April 2015
2015 Muskoka Stewardship Conference

2015 Muskoka Stewardship Conference - Details    2015 Muskoka Stewardship Conference - Draft Agenda    2015 Muskoka Stewardship Conference - Registration

Living in Cottage Country Handbook: Get Your Copy Today!

"...the go-to information resource for recreational residents, and anyone else who lives here in Muskoka...an information resource whose potential payback reaches far beyond its initial cost."
-The Lakelands Association of REALTORS®
Living in Cottage Country - ExcerptThe Living in Cottage Country: What You Should Know handbook is available for sale! This 108-page guide is a valuable resource for everyone living in cottage country.
Whether you are new to Muskoka or a long-time resident, this handbook will help you understand how to comply with rules and regulations to ensure that our wonderful, but fragile, environment continues to bring us joy and satisfaction in the future.
Wondering where you can pick up a copy? Ask at your local Chamber of Commerce, municipal office, or real estate broker to see if they have copies available. You can also drop by our office at 16 Robert Boyer Lane in Bracebridge to pick up a copy and check out our many other resources.
Only $20 a copy! Discounts are available for bulk purchases. Learn more at http://www.muskokawatershed.org/resources/handbook/.
Click here to see an excerpt!
Blue Dot Splash - Muskoka

Do you FrogWatch?

Are you interested in learning about the FrogWatch program and how you can help monitor the health of Muskoka’s amphibians?
Attend a FREE workshop to learn:
  • About the FrogWatch program;
  • How it takes only 3 to 5 minutes of listening per week (or whenever you have time);
  • How to identify frogs and toads by their call;
  • What resources are available;
  • How to enroll in the FrogWatch program;
  • How to submit observations using the NEW FrogWatch website.
FrogWatchWHERE: Dwight Public Library
WHEN: Saturday, April 25, 2015
TIME: 10:30 am to 12:00 pm

REGISTER: at either the Dwight or Baysville library OR by calling 705-788-0395.

District Releases Water Quality Data for Many Lakes Across Muskoka

Water Quality Data ReleasedThe District Municipality of Muskoka has released the results of its Lake System Health Water Quality Monitoring Program. New information is available for over 80 lakes from data collected between May and August 2014.

The District has monitored the recreational water quality of lakes in Muskoka for almost 35 years and has one of the best municipal data sets in Canada. The water quality of Muskoka’s lakes is amongst the finest in the world and the goal of the program is to ensure it remains that way in the future.

A number of parameters are monitored, including phosphorus concentration, water clarity, and bugs in the mud. The phosphorus concentration found in a lake forms the basis of the development policy for that lake, and higher concentrations of phosphorus increase the chance that an algal bloom will occur.

MWC at the Cottage Life Show

Parry Sound-Muskoka MPP Norm Miller stopped by the MWC booth at the Cottage Life Show to hang out with MWC staff and volunteers and promote the Living in Cottage Country Handbook.
MWC volunteer Judi Brouse discusses the handbook with a Cottage Life Show attendee.
Furniture provided by Simply Cottage gave the MWC booth a rustic feel.

MWC and FMW spent a fantastic weekend at the 2015 Spring Cottage Life Show at Toronto’s International Centre from March 27-29 connecting with 1000’s of existing and future cottagers.

Thank you Cottage Life for providing us with display space and thank you to Simply CottageJane Spencer Photography, and the Huntsville/Lake of Bays Chamber of Commerce for helping us create a nice cottage look for our booth. Also, thank you to Smellies Copy & Print Shop in Bracebridge for sponsoring us with brochure handouts. All of the fabulous groups above helped us engage visitors to the show in the important work being done to protect and enhance the natural environment in and around Muskoka.


Winter road salt and environment: revision needed

Winter road salt and environment: revision needed

By Marc Montgomery - CBC Radio Canada International

Canadian winters can be very harsh, and like this year, long. To make sure that the economy keeps rolling, and that roads are safe, vast amounts of salt are spread  to melt through potentially dangerous snow and  ice, or to keep wet roads from freezing into ice.

As the central and eastern parts of the country slowly ease into spring, lots of whitish-grey salt residue is now seen on the streets and highways. Rain will soon wash that away.

A new study says all that salt ends up in the environment, much of it flowing into lakes where it harms a tiny but vital creature. The study pointed out that the standards used to evaluate safe levels of salt in lakes were not based on actual conditions that exist in nature, and are therefore set too high.


Muskoka Magazine Reviews Living in Cottage Country: What You Need to Know


TMuskoka Magazinehe latest issue of Muskoka Magazine contains a great review by Evelyn Brown of the new Living in Cottage Country handbook.
"Simply put, the purpose of the handbook is to minimize harm done by people."

"If one is considering a new build, any renovations or landscaping, this guide will help one understand the reasons for various conditions and the process to meet them."


MWC would like to thank Evelyn Brown and Muskoka Magazine for the great review. Pick up your copy of the magazine today!

Are You a FMW Member?

Become a member!Please join us for a special members' meeting on Friday, April 17th at 3:00 pm in the Council Chambers at the District of Muskoka following the monthly Muskoka Watershed Council meeting.

