wavy lake

2012 Spring


Graham Warran


President’s Message

As we wintered in Arizona, it was hard to imagine Percy Lake being covered with ice and snow. Life on the frozen lake was just waiting to spring forth and provide a feeding ground for mosquitoes and black flies. We wondered if the trees were confused with the erratic weather and if the sap had started to run before we got home to tap the trees, an activity we started last year. There is nothing quite like starting with a slightly sweet watery base and turning it into delicious woody tasting syrup. We arrived home March 15. The sap ran well until we had a week of hot weather – I was collecting sap in shorts. Now there is definitely something wrong with that picture. We collected about a third of what we obtained last year.

This is my last President’s message to you. I will be stepping down as President of the Percy Lake Ratepayers’ Association at the AGM. It is my plan to continue as one of the Directors on the Board. We are searching for a new President and need someone to step up to insure continuity – to date no one has come forward. The Association depends on you. Let me know if you are interested!

For more than two years, the Board has been in discussions with the township concerning overnight parking at the boat launch and large parties camping on the spit. Last year new signs were posted at the boat launch. This did not deter the occurrence of large camping parties by non-Percy people on the spit. During the late summer and fall of 2011, members of the board met with Murray Fearrey, Walt Mckechnie, the parking by-law enforcement officer, the Chief Administrative Officer for the township, and OPP Staff Sargeant Malcolm Quiqley to talk about our concerns. Further work will be done over the winter and early spring to implement some of the suggestions.

Percy Lake Water Levels – submitted by Brian Edey

What is our ‘preferred’ water level? That’s almost a trick question since the level of Percy Lake is varied by the TSW via the Percy Lake outlet dam with 6 12″ logs and a 6″bar. The CEWF [Coalition for Equitable Water Flow] has asked Percy Lake and all the Lake Associations for their preferred level profile.

Graph showing the Percy Lake Water Levels

For us, the current profile means a rapid rise in the Spring – often while there is ice free to be blown into docks; a steady drop each week from May 24 to Labour day; and then a swift drop of about 1 metre while we are all considering another great weekend before getting boats out and docks and dragged upshore. For those concerned about the trout spawn, that cycle [especially in the Fall] risks a drybed or too deep a cover for the roe; or insufficient wave action on the bed to clean it before the spawning. For those with an interest in water sports the constant change over the summer means new navigation hazards come into play each week-end. So, back to the point, what’s ‘preferred’?

One suggestion is the dotted red line in the picture. Three [3] logs always; Spring rise to six [6] logs after the ice hazard is past; drop back to three[3] logs after Aug 1 and be stable by mid September. That wouldn’t be easy; but, that wasn’t part of the question. The higher base level would be better for the spawn and wouldn’t affect our ability to pull docks out of the water. The delay in raising the level in the Spring would protect the same docks from ice movement damage. A relatively stable level through the boating season would minimize the change to navigation hazards.

Bring your thoughts to the AGM!

The Percy Corn Roast!

Mark your calendars for August 18@ 4pm – Harry and Sylvia Winder’s beach – We will provide the corn and hot dogs – you provide your drink of choice and bring a salad or dessert of your choice.

PLRA Live Release Bass Tournament

Meet at the Small Island @8am, August 18. Trophies will be awarded at the Corn Roast.

Percy Lake was stocked this spring with 4,000 Kingscote trout – Throw them back if you catch one.

Toddler wearing a bib and eating corn on the cob

Now who is this little one enjoying corn on the cob?

The Percy Lake First Family fishing derby – and the Winner Is!!!

Last summer eight boats met at the little island to start the family fishing derby – Lou Kiriakou, the organizer, stated the rules and sounded the horn. The boats were off for a day of fishing in the sun. The winner was Gary Portway and his young family friend, Brandon Armstrong.

Four boats gathered in the middle of Percy Lake

A Talk With Local Fish “Tom The Trout” – submitted by Susan Russel

As I was walking along our shoreline and admiring the beautiful sunlit morning, I noticed my friend, Tom the Trout sunning himself upon a warm rock (his gills were working overtime) and catching a few tasty blackflies with his incredibly quick trout tongue ( a delicacy in some foreign lands- but I didn’t tell him that).

