This lake plan was prepared for the Lake Waseosa Ratepayers' Association, which is responsible for the social and communal activities of the residents, and which contributes to the well-being of Lakes Waseosa, Ripple, Palette, and Jessop and the communities that surround these lakes.
The recommendations contained in this lake plan are the result of information gathered from a variety of sources, including a community-based questionnaire and survey of residents. Residents had the opportunity to express their views directly to the Board of the Lake Waseosa Ratepayers' Association as well as in two annual general meetings and a special meeting called to discuss a draft report.
Prior to the preparation of this plan, the Association engaged the services of Dr. Karl Schiefer, a noted water quality expert and limnologist to conduct a study of the water quality of Lake Waseosa (see attachment).
The Lake Waseosa Lake Plan has been prepared for the purpose of land use planning and ongoing stewardship of the lakes. It will be continuously reviewed and updated as new information is obtained from the residents, the Town of Huntsville and the District of Muskoka.
Purpose of the Lake Plan
- To determine the present and future needs and desires of the residents of the lakes
- To describe current use of the lakes
- To identify any future plans of the residents
- To determine the capacity of the lakes with respect to future development
- To recommend a series of actions geared toward the preservation of the lakes and the local environment.
The members of the Lake Waseosa Ratepayers' Association wish to protect and preserve the watershed and surrounding natural environment of Waseosa, Ripple, Palette and Jessop Lakes, for future generations to come.
An Overview of the Concerns that Led to the Development of this Lake Plan
For many years the Muskoka area has attracted people because of its natural environment, which provided for a great number of recreational and social activities. Once this natural environment was opened to residential and commercial development, increased development threatened to adversely affect the long-term viability of the use of the lakes.
The four lakes covered by this lake plan are all relatively small. For the past 50 years, because of better roads and transportation facilities, these lakes have seen substantial residential development both on a seasonal and permanent basis by people seeking recreational enjoyment in the beautiful Muskoka setting. The absence of any commercial development (other than a summer camp for diabetic children) and of any marinas or hotels enhances the quiet and undisturbed natural beauty of the lakes and contributes to the overall enjoyment by the residents of the lakes.
Residents have become increasingly concerned about the extent and nature of shoreline development, because it could have negative impacts on the natural ecosystems and the water quality of the lakes and as a result reduce the future enjoyment of the environment by all residents. We believe that it is our responsibility to protect the quality of life on the lakes for future generations and to protect the lakes from unnecessary and unwarranted lakeshore development, which would negatively affect the lakes and their watershed as well as the natural environment more generally.
Because of concerns about relatively high levels of phosphorus, Lake Waseosa has been closed to further residential development (except for legally registered lots) since 1980. The concerns of the residents have further been strengthened by the recent serious restrictions that have been placed on Sturgeon Bay in the Township of the Archipelago in the District of Parry Sound and on Three Mile Lake in the Township of Muskoka Lakes in the District of Muskoka by government authorities including local health units. Because of large toxic algae blooms, restrictions were placed on the use of those water bodies prohibiting the use of the water for any domestic or recreational purpose.
Principles of Lake Plan
This lake plan covers four lakes: Waseosa, Palette, Ripple and Jessop. Residents of all four lakes are represented in the Lake Waseosa Ratepayers' Association. Aside from the fact that these four lakes have, historically, been linked through this Association, they are linked physically. Jessop Lakes drains into Lake Waseosa through a marsh while Lake Waseosa drains into Ripple Lake through a small non-navigable stream, which is controlled by a manual dam. Palette Lake also drains separately into Ripple Lake, which then drains into the Little East River and then on to Arrowhead Lake. A fifth lake, Clark Lake drains into Lake Waseosa through a marsh, but because the residents of Clark Lake have not chosen to be represented by the Lake Wasoesa Ratepayers' Association, Clark Lake is not included in this plan.
In order to protect the environment, the residents of these lakes have undertaken an approach that would identify and protect the surrounding ecosystems in an attempt to ensure the long-term health of the lakes. The principles and goals guiding this exercise include the following:
1. To protect the quality of life on our lakes
2. To preserve the unique characteristics of the lakes
3. To protect the natural and physical beauty of the lakes and their surrounding areas
4. To enhance the recreational and social value of the lakes and their surrounding areas
5. To make recommendations to the appropriate government authorities both local and regional to ensure that the health of the lakes will be preserved and maintained over the long term
6. To educate the residents on how to protect water quality.
7. To maintain an ongoing stewardship program of a voluntary nature in order to monitor the water quality of the lakes and to organize a testing and reporting procedure to support this monitoring program
8. To submit this Plan to the Town of Huntsville in order that it become part of the Official Plan of the Town of Huntsville for the purpose of ensuring that its zoning and building by-laws and land use regulations will be applied in such a manner that will protect the quality of the lakes and their surrounding areas.