka

See an injured turtle on the road? Find a turtle nest in a bad location? You can help! If you spot a turtle in distress, a nesting turtle, or a threatened (Blanding’s turtle) or endangered (Spotted turtle) species, call or text the START (Saving Turtles At Risk Today) project team at 705-955-4284. A representative from the START Muskoka Turtle Team will get back to you right away to help.
START Muskoka Turtle ProjectThe START Muskoka Turtle Project works to conserve turtles in the Muskoka area through on the ground conservation, education, public engagement and outreach. The project, delivered by Scales Nature Park with funding from the Canadian Wildlife Federation and the Rogers Foundation, targets all six turtle species in the Muskoka region (painted, snapping, Blanding’s, map, musk, and spotted), with a particular focus on Blanding’s turtles since this species is the most likely to be impacted by road mortality and human activities in the area.
Learn more about the START project and how you can get involved at or

A Watershed Moment:
A turning point for a better Muskoka


Ragged Falls by Lyndsie McGregorA watershed is more than a term used by scientists to refer to the area of land that catches rain or snow and drains into a body of water like a river or lake. It is also defined as a critical point that marks a division or a change of course; a turning point.

We all experience a ‘watershed moment’ at some point in our lives. Whether it’s starting a new family, a new business or settling for retirement, these are the moments in time when nothing after will ever be the same as before.

“There are many different futures,” said Dr. Peter Sale, Chair of Muskoka Watershed Council, as he addressed students at Rosseau Lake College about the environmental crisis facing Muskoka. “Which one we get depends on the choices we make”.


Love Your Lake and Win Contest

Species at Risk Spotlight

Aristida basiramea
Status: Endangered
Forked Three-awned Grass
There are 42 Species at Risk in the Muskoka-Parry Sound area, including the Forked Three-awned Grass, a difficult-to-identify annual grass found on Beausoleil Island and a few other sites in southern Georgian Bay.

Learn about this species at risk, where you're likely to find it in Muskoka, and how you can help protect it and its habitat in the Species at Risk Factsheet.

Handbook Available

Living in Cottage Country Handbook
If you haven't already got your copy of the Living in Cottage Country handbook, look for it at your local Chamber of Commerce, municipal office, or real estate broker. You can also drop by our office at 16 Robert Boyer Lane in Bracebridge to pick up a copy for just $20!

Events Calendar


MWC is always looking for volunteers to help us champion watershed health. Please contact us today to learn about current volunteer opportunities!

Copyright © 2015 Muskoka Watershed Council, All rights reserved.
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