Water Quality of Big Cedar Lake

The quality of the water of Big Cedar Lake is of vital importance to all of us. Thanks to Barry Hooper who has been doing sampling of Big Cedar Lake for Water Clarity and Phosphorus since 2000 for Ontario’s Ministry of Environment’s Lake Partner program. KLSA publishes the results.

For several years some of our lake residents have taken water quality samples as part of the surveys done by the Kawartha Lakes Stewards Association. Rudi Harner has reported his findings for E-coli and they become part of the annual report of the KLSA which is published in detail on their website. The Secchi Disc testing and the Phosphorous testing are done by Barry Hooper who has been doing this for well over a decade, through the Lake Partners programme with the Ministry of the Environment in Dorset. Barry Hooper is the person who took up the question of weeds clogging Big Cedar Lake with KLSA a couple of years back. This resulted in Dr Eric Sager of Trent getting involved with Eurasian milfoil.

Lake Health Assessment Report for Big Cedar Lake 2017

The Big Cedar lake health assessment report was prepared by Diane and Ralph Trauzzi for the BCLSA meeting held on Sunday May 21, 2017. You may read/download a copy here.

Barry Hooper’s Report 2013

The following lake health assessment report was prepared by Barry Hooper for NORKLA meeting held on September 28th 2013.

Water Clarity:
Water clarity for 2012 was measured at 6.2 metres. The average for the last 13 years was 4.9 metres. Year to year variation of clarity measurements were minimal, however clarity has increased over time. The estimate for 2013 should be approximately 5.7 metres.

The average total phosphorus measurement for 2012 was 5.0 µg/L. The average phosphorus measurement over the last 11 years is 6.1 µg/L.

The average calcium concentration measurement for the years 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2012 was 25.2 mg/L. The 2012 calcium measurement was 25.8 mg/L, well above the 2.5 mg/L that is necessary to support daphnia, clams, crayfish and other living organisms.

Eurasian Water Milfoil:
Eurasian water milfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum), an invasive species was identified as a major problem in 2010. Information from scientific studies indicated that the main predator for the milfoil was the milfoil weevil (Euhrychiopsis lecontei). In the summer of 2011, Big Cedar Lake undertook a multi-year program to use weevils as a control for the spread and an aid in the suppression of the milfoil. Weevils were already present in the lake, however in insufficient numbers to have any significant effect on the spread of the milfoil. Weevils have been introduced into the lake at approximately 10 private and project sites for the past 3 years with encouraging results. Approximately 75 out of 127 owners have contributed $350.00 per year for the project, a reasonable but not optimum participation.

General Comments:
Big Cedar Lake is a spring fed lake controlled by beaver dams, flowing into Eels Creek. The water level for 2013 has remained high, down approximately 6 inches for August.

Zebra Mussels, having no known predator, invaded the lake in 2005. There was no noticeable increase in numbers this year.

An observation, that fishing for Bass and Pickerel decreased for 2013.

Phosphorus, secchi clarity and E.coli results for 2012

Download/view Excel sheet: Phosphorus Clarity data 2012

Phosphorus, secchi clarity and E.coli results for 2011

Download/view Excel sheet: Phosphorus Clarity data 2011

Here are the results from 2000 to 2010.

Water Clarity (Secchi Disk) Data

Water Quality of Big Cedar Lake

Total Phosphorus Data

phosphorus data

Previous results

For those interested here are some of the summaries of the testing. Readers are encouraged to read the full report of the KLSA for each year to learn how the measurements are taken and reported. The information shown here is a guide only and has not been interpreted. Our thanks to Rudi and Barry for all of their efforts in completing the sampling each year.



Phosphorous Readings (2010)

Secchi Disk Depth Readings (An indication of clarity of the lake) (2010)

New Photos
Check out the latest photos of Big Cedar taken from the air! Also, 2015 PaddleFest. See Gallery
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