| Mar 31, 2005

Feature article, March 31, 2005

Feature article March 31 2005

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Survey reveals water quality is primary concern for those living in the vicinity of Bobs and Crow Lake

by Jeff Green

As it continues to work on a comprehensive lake plan, The Bobs and Crow Lake Association have released the result of a large survey they undertook last summer to determine peoples attitudes towards lake planning issues.

Twelve hundred surveys were hand delivered to summer residents, local business owners, farmers, and anyone living on or away from the lakes that has a connection, an interest in Bobs and Crow Lake. A large number of people, 549, responded, and the first question of the survey was designed to determine how those people who responded are connected to the Lake. Over 72% of the respondents said they reside on the lake seasonally; 15% described themselves as principal residents, and 8% as owners of vacant land.


When asked, the number one concern people had was with water quality in the lake, and they were also concerned about water quantity, peace and quiet, and shoreline degradation.

In terms of proposed measures to enhance water quality, the number response was to encourage septic re-inspection on waterfront properties.

These results from the survey reinforce what we had already been thinking, said Association President Susan OBrien-MacTaggart, and we are fortunate; it is my understanding that South Frontenac will be doing some re-inspections in the Green Bay area of Bobs Lake this summer.

Along with compiling the survey, the association has been gathering water quality data that has been collected over the years, along with all the historical information they can find about the two lakes, for a major report.

In general, the water quality is good, but there are sensitive areas that are of concern, MacTaggart said. Bobs and Crow Lakes make up a massive body of water, which is located in three different townships, and is accessed by roads from many directions. As we move forward with our Lake Plan, we want to make it clear it is not a project for the Bobs and Crow Lake Association; it is a plan for everybody, from the farmer to the full-time resident, to the commercial owner.

The survey, as large as it is, expresses the viewpoint one might expect from an existing lakefront population. They would like to see the lake stay basically as it is; are wary of but not necessarily opposed to development; and about 50% of respondents wanted to either limit or control growth.

On a question about what people valued about the lakes, the number two response behind water quality was peace and tranquility. It ranked higher than the natural environment as a value.

We know there will be development pressures on Bobs and Crow Lakes, MacTaggart said, There is vacant land on the shoreline, and we are aware of the value of waterfront property. The survey, along with all the information we are gathering for our lake plan, and the Official Plans of the townships, will all be used to make sure development is in the long term interest of the lake itself, and the people who have a vested interest in it.

The survey respondents also expressed concerns about maintaining the natural shoreline along the lakes, showed disdain for Personal Watercraft and large boats, and expressed a desire for increased fish stocking programs.

The Bobs and Crow Lake Association will be holding a Lake Plan Workshop on April 16 for commercial camp owners, and will be holding one later in the spring for general stakeholders. The Association AGM on July 31 will feature a large information tent on the grounds by the Glendower Hall. The Lake plan exercise will continue until 2006, when the plan is slated for completion.

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