Friday, February 26, 2021

BCLSS Loonie News - February 2021

  *reposted with permission*

BCLSS Loonie News
February 2021

Online Forum: Boating on BC Lakes - Is it time for something different?

Join the BCLSS, Lake Windermere Ambassadors (LWA), and Living Lakes Canada (LLC) as we host an online forum on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. Time TBA.

We will be examining the environmental impacts of boating, discussing regulatory issues, and identifying potential solutions.

Speakers include:
Heather Larratt of Larratt Aquatic Consulting Ltd.
Darryl Arsenault of Arsenault Environmental Consulting Ltd.
Alan Drinkwater of the Decibel Coalition
Shannon McGinty of Lake Windermere Ambassadors
Kat Hartwig of Living Lakes Canada
And more.....

Further information will be sent out soon. Please email the BCLSS office if you would like to be notified when the agenda is finalized and registration is available.

Outstanding Volunteer Awards 2020

The BC Lake Stewardship Society is pleased to announce the recipients of the Outstanding Volunteer Awards for 2020. This award recognizes individuals and groups for their outstanding volunteer efforts that demonstrate our society's fundamental values - preservation, protection, and restoration of lakes throughout British Columbia. 

Doug Broadfoot of the Heffley Lake Community Association is recognized for his contribution to stewardship through lake monitoring, establishing a Clean Drain Dry program, and ongoing collection of ice and bird data.

Merle and Phyllis Hiltz, previously of Big Bar Lake, are recognized for their contribution to lake stewardship through 17 years of lake monitoring and data collection.

The BCLSS truly values the commitment of volunteers and look forward to continuing to work together on a shared vision of clean, healthy lakes throughout the province.

Announcements and Reminders

Ice On/Off Data
Ice events - the freeze and thaw dates of waterbodies - are easily recorded changes that, with the help of volunteer observers, can help us monitor the effects of climate change on our lakes. The BCLSS submits ice on and ice off data to IceWatch, part of the NatureWatch suite of national volunteer monitoring programs designed to help identify ecological changes that may be affecting our environment. Please submit the ice on and ice off dates of your lake to the BCLSS. A data form can be found here.

LaBounty Best Paper Award Nominated Papers Available Through Open Access
From the North American Lake Management Society (NALMS). The papers nominated for the Jim LaBounty Best Paper Award in 2020 will be available through open access through the end of March. Normally papers published in the last 3 years are only available by subscription, but as a tribute to the quality of research and importance to the lake management community, these papers are being made freely available for a limited time. The collection can be found here.

Women and Water Lecture Series
Hosted by the Global Institute for Water Security, Global Water Futures - Young Professionals and Global Water Futures. Lectures occur monthly until April. The schedule can be found here

BC Water Funders Collaborative
The BC Water Funders Collaborative is a group of funding organizations working together to facilitate the strategic use of collective resources to advance freshwater protection in BC. For more information and a reference guide to water funders, please check out their website.

Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation PCAF Grants
The Public Conservation Assistance Fund provides small grants to organizations and individuals who need financial help to implement a conservation project. Approximately $150,000 is provided each year to help implement on-the-ground conservation work, with a particular focus on hands-on, community-based, and public awareness initiatives. Grants will be due in Spring 2021 - now is a good time to start thinking about projects. More information can be found on the HCTF website.
The BCLSS is available to help our members with applying for grants of all types. Please contact the office for assistance.

Learn About BC's Freshwater Fish - Fish Identification Guide
Great for educators, naturalists, and anglers. The Guide to Freshwater Fishes of British Columbia (Taylor and Tan) is a richly illustrated, waterproof, tearproof, foldable guide to 90 species of fish found in lakes and streams of BC. It includes notes on distribution, biology, and conservation. More information can be found here. Also available as an app: Fish Sorter. All proceeds go to support the Beaty Biodiversity Museum.

News and Information

Webinar Recording - Car Tires & Salmon Health: Exploring New Research

Researchers say widespread lake drainage on tundra another sign of climate change

Invasive freshwater clam discover in Shuswap Lake prompts meeting

Not a member of the BCLSS yet?
Please consider joining our network of lake stewards! For more information on the benefits of membership, please visit our 
Thank you to LUSH for funding the
BC Lake Stewardship Engagement Initiative
The BCLSS gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the Government of British Columbia through the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy and the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing.
Donate to the BCLSS 

Thursday, February 18, 2021

BCLSS Quarterly Newsletter - Winter 2021

 *reposted with permission*

Quarterly Newsletter, Winter 2021

View this email in your browser

British Columbia Lake Stewardship Society

Furthering Lake Stewardship Through Education & Communication
Year in Review
Despite the pandemic, the BCLSS was able to continue offering our programs in 2020, although slightly modified. In response to provincial restrictions, and to ensure the safety of our volunteers and staff, the start to our regular programs was slightly delayed. By adjusting lake monitoring programs, establishing COVID protocols for fieldwork, and adapting our BCLSEI program, we were still able to work with provincial lake stewards in a hands-on, yet distanced way. This year also offered the opportunity to build our online educational resources.