“Tom, I said. “How goes it in your neck of the woods?” “Well,he said. “Some of my trout buddies are sick and under the rocks these days with terrible stomach aches. Somebody has been cleaning their toilets with heavy-duty cleaner – the kind with bad chemicals for us trout. The chemicals go through the septic tank and are washing into the lake where me and my buddies drink the water and get sick.”

“Hey, Tom! I said. It’s tough knowing what things to use here on the waterfront – I feel bad for your trout friends. These high-powered toilet bowl cleaners cause bacterial contamination that is bad for all living things in the lake. But humans need to have clean toilets – what can we do?”

Here is what Tom says:

  1. Borax powder is cheap, a great deodorizer and disinfectant and available at both the Independent and Foodland. Vinegar is good too.
  2. Cleaning products that go down the drain and into your septic system need to be non-chlorine, non-amonia, non-antibacterial, non-toxic and biodegradeable.
  3. There are lots of “green products” available now. NatureClean and EcoEthic are just two that are available.

And finally, Tom says “Too much “green cleaner” is not good either. Use just enough to get the job done.”

“Catch Ya Later Tom!” Tom has got to be the smartest fish I have ever known.

Oh Fishily yours, Tom The Trout

Ice Out – March 26, 2012

Management of land will be handed over to PLRA

As a part of the agreement with Greif and the municipality, Greif has handed over designated pieces of land on the lake to the municipality. These pieces consist of the spit and the portage between Percy and Haliburton Lakes along the Gull River. The board is meeting with Murray Fearrey to discuss the transfer and to determine our role as care takers in the management and maintenance of these pieces. More detail will be presented at the AGM.

Extending The Five Lives of a Five-Lined Skink by Ruth E. Walker

Skinks are not salamanders or short snakes with four legs. Skinks are lizards found throughout North America. A Haliburton skink has five stripes from nose to tail but those stripes fade as the skinks get older (kind of like our memories). Male skinks have bright orange jaws and chins.

These small ground dwellers have “Species At Risk” status in Haliburton County. So, in the interest of species conservation, here are Five-Lives Tips for our friends the skinks:

  1. Always avoid exotic pet hunters: You are Ontario’s only lizard and you better hide when unscrupulous folk try to satisfy lizard-longing terrarium owners;
  2. Keep a low profile around dogs, cats and raccoons: you are busy predators, snacking endlessly on insects, worms or even other invertebrates but you have to watch out for the ‘big guys”.
  3. Stick to rocky outcroppings in mixed forests of conifers and deciduous trees: loose rocks provide you with nesting and food sources but this habitat also has great hiding spots when needed (see #1 and #2.)
  4. Teen skinks should wear camouflage: unlike tattoos, you juveniles have bright blue tails that fade as you age. Sassy teen skinks know those tails detach when pounced on by predators.
  5. Wear a sign that says: I’m A Species At Risk in Haliburton County.

I guess the skinks won’t be reading this newsletter. If we want this Species At Risk to survive and thrive, it is up to us. Those cute Inukshuks all over Haliburton County? Those are skink habitats you are messing with. “THINK SKINK” before you move protective loose rocks on the ground.

Ruth E. Walker is an award-winning Ontario writer and has a cabin tucked between the Burnt and Drag Rivers in The Haliburton Highlands.

Creative and Fun in Cottage Country!

There’s a very special place where beginners, professionals, children and adults gather together and create. Perennial favourites combine with new offerings and instructors at the Haliburton School of The Arts, where there are 350 creative options in 2012. Adults can blow glass, make paddles, sew kilts, carve birds, throw pots, take pictures, make sandals, play the ukulele, guitar, violin, cello or harp, sing, and paint, hammer or quilt. Kids can cook, paint, sculpt, learn archery, throw pots, and make skateboard decks, rings and music.

Spend a day or spend a week. Escape on your own or bring friends and family along. There’s something for everyone!

Visit www.hsta or contact the school at createit@hsta.ca or 1.866.353.6464.

Author – Shelley Schell, Haliburton School of The Arts – Fleming College Article provided by the CHA

The Highland Yard – The Tradition Continues!

