Most of you have probably not seen Blue-Green Algae or know its serious impact on a lake, especially one of our size and depth. These outbreaks typically occur during hot summer weather in shallow, slow moving water. On McKay Lake, I have witnessed 2 outbreaks in the last 20 years. They occur in the shallow northern bays that receive full southern exposure and tend to heat up faster than the balance of the lake. The lower the water level and the higher the water temperatures, the more susceptible the lake is to the formation of Blue-Green Algae. Even though there was a call made, there is no record of these outbreaks and they were not tracked by any ministry office, at the time.
McKay Lake representatives have joined a Muskoka Watershed sub-committee specifically focusing on the communication, reporting and data collection of Blue-Green Algae outbreaks within the Muskoka Watershed to ensure this doesn’t happen again. This initiative directly affects McKay Lake due to our past outbreaks and hopefully the resulting process will be used for generations of cottagers on this lake. Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available!
Important Note: If you suspect an algae bloom it is considered a toxic spill by the MOE and should be reported immediately to the ‘Spills Action Centre’ at 1-800-268-6060. Our local representative is Brenda Armstrong.
If you have any questions or want to verify a bloom or the reporting process, please contact me, Karen Maxwell at firstname.lastname@example.org