Our 2020 accomplishments:
  • 26 lakes visited under the BC Lake Stewardship Engagement Initiative
  • 29 lakes monitored by volunteers and supported by the BCLSS
  • 6 lakes monitored by BCLSS for the BC Long-Term Lake Trends program
  • 6 lake reports written for different lakes throughout the province using data collected by committed volunteers. Visit our library for reports on your local lakes.
  • Conducted LakeKeepers training at East Barrière Lake
  • Proclamation of July as Lakes Appreciation Month
  • Organized the BC Secchi Dip-In for the 18th year. Once again, Gun Lake had the deepest Secchi reading at 22.8 m! The full Dip-In report is available here
  • Led a review of 10 years of water quality monitoring data collected by a BCLSS member group
The BCLSS continues to be inspired by our volunteers that are committed to their lakes. We welcome new members and volunteers to join us in 2021 to work towards our vision of clean, healthy lakes throughout British Columbia.

Thank you to our funders that make our programs possible: The BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, the BC Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, and LUSH.
BC Lake Stewardship and Monitoring Program 2021
Since 2003, the BCLSS, in partnership with the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy (ENV), has implemented the BC Lake Stewardship and Monitoring Program. This program is unique in that it gives dedicated volunteers the knowledge, training, and tools to become stewards and contribute invaluable information to an ever growing data set for provincial lakes. Many of our member groups have participated in data collection on their favourite lake(s). After data has been collected, lake specific reports are written to outline the data collected. These  can be found in the BCLSS library under BCLSMP Lake Reports.

The BCLSS recognizes the importance of volunteers that take on significant roles in environmental monitoring. Collection of lake data by volunteers is critical for the protection of lake water quality as it helps establish a strong baseline of data that allows for lake health to be determined, monitored, and managed over time.

If you are interested in participating in this program in 2021, starting with Level 1 monitoring, please contact us for more information. Level 1 monitoring involves collecting at least 12 evenly spaced clarity (Secchi disc) and temperature readings from May through September (or ice off to ice on). The BCLSS can provide the equipment and after three years of data collections we can provide a report on results.

More information on volunteer lake monitoring can be found on the BCLSS website and the BC Ministry of Environment website.
Lake Life: The Diatoms 
At the base of our aquatic ecosystems are the primary producers which provide the link between the sun’s energy and other organisms higher in the food chain. These include free-living algae (phytoplankton), attached algae (periphytes) and aquatic plants (macrophytes). 
The diatoms (Bacillariophyceae) are single-celled algae that comprise a large portion of the phytoplankton in both fresh and marine waters. Diatoms range in size from a microscopic two microns to a few millimetres, just visible to the naked eye. Though small, these tiny plants play a huge role - it has been estimated that diatoms are responsible for approximately ¼ of the earth’s primary productivity! There are more than 10,000 diatom species identified with about the same number named in the fossil records. Their abundance also makes them an important component of the diets of zooplankton and invertebrate larvae. 
Diatoms are also one of the most beautiful organisms in the phytoplankton community. They consist of two glass-like silica shells called frustules and the shape and patterns of the shells are used to identify the species. The two frustules fit inside one another like a pill box and come in two general forms: pennate (elongated) and centric (round). Most freshwater diatoms are pennate. Diatoms usually reproduce asexually through cell division; the halves separate and a new shell is laid down in each of the parent frustules to produce two new cells. As a result, a population of diatoms will get progressively smaller over time.  Eventually, after a minimum size has been reached, the diatoms begin to reproduce sexually and a larger cell size is achieved.
Diatoms are so abundant that the frustules of dead organisms form large, economically significant deposits in both lakes and oceans. The diatomaceous earth, as it is called, is used in a number of applications including water filters, insecticides, paints, toothpaste, soil amendments and thermal insulation.
Diatoms can also be used in the practical management of water resources. The silica shell is a very durable and provides a useful indicator for investigating past water quality conditions. Diatom communities are influenced by water chemistry (e.g., phosphorus, nitrogen, pH, alkalinity, salinity) and so examining diatom assemblages in lake sediment cores can provide clues to historical changes in water quality. 

