Sharbot Lake Property Owners Association
Winter Newsletter 2019
By Ken Waller
Hi everyone. It’s late January and some of you are already fed up with winter and longing for spring. Others are
happy with the weather and look forward to more cold and snow and the activities they support. Since we can’t
control the weather, we might as well sit back and accept what comes.
Much has happened around Sharbot Lake since our last newsletter. We had another productive annual general
meeting in late July and the dinner that followed, although rather sparsely attended, was thoroughly enjoyed by
those who did. The silent auction was again successful and resulted in a net profit for the evening of over $700
that will be used for SLPOA activities and projects.
Over the summer and into the fall SLPOA (specifically Guy MacLeod) has continued its extensive water testing
in support of Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority and Water Rangers providing supplementary data for
their data bases. Guy describes the program and summarizes the test results in his informative article in this
In late September, Mother Nature decided to flex her muscles and delivered a damaging microburst that roared
down Tryon Road, crossed Road 38 then whipped across the lower end of Hawley Bay to wreak havoc on
properties on Polar Bear Lane then crossed Shibley only to bear down on Coutlee Point Lane. I felt the effects
as it seemed to pass right over our place and we lost close to 100 trees, some over 20” in diameter. Luckily
damage to buildings was very limited on Polar Bear. Coutlee Point Lane was another story. Guy MacLeod’s
article will give you a good first-hand description of the extensive damage that resulted there. Thankfully, despite
the severity of the microburst, no one was hurt.
In October, something we have been strongly advocating came to fruition: mandatory septic re-inspection. In
this newsletter you’ll find a detailed article describing who is affected and what’s involved.
Shortly after you receive this newsletter will be the major winter celebration within Central Frontenac: The 2019
Heritage Festival. Mike Proctor has provided an interesting article outlining some of the activities that have been
planned. Put your book down, turn off your computer, dress in your woollies and go out and have fun
It has been an unfortunate realization that the new provincial government has shown a strong preference to
business development over concerns for the environment. One major development that could have significant
environmental impact is Bill 66, formally named The Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act. Barb McIsaac has
provided a detailed article on the bill and its implications regarding safe drinking water. SLPOA has formally
responded to the bill via a feedback website and by e-mails sent to Premier Ford, our MPP Randy Hillier and the
leaders of the other three parties.
In preparation for spring, SLPOA has constructed four loon nesting platforms. Meant to provide safe nesting
sites, one will be placed at the west end of the West Basin, one at the south end of Hawley Bay, one at the south
end of McCrimmon Bay and one on Elbow Lake (replacing an aging existing platform). Please give these sites
a wide berth in the months of April to June so that we hopefully can increase the success rate of baby loons.
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This year marks another SLPOA-election year where all positions of your executive are on the ballot. This is your
association and we need everyone’s help so please consider running for one of the open positions. There will
be more to come in the spring newsletter but please start thinking about it now.
That’s it for now. Enjoy this newsletter and don’t forget to like us on Facebook keep watching our website
(www.slpoa.ca ). Have a great winter and stay warm.
Please remember to SUPPORT your local businesses!
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September 21st “Downburst”
By Guy MacLeod
While Environment Canada is still investigating and reviewing data, their current classification of “downburst”
defines what hit Tyron Road, Polar Bear Lane, Lane Island and Coutlee Point Lane on Friday September 21,
2018 at approximately 5:50 p.m. Around the same time, six (6) confirmed tornados hit the Ottawa-Gatineau area
leaving a massive trail of destruction.
By definition: A downburst is created by a column of sinking air that after hitting ground level, spreads out in all
directions and is capable of producing damaging straight-line winds of over 240 km/h (150 mph), often producing
damage similar to, but distinguishable from, that caused by tornadoes.
In any case, the damage was extensive. Boats destroyed, cars crushed, roofs compromised, skylights smashed,
hydro poles & stacks destroyed. While no official number exists, the damages resulted in hundreds of thousands
of dollars in insurance claims.
