When recreating on lakes this winter, please keep in mind these helpful tips:
Garbage On Ice
To reduce garbage and other debris left behind by visitors from freezing into ice on rivers and lakes, join forces with a few neighbours to create a “Citizen’s Patrol” to monitor ice and speak to visitors about garbage. You can also plan a shoreline clean-up early in the spring to help protect nesting shorebirds.
Take care when accessing a frozen lake for skating, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, or tobogganing. Use summer access trails, rather than direct paths over snow. Even through the covering of ice and snow, vegetation and bank structure can be damaged by winter traffic.
Cleaning Up After Your Dog
There are a number of great reasons to pick up after your dog not the least of which is that you, or your closest friends, may be the ones who “discover” the treasure while going for a nice ski/skate. In addition to the aesthetic reasons to clean up behind your pooch, there are very sound health and ecological reasons:
1. Feces contain pathogenic (disease causing) organisms that make people sick. Many of us rely on lakes as our drinking water source and children often ingest water while playing at the lake.
2. Excess nutrient loading, including phosphorous, from more dog traffic causes significant imbalances in a lakes natural ecosystem. This leads to degradation of lake water quality. Nutrients from fecal matter may lead to increased algae growth and can effect oxygen levels and other physical characteristics that fish and other animals need to survive.
3. As more of us use the lake, and take our dogs with us, the fragile ecological balance and public health are further jeopardized. We need to reduce the risks to ensure the health of our lakes.
We need to be careful and responsible to ensure that the lakes that we love remain lovely!
Originally printed in BCLSS Newsletter Volume15:3, November 2012.
Sources: Brian Nickurak and On the Living Edge by Kipp and Callaway