Originally published in BCLSS Quarterly Newsletter Volume 7, Issue 2
Diatoms in Charlie Lake. Photo provided by Bruce Kosugi, Charlie Lake Conservation Society.
Welcome to new BCLSS members:

Whistler Lakes Conservation Association, Adam Ungstad, Rod Andrew, Vincent Russell, Denelle Taffe, Zihao Wang, Doug Manton, Erin Reece, Deborah Kannegiesser & Joe Cortese, Shawnigan Basin Society, and Equilibrium Health Management.
Landscaping and Gardening Tips to
Keep Your Lake Healthy
Have you had enough of winter? Are you already planning your spring garden? If you have a lakeside property, check out these gardening and landscaping tips adapted from the Ministry of Environment's fact sheet: Some Guiding Principles to Lakeshore Living in Relation to Water Quality.
  • Using native plant species means minimal maintenance, including less watering, fertilizer and pesticides. Fertilizers can be carried by runoff to nearby waterbodies, causing an increase in nutrients and possible decline in water quality.
  • Keep existing trees and shrubs where possible and plant trees and shrubs in open areas to help prevent erosing and lessen runoff.
  • Mulch grass trimmings to promote recycling of nutrients and moisture back into the existing lawn. This also reduces the need for watering and fertilizer application.
  • Clean up after pets and domestic animals. Waste can be transported by runoff causing fecal contamination and phophorus input to nearby water.
  • Maintain vegetation near the shoreline to filter and absorb runoff, to provide shoreline stabilization, and to discourage waterfowl from frequenting. Waterfowl can contribute considerable levels of fecal coliforms and phosphorus.
For more gardening and landscaping tips, as well as other tips to keep your lake healthy, check out our Lake Stewardship Guidebook.
Thank you to our sponsor:

Cariboo Environmental
Quality Consulting Ltd.

Events and Announcements
Pacific Salmon Foundation Community Salmon Program Spring 2021 Funding
This grantmaking program supports volunteer and community-driven organizations that undertake salmon conservation and restoration projects in BC and the Yukon. Applications accepted until February 15th. Information and application can be found here

Real Estate Foundation - General Grants
The REFBC grants program supports projects that contribute to sustainable land use and real estate practices. The deadline to apply is March 2nd, 2021. Go to for more information on eligibility and how to apply.

Columbia Basin Water Survey 
Do you work with or around water? Have you ever used a dataset involving water? Or maybe you are just a concerned citizen wondering if your water is safe to drink? We are all dependent on water, and data is a crucial part of monitoring the health of our watersheds. The Columbia Basin Water Hub is looking for your input. We want to know what you consider to be good quality data. Please fill out the survey below and help build a community standard for water data in the Columbia Basin. Survey closes on Wednesday February 3rd at noon PST!
If you would like to find out more about the Water Hub visit this link.

Women and Water Lecture Series
The Women and Water Lecture Series, hosted by the Global Institute for Water Security, Global Water Futures - Young Professionals, and Global Water Futures, will be offered monthly from January to April 2021. The schedule and registration link can be found here.

The Keys to a Blue Economy
This four-part series focuses on how Canada should define its blue economy and all of the key elements that will ensure a strong national water sector. Information on the series can be found here.

AquaHacking Challenge Expands into Western Canada for 2021
AquaHacking is a tech challenge for post-secondary students and young professionals with an interest in freshwater issues, clean-tech innovation, and entrepreneurship. More information can be found on the AquaHacking Challenge website.

Ice on and ice off
Please send your ice on and ice off dates to the BCLSS office as this information is important for climate change research. Ice on/off data sheets can be found on our website.
Share your information with us! 

One of the primary objectives of the BC Lake Stewardship Society is to provide a public forum to discuss information on specific lakes and watersheds, lake conservation issues/concepts, and educational programs relevant to British Columbia’s freshwater resources. 
The BC Lake Stewardship Society Board of Directors welcomes written submissions, whether short articles, advertisements, or photos/figures relevant to British Columbia’s lakes from both BCLSS members and the community at large.  If you have information on BC’s lakes, please forward it to us for publication:
News from the Web

We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy and the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing.
Donate to the BCLSS
Copyright © 2021 BCLSS, All rights reserved. 

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