Mark your calendars NOW to run the Highland Yard, Sunday, August 5, 2012 in Minden, Ontario. The Highland Yard, a tradition for 40 years in the Highlands is being offered by Places for People and the Minden Rotary Club, both local charitable organizations. Dust off your running shoes, train through the spring and summer and register to run either the 10K or 5K timed race, starting at 10am and 10:15am respectively. The 2K walk/run starts at 10:30am. All races start and finish at the CIBC in Minden. There will be prizes for winning times. Check us out at www.highlandyard.ca for details on route, registration, and information updates. This site will link you to the Running Room to register or you can register directly on line at www.runningroom.com.

The Places for People Corporation creates affordable rental housing in Haliburton County for those at risk of homelessness and supports the tenants to make a positive difference in their lives. The Minden Rotary Club is committed to various community projects. Currently, Places for People provides housing in Haliburton Village for two families and has acquired a second property in Carnarvon which will house two more families by June. See www.placesforpeople.ca for additional information and to learn how you can help with the renovation. Submitted by Jack Russel, Highland Yard Race Director.

Membership Dues

Think of all the positive aspects of membership in the PLRA! A stimulating AGM with great information and ideas and always excellent goodies and coffee; support on municipal issues, development concerns, official plans; a corn roast and the family fishing derby. Please fill out the attached form and submit it along with $20 to anyone of the board members or mail it to Jack Russel, your friendly editor. Or you can complete your registration totally on line at www.plra.net – simple and easy.

PLRA Board Members

The Board is composed of the following:

Jack Russel (President), Graham Warren (Treasurer), Susan Russel (Secretary/Lake Steward), and the following Members at Large: Jim Richert, Brian Edey, Jim Shepard, Lou Kiriakou, and Liz (Mills) Meacock. Doug Moynes will be joining us for the next while to determine if he wants to continue.

If you have concerns you wish to bring to the board, I am sure you could speak with any one of us. Or if you would like to become a member of the board, please contact me.

Landfill (AKA Dump) hours and recycling

Please check the Dysart et al. website for recycling specifics and hours – http://www.dysartetal.ca/frame12v.asp

PLRA to be incorporated

An application has been filed with the Provincial Government to be incorporated. The board decided it was important to pursue this status given the complexity of issues with which we are dealing, especially as it relates to the management of the lands being handed over to the municipality.

Website improvements

A small committee met last year consisting of Jeff and Leanne Stanton, Brian Edey, Jim Richert, Ken Loney, and myself met to discuss updates to the website. Check out www.plra.net to see what we have done with the photo gallery, the classified section, and membership registration on line.

Can it get any better? See you on the lake!

The 2011 Percy Lake Fishing Trophy is given to the young person (Age 16 and under) who catches the biggest fish during the year. The 2011 trophy was awarded to Harry Winder’s grandson, Dylan Winder Berkey. Way to go Dylan!

The Skinny on Percy Lake Storage Sheds – taken from the Official Plan of Dysart et.al.

Storage sheds within the water setback will comply with the following criteria, which will be strictly enforced:

  • sheds will only be permitted on lots that have a minimum slope of 15% measured over a horizontal distance inland 30 metres from the high water mark;
  • sheds will be restricted to a maximum ground floor area of 9.3 sq. metres (100 sq. feet) and a maximum height of 3.5 metres (11.5 feet);
  • sheds will be located a minimum of 4 metres (13 feet) from the high water mark;
  • sheds will be located a minimum of 1 metre (3.3 feet) from the side lot line;
  • the storage of vehicles and motor vehicles (including boats), as defined by the implementing zoning by-law, is not permitted in storage sheds;
  • living accommodations are not permitted in storage sheds; and
  • sheds will be screened from view, from the lake and from neighbouring lots, by native vegetation.

The following development approvals are required prior to constructing a storage shed in the water setback:

Three amigos with arms over shoulders at the annual barbeque

  • a zoning by-law amendment;
  • a site plan and agreement; and
  • purchase of the shoreline road allowance, if the shed will be located on the shore road allowance.

Can it get any better? See you on the Lake!
Thanks to Lou Kiriakou for printing the Newsletter.