On August 7, a small but dedicated group of young and old gathered, with eye droppers and tweezers to count small macroinvertebrates taken from Lake Waseosa water samples, in a program run by the District of Muskoka. Thank you again to Jessica Cohen and Marc Ruan for hosting! The variety (biodiversity) of these benthos, and the relationship between pollution 'tolerant' and pollution 'intolerant' bugs gives us one measure of how the lake water is evolving over time.
Full results are shown in the attachments below (the 2014 result is in the last column of the third page). However we may highlight the continued importance of monitoring our activities to preserve our water quality. This year our richness score (= biodiversity) fell to 13, slightly below the Muskoka average of 14. Additionally, our score for pollution-intolerant benthos fell from 28% to 17%, below the Muskoka average of 22%. Our Hilsenhoff index, a measure or organic pollution, is better (lower) than the Muskoka average, but still slightly worse than last year.
Continued vigilance is imporant! Particularly helpful are
1) ensure your septic system is working properly and is emptied as required
2) maintain a good vegetative buffer along the shoreline - don't mow grass down to the water's edge
3) don't use pesticides or fertilizers!
4) ensure no gasoline enters the water. The naturalist running the count this year emphasized how a small amount of gas can contaminate a very large volume of lake water, eliminating 'good' bugs.