On the positive side, no one was injured by the storm or during the extensive cleanup which followed!
Thanks and many more THANKS go out to the people, friends, neighbors’ of Sharbot Lake and Ontario Hydro
crews who rallied the morning of Sept 22 and worked hours upon hours to clear roadways, driveways and
residences of debris, trunk’s & limbs from over 200+ fallen trees. And note, the cleanup is not finished yet!
Below is the Team of folks who worked endless hours to clear Coutlee Point Lane. Special THANKS to Joan &
Rudy Hollywood and their tractor.
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Martha & Guy MacLeod’s Boat & Lift Tree’s and limbs on Coutlee Point Cottage
A projectile that has Environment Canada investigating & reviewing data
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Polar Bear Lane the Morning after the Down Burst
Photo from Ken Waller
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Polar Bear Lane after “some” clean up
Photo from Ken Waller
Sharbot Lake Downburst
There were many articles describing the downburst and damage caused by the storm on September 21, 2018.
In case you missed them, here are a few links:
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Sound and Light Pollution
By Barbara Fradkin
We’ve all experienced the neighbors across the lake who blast their radio on their dock, unaware of (or maybe not caring)
how well sound travels across water. Or perhaps we’ve been bothered by another neighbor’s blinding porch light just outside
our bedroom window.
Sound and light pollution are a fact of life in the city, disrupting sleep and peace of mind, but they can be a serious problem
to plants and animals in the wild as well. Artificial light at night confuses plants and animals by making them think it’s
daytime. Weeds continue to produce photosynthesis and grow, both in water and on land. All plants, including trees, need
periods of darkness to produce a key chemical that regulates their growth, bloom and germination cycle, and dormancy.
Animals also have a daily and seasonal cycle that is confused and disrupted by night light. Predators and bugs come out
because they think it’s dusk or dawn. Migrating birds, turtles, and other species that are guided by light become disoriented.
Those little solar garden lights are very popular, but they can be very destructive. Similarly, bright porch and deck lights are
becoming more and more common.
Modern LED lights with a strong blue light component are the worst offenders. In trying to balance our needs with those of
nature around us, consider the following:
Limit the number and wattage of outdoor lights.
Use timers and motion sensors on porch lights so they’re only triggered when needed.
Use lights with a cap on top to direct the light downward.
Use lights with orange or red filters rather than blue or white.
Sound pollution is disruptive to humans, and most of us who live year-round or seasonally in the country know the peace
and calming effect of quiet. It’s one of the great joys of country living. Noise drives up blood pressure and heart rate, and
research clearly shows the mental and physical health benefits of quiet.
Animals experience the same stress but are also affected in less obvious ways. They often have much more acute hearing,
and what is annoying to us can be frightening or painful to them. They rely on subtle sounds to communicate, evaluate their
surroundings, detect danger and hear mating calls – subtle sounds that may be drowned out by our noise, interfering with
mating and feeding their young and even putting them at risk of death by predators.
Some of our activities make very loud noise – e.g. chain saws, lawn mowers and other gardening machines, outdoor radios,
construction equipment, boats, and fireworks. Some of it is temporary and necessary, but not all. Consider wearing
earphones while listening to music, or not taking that last, unnecessary spin around the lake in your jet ski. Use a rake
instead of a leaf blower.
Fireworks are becoming increasingly popular and now readily available in stores. It seems every occasion is an excuse to
set off fireworks somewhere on the lake, and the sharp, shocking sound carries. As every dog owner knows, it’s terrifying
to animals. Dogs have been known to bolt and run miles from home. In the wild, animals flee onto roads and birds fly into
buildings. The panic can be so disorienting that adults can’t locate their nests and their babies die. Loons and other birds
will abandon their nests. Spring (May and June) is the prime time for nesting and raising young, so that is the most
There are now silent fireworks that may be a promising alternative. Limiting or avoiding personal fireworks altogether is
best, but here are some other helpful guidelines to mitigate the risk.
