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 started the sampling of Big Cedar Lake for Water Clarity, Phosphorus, and Calcium in 2000 for Ontario’s Ministry of Environment’s Lake Partner program, and to Diane and Ralph Trauzzi who have taken over this testing since 2016. The Kawartha Lakes Stewards Association (KLSA) publishes the results in their annual report.

In 2017, Diane and Ralph Trauzzi agreed to assist with additional in-depth water testing being proposed by the North Kawartha Lake Association (NORKLA) and being performed by Dr. Paul Frost of Trent University and his students. In the years that we have been doing this additional testing, Big Cedar Lake has shown to have excellent water quality in all respects.

For several years some of our lake residents have also taken e-Coli water quality samples. Rudi Harner volunteered to perform E-coli tests through KLSA and those tests become part of the annual report of the KLSA which is published in magazine form, and is also found in detail on their website. This e-Coli testing was taken over by Diane and Ralph Trauzzi in 2017 and the testing was expanded to test other sites around the lake. The results of these tests have all generally been very good, close to (or at) zero cfu/100ml (drinking water has a reading of zero cfu/100ml).

 

Water testing results for 2022

Diane and Ralph Trauzzi continue to regularly test the Big Cedar Lake Health.
See the 2022 Big Cedar Lake Water Testing Results – This publication includes Lake Partner Program data (Phosphorus, Calcium, Water Clarity), as well as e-Coli water testing for the summer of 2022, and a comparison to other lakes in the area for various nutrient parameters.

The eColi chart in the report shows the results that were returned to us based on the water samples done at various points on the lake each year from 2017 through 2022. Most of the low / non-zero readings can easily be accounted for by non-human sources (such as bird droppings, run-off, etc.)

In 2022, one of the eColi tests was done after a heavy rainfall in late July, which resulted in much higher values being reported. In subsequent tests, all but one of the sites had returned to lower near-normal levels. The site in Hungry Bay that remained high (and was in fact even higher in the second test) was tested with 3 additional eColi tests taken in the vicinity of the site, to understand the high values better.

These high values after heavy rainfall emphasizes the importance of keeping a natural shoreline; not only to keep the waterfowl from coming up onto your property, but also to act as a natural filter for the run-off into the lake. Note that a number higher than 50 cfu/100 mL is considered “high” for Kawartha Lakes, and the safe swimming level (at which public beaches are “posted” is 100 cfu/100mL). A count of zero is needed for drinking water.

 

Water testing results for 2021

Diane and Ralph Trauzzi continue to regularly test the Big Cedar Lake Health.
See the 2021 Big Cedar Lake Water Testing Results – This publication includes Lake Partner Program data (Phosphorus, Calcium, Water Clarity) as well as e-Coli water testing for the summer of 2021, and a comparison to other lakes in the area for various nutrient parameters.

Also included this year are preliminary results from the Lake Water Temperature logger that was put in the Lake near-shore to establish a ‘thermal-graph’ for the lake, meaning these data show how temperature fluctuate on our lake so we know ‘the range of expected temperatures’ against which we can compare future data for climate change monitoring purposes. This is in partnership with the Kawartha Lake Stewards Association Climate Change project that we are participating in.

The following are some notes about the temperatures we have recorded thus far:

  • Stable temperatures from mid-December to mid-March
  • Rapid rising temperatures from mid-March to mid-June
  • Peak temperatures in July
  • Rapidly declining temperature from late-August to mid-December
  • Victoria Day: approx. 20.5C
  • Canada Day: approx. 25C
  • Labour Day: approx. 21-22.5C
  • Max temperature recorded so far: around 28.5C

 

Water testing results for 2020

Diane and Ralph Trauzzi continue to regularly test the Big Cedar Lake Health.
See the 2020 Big Cedar Lake Water Testing Results – This publication includes Lake Partner Program data (Phosphorus, Calcium, Water Clarity) as well as e-Coli water testing and Dissolved Oxygen results for the summer of 2020, as well as a comparison to other lakes in the area for various nutrient parameters.

 

Water testing results for 2019

Diane and Ralph Trauzzi regularly test the Big Cedar Lake Health.
See the 2019 Big Cedar Lake Water Testing Results – This publication includes Lake Partner Program data (Phosphorus, Calcium, Water Clarity) as well as e-Coli water testing results for the summer of 2019.

Water testing results for 2018

Diane and Ralph Trauzzi regularly test the Big Cedar Lake Health.
See the Big Cedar Lake Health Testing Results – Comparison of our Lake vs. other North Kawartha Lakes

Water testing results for 2017

Presentation to the Board regarding the 2017 water testing results.

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.

Phosphorus:
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.

Calcium:
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.

2009

2010

Phosphorous Readings (2010)

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