Written by: Brady Beaupre, 2017
Cruising out on the open water having the warm summer breeze blow by as the boat putts along the shore. What a wonderful way to spend some my summer at work. During the summer of 2017 I received the opportunity to work for Watersheds Canada as a student participating in the Love Your Lake program. I am currently a student in the Environmental Technician program at Algonquin College in Pembroke, Ontario. I was delighted to hear about this job as a partnership between the college and Watersheds. As a result of this partnership I was able to stay in my hometown and work as sort of an offsite employee. In regards to the Love Your Lake program, Alexa (my colleague and a student from Queen’s University) and I were tasked with running the program for Muskrat Lake in Cobden, and Looncall Lake near Apsley in the North Kawarthas. A lot of preparation went into these assessments with many letters being mailed out to the property owners to let them know about the program and that we would be coming to visit their shore in the coming weeks. Once we had undergone the training necessary to complete the numerous surveys, over 400 in total, we were sent out.
During this task I had a blast out on the water. Our boat driver, Andy Laird, was using a pontoon boat but he also brought along his dog Stanley. He was a pleasant guest, always eager to be pet and just happy to be there. Over the course of our assessments we were approached by a few different people on the lake and exchanged pleasantries and explained what the program was about. It was really nice to see how happy people were that this program was coming to their lake as they all felt that the lake could certainly use the help, due to its problem with blue-green algae. It wasn’t all just cottagers we met, though. There was one week where the police were patrolling the water and we were stopped twice within a few days of each other. No need to worry as everything was in place and the stop went smoothly.
Later on in the summer at Looncall Lake we met much the same pleasant conversation with the locals there as well, no police this time though. Our driver there, Malcolm Martini, was very helpful and knowledgeable about the lake and just one of the nicest guys. The scenery down there was also just beautiful. In the morning when we boarded the boat to get started, it was like straight out of a painting, the water was incredibly calm, and the sky was a clear blue.
Aside from Love Your Lake we also received a very informative day of training with the Natural Edge program. This was really cool as we also got to go outside the building to the waterfront and see the first steps to a shoreline restoration.
So now my time here has come to an end and with that I would like to thank Watersheds Canada for this opportunity as I thoroughly enjoyed the summer. I would also like to give a special note of thanks to Martyna Tomczynski, Paul Cipraini, and Dave Tomassin for helping with the assessments on Muskrat Lake.