Less really is better when it comes to light and sound. Every small effort can make a difference, contributing to the enjoyment
and relaxation of everyone around, human and animal.
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Water Testing for 2018 and Beyond!
By Guy MacLeod
Your SLPOA Team, led by myself, continued water testing for 2018. Our six (6) locations were tested monthly
from May to September, and the data submitted to Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority (MVCA) and Water
Rangers Application. The data and trends can be viewed on the Water Rangers web site noted in the link below.
The same data is added to that collected by the MVCA and reviewed by their subject-matter experts which is
officially summarized and reported every 3rd year. Our SLPOA collected data helps verify trends and patterns
more accurately. One new test added this year was for “Total Chlorine-TCl” which is a greenish-yellow, highly
reactive and diatomic gas that is almost never found free in nature by itself. Most Chlorine is commercially
produced and is most widely known for being used within compounds to purify water and create cleaning
Summary of our Tests (‘Full’ indicates we do every test, at every site)
Test Textual Units
Date, Time, Location, Weather ºC Full
Conductivity (meter) ºC Full
Water Temp (meter) Meters Full
Air Temp (thermo) mg/L Full
Secchi Depth (disk) ppm Full
Dissolved Oxygen (Kit) Full
TCI Chlorine (strip) ph Full
pH (strip) mg/L Full
Alk Alkalinity (strip) mg/L Full
TH Hardness (strip) Full
Also new this year, we added testing for Total Phosphorus. This required acquisition of some new equipment
and training on the collection, processing, storage and submission of our samples. We chose two (2) sites that
are tested yearly by the MVCA so to “fill in the gaps”. And by that we mean, adding monthly data which will help
subject-matter experts understand trends more quickly! Phosphorus is one of the major contributors to our
growing algae blooms!
In summary, in my opinion as a Citizen Scientist, Sharbot Lake continues to be an overall healthy lake. However,
the trending data does show the impacts of years of carelessness with septic systems, farming, waste disposal,
water treatment plants, shoreline destruction and overuse of phosphates. But please note, my views are shared
and supported through data, research and analysis by MVCA experts alike.
Looking forward – we need your help in 2019!
If you have read the article titled “September 21 Downburst”, you will know that I lost my boat & lift to the
downburst! And while the insurance will replace them, it won’t be until the summer that they will be in my
possession. SO, we are looking for a volunteer (or volunteers) to take over the water testing for 2019. It
requires a boat and approximately 4 hours each month to complete the testing and input the data. It’s a great
way to see the Lake and be part of the SLPOA. Please don’t be shy! We need your help. The ice will be going
out in April!
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Frontenac Heritage Festival
Feb. 15 – 17, 2019
By Mike Procter
This year marks the 13th year of the Frontenac Heritage Festival in Central Frontenac. The Festival Committee
has been busy the past few months putting together a line up of events that have something to please everyone
and help us to enjoy our great Canadian winter.
The Official Opening takes place at the Sharbot Lake Legion on Friday, Feb. 15 with a baked chicken dinner.
Saturday starts with the popular Lions Club breakfast at OSO hall, then spend the rest of the day in Arden at the
Community Centre with Empty Bowls, Historical Society, Wood Carving and games outside. The Kennebec
Lake Association will sponsor activities on the lake near the bridge. Enjoy the music of Shawn McCullough and
Wade Foster at the Sharbot Lake Country Inn on Saturday evening.
Sunday events include the Polar Plunge in Sharbot Lake followed by a chili lunch at the Legion. The Child
Centre will sponsor a children’s day of games and food at the Centre while Bob and Mike serve up free pioneer
food at the Railway Heritage Park. New this year, Bill MacDonald will be demonstrating logging techniques in a
hands-on display sure to be of interest to young and old. A new game called Crokicurl that combines crokinole
and curling will be held at the Sharbot Lake ball field. Come on out and try this new and exciting game.
Also on Sunday the Matson Family will offer a display of old time logging in Arden. This was a very popular
event last year, one you’ll want to see.
