For a few years, my neighbour on the lake has been playing an active, yet quiet, role as a citizen scientist. He has been diligent in monitoring the water levels and has been pleased to see that they have remained fairly constant. Noticeable changes occur between the late fall and spring seasons as well as after we’ve had a good rain.
A wooden board with precisely ruled measurements is attached to his dock and water levels can be instantly noted. Three years of readings have been recorded so far and saved for posterity.
This passion for recording water levels, both in print and by simply observing levels against a fixed point, clearly exists among many residents and cottagers both past and present. Other types of data have also been recorded. Several years ago when another neighbour began to update her home, she discovered some different lake statistics from 1964 written on a wall board. Fifty-five years ago, the ice went out approximately April 15th, four days later the water temperature was 48°F, and two weeks after that, someone in the family appears to have taken a dip – the water temperature was a brisk 63°F.
It’s interesting to know that long before water levels and global warming were front page issues, cottagers and residents of the lake have been active stewards keeping a keen eye on its health and development. Now, more than ever, we need to stay closely attuned to the annual changes in the lake so that we can ensure its health for all to enjoy as a wonder of nature.