Water quality testing (clarity and temperature) was conducted between May and November, including the annual spring phosphorus test, and results were submitted to the Ministry of the Environment Dorset Centre for analysis. This information allows for the early detection of changes in the nutrient status and/or the water clarity of the lake due to the impacts of shoreline development, climate change and other stresses.
Wood Lake is an odd year lake so phosphorus tests are done in odd-numbered years, i.e. 2009, 2011, 2013 etc. A sample is taken in May because this is when the water will be most representative of the phosphorus levels in the lake from the spring turnover. Unfortunately, in 2011 we experienced a set back when Wood Lake was found to have ‘over-the-threshold’ phosphorus levels. The threshold phosphorus level for Wood Lake is 7.1 ug/L. The District Municipality of Muskoka and MOE determine this number as being the natural background level of phosphorus concentrations (e.g. if no development was present) plus 50%. If Wood Lake is below the acceptable phosphorus level for 3 consecutive test years then the lake will be removed from the ‘over-the-threshold’ list.
Luckily, the water test for 2013 came in under the threshold at approximately 6 ug/L! This is great news, and hopefully we can all keep up the responsible cottaging for the next test years (2015 and 2017) to get Wood Lake removed from the ‘over-the-threshold’ list. See the “Wood Lake Guardian” tip sheet here.
For the report see www.muskokawaterweb.ca/images/lds/Wood.pdf