Again, Bob Miller and Mike Procter will be holding an overnight winter camp in the Sharbot Lake area, to be held
when weather is good, but space is limited so contact Mike at 613-279-2572 ASAP if you are interested. Look
for “Frontenac Heritage Festival” on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/FrontenacHeritageFestival/
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Proposed Bill 66 and its Impact
By Barb McIsaac
Among recent legislative initiatives of the Ontario Government, ostensibly aimed at rolling back “red tape”, is Bill
66 – The Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act. If passed, this legislation would, among other things, amend
the Planning Act to permit municipalities to pass open-for-business bylaws that would allow developers to bypass
a number of existing environmental protections, including section 39 of the Clean Water Act (CWA).
The CWA, which sets out an award-winning drinking water protection framework, was passed in 2006 with the
aim of protecting existing and future sources of drinking water. It was passed after the Walkerton tragedy that
claimed seven lives due to drinking water contamination. The CWA requires local communities to look at existing
and potential threats to their drinking water supplies and implement actions to reduce or eliminate significant
The CWA sets out a basic framework for the establishment of community-based groups, called Source
Protection Committees, that are intended to represent a cross section of sectors and geographic areas
within Conservation Authority boundaries. There are 19 such groups across Ontario, including Mississippi-
Rideau (combined) and Cataraqui.
The CWA is intended to ensure that communities protect their drinking water supplies by developing watershed-
based source-protection plans that are locally driven through consultation and collaboration with these local
protection committees. Planning decisions must take into account these plans.
Bill 66 would allow municipalities to bypass compliance with Source Protection Plans by passing an “open-for-
business planning by-law”.
Clean drinking water is essential to the prosperity of our province and our communities. Ontario is lucky to have
some of the safest and cleanest drinking water in the world. The provisions of Bill C66 that allow municipalities
to bypass the protections in the CWA threaten our drinking water, and could invite another well poisoning disaster
like Walkerton. For more information on the CWA see the Ontario Government website which explains the
protections of the CWA and provides links to the activities of the various local authorities, including those of
Mississippi-Rideau and Cataraqui.
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By Guy MacLeod
(with portions reprinted from Local newspapers)
The double-crested cormorant is not the most loved of birds. With its harsh, guttural call, rotten smell and acidic
excrement, the birds are taking over Ontario Lakes & stream.
Large, black and with orange skin near their beaks, cormorants can often be seen in their distinctive pose, with
wings extended, as they sit on the shoreline. The fish-eating birds are notorious for destroying the trees in which
Now, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) has submitted a proposal to classify the
double-crested cormorant as a game bird and create a hunting season between March 15 and Dec. 31. The
province said the proposal was crafted in response to concerns that “cormorants have been detrimental to fish
populations, island forest habitats, other species and aesthetics.” The proposal would allow hunters to kill and
dispose of up to 50 cormorants a day without having to consume them, as they would other game birds.
Cormorants are considered inedible for humans.
Natural Resources Minister John Yakabuski said the ministry has begun consultations on the proposal and “will
listen to the people” before finalizing any policy changes. The hunt would be implemented through regulations
For additional facts and information, please see the link below.
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Landscaping Tips for Healthy Lakes
By Barbara Fradkin
During these dreary winter days, our thoughts turn to the joys of spring and summer on the lake. If you’re like
me, February has you dreaming of ways to improve your property. New dock, new windows, maybe a boat
rack… The list is endless. Now is the time to think about enhancing your property to reduce runoff and erosion
and improve the health of your waterfront and the lake in general.
It doesn’t have to be a major landscape re-design. Every little bit helps, and it can be done incrementally over
months or years. There are two key principles to keep in mind:
Create barriers that slow or stop the flow of rainwater into the lake.
Limit nutrients and use native plants and natural soil enhancements like leaf mould instead of fertilizer
and ornamental plants.
Nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus are present in the air and soil, and are flushed into the lake by spring
melt and summer rains. Weeds and algae flourish in warm, nutrient-rich water, so one of the key ways to control
weed growth is to reduce or slow down runoff so that the plants and soil can absorb the nutrients before they hit
Hard surfaces like roofs, paved driveways, and stone patios, steps, and paths increase runoff because they do
not allow absorption. They also retain heat, which warms up the water running off them into the lake. Decks,
gravel, wood chips, or other porous materials are preferable.
Install eavestroughing combined with rain barrels or stone rain baskets at the downspout to capture roof
runoff and also provide water for gardens.
Avoid straight pathways to the lake; create curves and switchbacks, and use gravel combined with stop
logs as steps.
Try to develop only 25% of the shoreline for docks, boats and swimming, and leave a ribbon of natural
shrubs and native plants elsewhere.
Shallow-water weeds like lily pads also help absorb nutrients.
Grass is a hard surface, especially on the slope down to the water’s edge. Its roots are too short to absorb much
runoff. But with a careful layout of grassy areas interspersed with trees, and a couple of rain gardens, you can
still have a beautiful landscape with the added enjoyment of birds and butterflies. Rain gardens are created by
digging out oval or rectangular depressions at right angles to the slope, filling them with an absorbent mix of
sand, clay, and loam, and planting them with native wildflowers and shrubs (see links). Some useful tips:
Stagger them down the slope from cottage area to shoreline, interspersed with grassy areas, so that
runoff has no straight path down. The effect is also pretty.
Use plants that grow at least two feet high. Canada Geese love grassy areas, but won’t settle if shrubs
block their sightlines.
Ticks prefer tall grasses, but apparently don’t like mint, lavender, potentilla or blueberry bushes.
If the slope is steep, place a ribbon of river stone around the garden to help absorb runoff, especially
while the plants are small.
Choose plants that don’t mind getting wet.
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A well-functioning septic and grey-water system is the first step towards reducing nitrogen and phosphorus runoff
into the lake. But soaps, detergents, TSP, fertilizers, and animal-based compost all contain nitrogen and
phosphorus as well.
Avoid bathing in or near the lake (including the dog).
Don’t use TSP on outdoor surfaces like siding, decks, or docks. Use more environmentally friendly
products instead, available in hardware stores.
Don’t use the dishwater to water the garden.
As natural filters and absorbents of nutrients, plants are an essential part of a healthy landscape. However, grass
and ornamental plants often need extra fertilizer and watering, whereas native plants are adapted to the existing
soil and rain conditions. They usually have longer roots that hold the soil better and absorb more nutrients as
Study the shrubs and wildflowers that grow naturally in your area and note whether they prefer sun or shade,
and wet or dry soil. Here are a couple of websites on native plants recommended by Mississippi Valley
Conservation Authority staff:
Here are some nurseries specializing in native plants, also suggested by MVCA:
If enrichment is needed to improve thin, sandy soil, do NOT use commercial fertilizers or composts such as
sheep/ cow/ mushroom compost. Instead, mix leaf mold into the existing soil. Leaf mold is easy to create by
raking leaves into a pile or wire bin, wetting it, and leaving it to sit for a few months. Running it over with a
lawnmower first speeds up the process. Mulching your leaves into your lawn with the lawnmower works well as
a soil conditioner, too, and as a bonus, may reduce tick habitats.
Trees are a crucial component of any plan. Not only do they provide shade that cools the soil and the water,
which is important to discourage weed growth, but also their roots stabilize the soil and absorb a lot of runoff.
During these cold, winter days, draw a diagram of your property and note the slope and the present landscaping.
Consider how you might improve it with a couple of majestic trees and rain gardens, a weaving path, gravel or
woodchip surfaces, and trees or clusters of low-lying, shrubs along the shore. You might find that the result is
not only prettier and more interesting to look at, but attracts more birds and butterflies. So dream on!
