Lake Manitou’s ecosystem is a sensitive one

A subdivision on this lake could be detrimental to the lake trout population

To the Expositor:

Re. the article ‘Agreement reached on Lake Manitou subdivision,’ February 18, Page 3.

A decision to allow a pilot project of six homes on Lake Manitou is just the thin edge of the wedge. Lake Manitou is a very special lake. It’s the only lake on Manitoulin that is deep enough for lake trout, and it is one of only two lakes in all of Ontario where lake trout benefit from a natural buffer against acidity (due to the limestone base). The trouble is that homes and cottages around the lake result in sewage, and Lake Manitou cannot take any more sewage and maintain a healthy lake trout population. That’s because lake trout depend on water in the depths (hypolimnium), where the oxygen is only replenished twice a year, most critically in the spring. Studies have shown that, due to pollution, oxygen levels in the hypolimnium are already at a level where juvenile growth is affected. If the municipalities allow development, which will add pollution, what will they do to reduce existing sources of pollution? Will they truck sewage to designated sewage lagoons away from the lake? Lake Manitou is already at capacity. The future of our lake trout depends on better decision-making.

Jan McQuay