The intent of this FMW meeting is to change the Objects clause of FMW so that it better fits the requirements of our application for charitable status. We require 10% of the membership to pass such a special resolution, so please try to attend.

If you are not a member...
Join Friends of the Muskoka Watershed for just $25 a year and help support the projects and programs of the Muskoka Watershed Council.

In additon to supporting watershed health, members receive discounts on FMW and MWC organized events, including the upcoming 2015 Muskoka Stewardship Conference and the 2016 Muskoka Summit on the Environment. There are also many other exciting events being planned for 2015 that you can be a part of!

Learn more about FMW and how you can become a member at www.muskokawatershed.org.
2014 Muskoka Watershed Report Card

Turtle on the Road? You Can Help!Turtle Crossing Sign

  • Watch for traffic! Make sure it is safe to pull over and help the turtle without putting yourself at risk.
  • Move the turtle in the direction it’s going. If you don’t, it will probably turn around and try again.
  • Don’t lift a turtle by its tail. Turtles are heavy; you could dislocate vertebrae. Don’t drag turtles - they get road rash!
  • A turtle smaller than a dinner plate can be picked up by the shell. Grasp the shell on either side of the tail at 5 and 7 o’clock. If you have gloves, wear them.
  • Larger turtles are more challenging. If possible, toss a towel or blanket over its head. Turtles that can’t see you, can’t bite you. The turtle can then be picked up in the same way as above.
  • If you can’t lift it and have a shovel handy, try gently sliding the shovel under the back end of the turtle. You can then either shovel the turtle onto a second blanket and drag it across the road or slowly push the turtle across the road on the shovel. If using a shovel to move a turtle, keep it very low to the ground in case the turtle moves.
  • Snapping turtles secrete a smelly musk when handled. Hold them away from your body.
  • It is best not to move a turtle from the general area where it is attempting to cross the road. Turtles do make overland movements away from wetlands; however, if the area is highly developed or the risk of the turtle moving onto another road is high, then moving the turtle to the nearest wetland is probably the best option.
  • Wash your hands after handling a turtle.
Learn more by watching this video on How to Help a Snapping Turtle Cross the Road.
Canada Water Week Display

Canada Water Week in Muskoka


Water is important to the economy, lifestyle and identity of Muskoka. March 16-22 was Canada Water Week and Muskoka Watershed Council organized a special celebration in Muskoka at the Huntsville Place Mall.

Canada Water Week is held annually in the third week of March to coincide with World Water Day on March 22. This year’s theme was “Know Your H2O” and offered a pathway for Muskokans to get answers to all their water-related inquiries.
Peter Sale Presents to REALTORS
MWC Chair Dr. Peter Sale and The Lakelands Association of REALTORS® hosted a fascinating information session for REALTORS® on April 9th. Algal blooms, water levels, invasive species, the importance of wetlands and more were discussed throughout the session. We look forward to hosting another session in the fall!

Species at Risk Spotlight

Sternotherus odoratus
Status: Threatened
Eastern Muskoka Turtle (Credit: Scott Gillingwater)
There are 42 Species at Risk in the Muskoka-Parry Sound area, including one of the smallest turtles found in Ontario, the Eastern Musk Turtle or Stinkpot Turtle.

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.

Forest Health Paper Released

MWC Forest Health PaperCheck out MWC's new Forest Health Position Paper to learn about the biological, social and economic importance of our forests as well as recommendations for protecting our forests for the future.

Events Calendar

  • April 17 - Muskoka Watershed Council meeting. Public welcome to attend. Council Chambers, District of Muskoka administration building, Bracebridge. 1-3 pm. www.muskokawatershed.org 
  • April 19 – Blue Dot Splash Muskoka. Show your local support for David Suzuki Foundation’s Blue Dot movement. 11 am – 1 pm, Annie Williams Park, Bracebridge. http://bluedot.nationbuilder.com/bracebridge_connect_the_blue_dots
  • April 22 - REcharge 2015: Lakelands Association of REALTORS® Annual General Meeting and Trade Show. Deerhurst Resort, Huntsville. Visit our display booth for resources! thelakelands.ca 
  • April 25 - FrogWatch Workshop. Dwight Public Library, Dwight. 10:30 am - 12 pm. Free. Register at the Dwight Public Library, Baysville Public Library, or by calling 705-788-0395.
  • May 2 - Muskoka Stewardship Conference. Nipissing University - Muskoka Campus, Bracebridge. 9 am - 4 pm. www.muskokawatershed.org
  • May 22 - Muskoka Watershed Council meeting. Public welcome to attend. Council Chambers, District of Muskoka administration building, Bracebridge. 1-3 pm. www.muskokawatershed.org 
  • June 11 – MWC Environmental Lecture Series. “Taking To The Water” by Steve Cairns. 7 pm, Nipissing University, Bracebridge. Details to come.
  • June 14 – Muskoka Canoe Trip & BBQ Fundraiser with Greater Opportunities and Muskoka Paddle Shack. 10 am – 3 pm, Bowyer’s Beach, Bracebridge. http://www.paddleweek.ca/default/index.cfm/events/events-calendar/event-details/?event=816
  • June 19 - Friends of the Muskoka Watershed Annual General Meeting. Details TBA.

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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