October 12, 2018 - The Municipal District of Bonnyville and the Town of Bonnyville recognize the concerns of residents, recreational users, agricultural producers and the general public over the health of Moose Lake.
With the help of local groups such as the Moose Lake Watershed Society, Lakeland Agricultural Research Association (LARA) and Lakeland Industry and Community Association (LICA) and the residents and recreational users of the lake, programs, policies, and actions can be implemented to assist with reclaiming the health of Moose Lake.
Moose Lake is naturally high in nutrients. Due to high water and flooding conditions over the last two years, Moose Lake has seen an increase in nutrient loading, an increase in the presence of microcystin (the toxin produced by blue green algae) and number of blue green algae blooms. A slight increase in phosphorus can create these blooms. Having this knowledge is the first step in helping the health of Moose Lake.
While a single solution will not solve all of the lake’s issues, the Town and the M.D. are hoping, with efforts from all concerned parties, significant improvements can be made.
The Town and the M.D. will continue to support local groups like LICA and LARA in their efforts to make the lake healthier. The municipalities will also work on restoration programming, policies and enforcement, around the lake to help improve the water quality. Residents and recreational users can help improve that water quality by becoming engaged and aware of what they can do to help care for the lake.
Lakeside landowners can implement best management practices on their own lots to help limit the amount of run off and nutrients entering the lake. This includes leaving vegetation along the shoreline intact, replanting vegetation, installing rain barrels, and landscaping to reduce erosion, keeping grass heights longer in the fall to help slow water runoff and trap sediment for the spring, removing sandbags previously used to protect shoreline, having septic fields, tanks and pump outs inspected, and becoming aware of environmental reserves around the lake.
M.D. residents living on the lake who are unsure if they have an ER next to their property, or who need information about erosion or shoreline damage, can contact the M.D.’s environmental coordinator, Katlyn Macdonald at 780-826-3171 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Agricultural producers can contact Kellie Nichiporik, Environmental Program Manager at LARA to find out more about environmental farm plans, funding for best management practices and more. Email Nichiporik at email@example.com.
The M.D. and the Town encourages residents to become involved. The Moose Lake Watershed Society will host a meeting October 22 from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Bonnyville and District Centennial Centre. There, residents will be able to find out more, voice their concerns, and be a part of the decision making, program implementation and development of projects. For more information and to keep up to date with the society, visit facebook.com/MooseLakeWatershed.