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Winter Hiking / Snowshoeing
By Joan Hollywood
Lack of snow has not stopped a hearty group of Sharbot Lake folk from enjoying the trails along the lake shore
on Sunday afternoons. We hike starting at 1 PM and time and distances vary each week. Trails are color coded
and marked. And when there is enough snow, we will snowshoe again! For more information contact Rudy at
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Contact Chief Robinson
Central Frontenac Fire Rescue
613-279-2935 ext 359
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By Ken Waller
After a 10 year struggle, we in Central Frontenac finally have a mandatory septic system re-inspection program.
While it is not all-inclusive (yet) it is a very good start. At its 9 Oct 2018 meeting, Township Council unanimously
passed “BY-LAW #2018-49 Being a By-law to implement a Mandatory Sewage Re-inspection Program”
While we would have liked a by-law that applied to all properties of Central Frontenac, this by-law is a good
beginning in that it looks at the properties of the lakes most at risk: Crow Lake, Eagle Lake, Hungry Lake, the
West Basin of Sharbot Lake and Silver Lake.
Important points of the by-law include:
The inspections will be carried out by the Mississippi Rideau Septic Services Office (MRSSO), the same
agency that carried out the voluntary inspections in years past;
Inspections will occur between May and Oct (or later, weather permitting);
Priority will be placed on inspecting those properties for which there is no record of a septic-system
installation or the septic system on record was installed more than 10 years ago
A letter will be sent out to the ratepayers of the Township of Central Frontenac that will inform them of:
The importance of the program;
The scope of work that will be completed;
Follow up options for those sewage systems that exhibit deficiencies;
Any other information deemed appropriate by the Township and/or Rideau Valley
A letter will be sent by Rideau Valley Conservation Authority to the property owner in the targeted area
for them to call the consultant and book an inspection. An adult must be present for the inspection;
A fee of $100 will be assessed on each property;
Virtually all classes of septic systems, from privies to grey-water to septic beds to holding tanks, will be
All affected properties will be inspected in 2019
While this by-law only pertains to properties on the selected lakes, it is Council’s stated intent that all properties
within the Township will eventually be inspected and re-inspected every 10 years
This by-law is a significant improvement on the by-law passed in 2017 that was promptly rescinded.
Rest assured that your executive will continue to monitor this issue until a by-law applicable to all properties is
in place. We are confident that the results of the inspections on the at-risk lakes will clearly outline the need for
inspection of all properties.
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By Joyce Waller, Treasurer/Membership Coordinator
A big thank-you to our Membership Reps and those who sent in their membership over the summer. With our
last count we have 200 confirmed members. We are always looking for Reps to collect dues so if you would be
willing to be a rep we would appreciate your help.
To make it easier to renew your membership we have provided an option for payment on the SLPOA website at
http://www.slpoa.ca/MembershipForm.php . All you need to do is fill in the form and you have the option of paying
with a credit card or a PayPal account if you have one. Please note that a PayPal account is not needed to use
this payment system.
A membership form is included below if you wish to send your membership in by mail. If you are receiving this
Newsletter by mail it means that we do not have a current e-mail address for you. By sending the newsletter out
via e-mail, we are able to keep our costs down. In an effort to save costs please send me an e-mail at
email@example.com with the email address that you would prefer that we use, so that we can add you to
If you have any questions please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
SLPOA Membership Form
Please go online at www.slpoa.ca and select the membership tag on the left, select one or two years and the
pay with your credit card or PayPal account.
OR please fill out and send to: SLPOA, P.O. Box 333, Sharbot Lake, Ontario, K0H 2P0
Please print clearly and have cheques made payable to “SLPOA”. Annual Fees are $20.00.
Lake Location: __________________________________________________________________________
(Use your 911 designation. e.g 1077A Polar Bear Lane)
Lake Phone #: (613) 279-_______________ E-mail _______________________________________
Permanent Address: _____________________________________________________________________
City: __________________________ Province / State: ________________________________
Postal Code/ZIP __________________________ Home Phone #: (_____) ______________________
By becoming a member I acknowledge that the association will use my email address to provide information
relative to the association and sessions of interest.
(Note: Our membership year goes from July 1st to June 30th of the following year)
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