About OLD


The goals of KLSA are:
  •  To monitor lakes for yearly changes in phosphorus and E.coli levels
  • To understand the dynamics of lake ecosystems and the causes of problems such as macrophyte (water plant) growth, including invasive species such as
    • Eurasian milfoil
    • algae
    • zebra mussels
    • water pollution
  • To educate cottagers, year-round residents and the general public about the importance of protecting the Kawartha Lakes
  • To develop partnerships with government agencies, universities, colleges, cottage and ratepayer associations, and other environmental organizations to further the objectives of KLSA

What we do

Water tests

 Our initial mandate was to test surface waters in our lakes for E.coli bacteria and for phosphorus levels. Testing for E.coli is primarily for swimming safety, while tracking phosphorus levels over time (through MOE’s Lake Partner Program) can tell us about the health of the lakes.


Recently, KLSA has expanded its activities into research studies to understand certain changes that volunteers have noted in the lakes, especially the copious weed growth in recent years. This is probably helped along by phosphorus and other nutrients in the water.

In 2010 we are beginning a major study of algae which appears in our waters, funded in part by a generous grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation.  This will culminate in 2112 with a guide to algae identification, and an analysis of possible prevention and control methods.

In 2008 KLSA conducted a major study of weed control methods in the Kawarthas. The end product was a scientific report and a comprehensive aquatic weed control guide for shoreline residents and businesses. This guide, published in 2009, includes:

  • A survey of weed management techniques now in use
  • An evaluation of each technique
  • A summary of existing literature and field studies
  • Advice to help shore dwellers choose effective and appropriate weed management techniques
  • Pictures to help with plant identification

Click on the sidebar at the left to download your copy of the 2009 Aquatic Plants Guide. Eventually KLSA hopes to be able to use the knowledge gained from these research studies to better protect and improve the health of the Kawartha Lakes.

Another study with students at Sir Sandford Fleming College and their teacher Sara Kelly, focuses on phosphorus levels in the sewage treatment plant effluents that enter the lake system.

In 2006 Michael White, a PhD student at Trent University, completed a research study documenting the sources of phosphorus in the Kawartha Lakes. The results of this work will help us determine whether much of the phosphorus is coming from human sources and therefore can be controlled.

New things we’re working on

Click here to see other projects and topics we’re interested in, from algae to wild rice.  In the meantime, our core testing programs for bacteria and total phosphorus continue.

Every year we publish a well-received, illustrated annual report describing our test results, research programs, and related information about our watershed. You can select and download any of these reports from the sidebar at the upper left of this page.
Founded in 2000, KLSA represents 40 cottager associations on more than a dozen lakes along the Trent Severn Waterway. Run entirely by volunteers, KLSA partners with three levels of government as well as local businesses. Concerned cottagers and permanent residents from all over the Kawarthas make up its volunteer Board

Please feel free to contact us with any questions or if you would like to become involved.                                               


Monitoring and Sustaining the Health of the Kawartha Lakes

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