Carroll and Debi are planning a Very Special Program for October - date TBA. Watch your e-mails and this blog for details. In the meantime, enjoy excerpts from an article Debi found in the August-September 2006 issue of Cabin Life Magazine.
Loving Your Lake
10 Tips for keeping your water clean and healthy - forever
By Steve McComas
"How can you ensure that the lake you love remains beautiful and healthy for generations to come? You can show your love for your lake by incorporating these 10 tips into your lake life.
1. Buff up the buffer: A lakeside buffer is a growth of unmowed native vegetation from the shoreline extending to upland areas. Grass mowed down to the edge of the water is not a true buffer. Although it provides groundcover, it is not effective for filtering pollutants in runoff water, and it's poor wildlife habitat.
2. Let a fallen tree lie: Shallow water near the shores of lakes are vital nurseries for all fish species as well as a variety of birds and animals. Practically all fish species rely on nearshore habitat at some point in their life cycle. Deadfall - such as a fallen tree in the water - provides great habitat
3. Control exotics: If exotic species are present in your lake, they will be nearly impossible to eradicate. Is there a prevention program in your lake? Does your lake association mail out information on spotting and controlling exotics plants such as Eurasian watermilfoil?
4. Minimize mowed lawns: Rainwater and snowmelt runoff can deliver clean and pure water to a lake - and that's a good thing - or it can deliver fertilizer components and sediments - and those are bad things. Mimic Mother Nature's work if you can.
5. Avoid fertilizing: A native groundcover should thrive without fertilizer. However, if you do use fertilizer consider using phosphorus-free varieties.
6. Balance plants and algae: A battle is always raging in lakes between plants and algae. When plants win, the result is usually clear lake water. You can help the plants win.
7. Maintain that septic system: A malfunctioning septic tank system can contaminate nearby drinking water wells and deliver unwanted materials to the lake.
8. Catch and release: Why is fishing fun? One of the reasons is fish taste good. Releasing most large fish back to the lake helps maintain balance through the fish community.
9. Keep things in check: Sometimes just a simple visual checkup can help point you in the right direction. Example - check the runoff patterns on your lot (is it eroding, is there sheet flow, any problems?), check water running off roofs and gutters, check detergents and use non-phosphorous detergents if possible; properly store hazardous chemicals.
10. Monitor the lake health: Several benchmark tests can be used to gauge lake status and some things can be monitored just for fun. Daily journals of wildlife observations and lake phenomena can be handy references.
So keep a journal, let your shoreline grow au natural, release the lunkers and fertilize your garden with leftover bait minnows. All these activities can make your lake a little bit better. And if you and our neighbors all take care of your lake, it can be enjoyed by many, many generations to come."
To read the complete article click on this link: "Loving Your Lake"