President’s Report

by Mike Thomas, PLCA President -- As you may have already seen, your Board decided it was time to change the way we charge (or don’t charge) for the events the PLCA does every year. At the winter board meeting a Financial Task Force presented their report to the Board about the ‘state of financial affairs’ and suggestions on how to maintain a healthy financial situation into the future. The recommendation to charge a nominal fee to non-members who attend our events was passed by your Board.  The events include the July 1st barbecue, rock bass derby, regatta (members and non-members have always paid but now non-members will pay a higher fee) and movie night.  

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Safety Guide: Emergencies at the Cottage

By David Reid & David Kells -- When the Alberta forest fires swept through Fort McMurray and nearby communities last summer you may have wondered what fire protection services are available for cottages, homes and businesses on Paudash Lake; what happens if there is a forest fire?  Owners of properties that are accessible only by water, or are on roads too small for a fire truck will have a special interest in this subject.  Most know that we access these emergency services by calling 911, the emergency response system for fire, medical emergency, and police emergency calls (e.g. motor vehicle collisions with injuries, break and enter in progress, active fight, family dispute with violence).  For non-emergency, non-life threatening police calls (e.g. discovery of a cottage break-in or theft) call 1-888-310-1122. All calls are answered immediately, 24/7, by a live dispatcher.  This is the Smith Falls Ontario Provincial Police communication centre and they will dispatch a local officer to start the investigation.   

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Lake Steward’s Report: Review Your Report!

By Mike Thomas -- In 2016, the ‘Love your Lake’ program assessed 423 properties totaling about 39km of shoreline on Upper Paudash Lake. The shoreline survey involved an assessment of the entire shoreline of Upper Paudash Lake. The report we received summarized the information on shoreline classifications, development, runoff, invasive species, habitat and recommendations and restoration opportunities. This report can be used as a source of information on the current physical conditions of Upper Paudash Lake and as a baseline to compare future surveys. It can also be used by PLCA and other partners to determine opportunities for restoration, education and stewardship on a lake wide level.

Shoreline lengths for each property were obtained from municipal property information. For properties without this data, lengths were estimated. Results were based upon the number of properties within each shoreline classification. Properties were assigned an overall category corresponding to the classification that made up the largest portion of the shoreline...

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The Wild Tonic

By Ashley White, MD, MPH -- Waterfront vacant land on Paudash Lake is now a rarity. Most strips on the busy, popular parts of the lake have buildings – for better or for worse. The remaining slices of land on the quieter parts of the lake come with road or boat access problems. These can be overcome with time, money and love but, it can be annoying. So it was really exciting when my family decided to purchase a sliver of land with easy road access on Paudash Lake this spring. Over the long weekend, we gathered there to ‘move in’. How exactly does one move into land? We didn’t know. I brought some solar lamps, thinking I could landmark a bit of a driveway. Is it called a driveway when there is nothing at the end of the way? My brother brought a trailer to clear brush and some garbage (an unfortunate trade off for good access). 

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Dock Permit Resolution

FOCA is pleased to be able to announce that, effective June 1st, 2017, Ontario Regulation O.Reg.161/17 came into effect. The important changes now mean that a person can occupy public lands without a permit from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry - subject to some conditions, and only if allowed by municipal bylaw or Federal statute. This applies to: docks, boat lifts, boat ramps, and marine railways; swim rafts; single-storey boathouses; break walls and related backfill; recreational boat caches which includes canoes, kayaks and motor boats; ramps and jumps and slalom courses; bridges, culverts and causeways; recreational camping units (21 days); ice fishing huts...

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Rising Water Levels Raise Concern

By Jan Hudson Krueger -- Paudash Lake was, once upon a time, much more shallow. A dam was erected at the northern-most end to raise the water level high enough so that boats towing logs could navigate the narrows and bring their loads to the sawmill at the outlet to the Crowe River. You can see the underwater rock ledges that mark the original shoreline. Way under the water!

For many years, the residents along Georgian Bay shores have been struggling with very low water levels. On the flip side, this year, the level of Lake Ontario has risen so much that the Toronto Islands are virtually closed till sometime in August, as of the latest report. Rivers all over cottage country, including Bancroft's York River, are flooding significantly on a yearly basis and the Trent-Severn Waterway had to remain closed over this year's Victoria Day weekend due to unsafe water levels. Driving over the canal in Peterborough showed locks full to the brim and obviously impossible to operate.

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PLCA PIONEERS: William George Davis

by Mike Thomas, PLCA President -- William (Bill) Davis was born in May of 1924 in Toronto’s “Cabbagetown.” He joined the reserves the day he turned 16 in 1940 and was shipped out to the UK in 1941.  In July 1944 his battalion sailed to France and immediately went into action.  In late February, 1945 Bill was wounded for the second time and evacuated to Britain.  While in hospital Bill volunteered for the Pacific conflict.  He was subsequently shipped back to Canada but victory in the Pacific came about before his 30 day convalescence leave expired.

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Register for the Lake Bass Derby Online!

Everyone loves the annual Don Thomas Memorial Rock Bass Derby! This year youths 2-18 can challenge themselves to catch as many rock bass as possible on Saturday July 9th, from 9am-noon at the Paudash Lake Marina. Participants will receive prizes and a certificate for helping protect Paudash Lake’s game fish. Registration is easier than ever, just complete the online form; it only takes 2 minutes!

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Highlands East Begins Septic Maintenance & Re-Inspection Program

With the increasing number, size and use of cottages, the amount of sewage waste and phosphorous being produced and entering the groundwater and lake water systems is also increasing creating a higher risk for water quality deterioration. Poorly functioning, poorly maintained or under-sized septic systems are a huge factor in this regard... Council has agreed to implement a program and it is planned to start the program during the spring/summer season this year (2017). We are of the understanding that Township Staff are currently in the planning and development stages for this program. Hopefully we will be receiving information on the details of the program soon. 

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The Raggedy Road

"Hold on, ladies! This stretch is a real strap-snapper!" That was the usual shouted warning from Mom as she and her pals turned onto McGillivray Road, heading to the cottage from Mississauga. She would slow down a bit, but, like a horse getting close to the barn, she was too eager to get to the lake so the speed reduction was minimal.Which came first, the road or the farm for which it is named? It will remain unknown to me as the records for this area are vague and sparse. The farm was established by the senior Malcolm McGillivray in 1875, according to the rustic sign at the end of the driveway.

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Declaring your vacation property a principal residence

Even if you own a home, you can use the principal residence exemption (PRE) on the cottage to avoid paying capital gains tax when you sell. But there are two caveats. Firstly, the property can’t be used primarily for rental income. Secondly, once you've designated your cottage as your principal residence and you sell it, for the period that you owned both your house and your cottage, you can no longer claim your house as a principal residence. 

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Why We Love Our “Crappy Shoreline”

We have 1100 feet of shoreline at our place. When we tell people this, they often respond with a “Wow!” At which point I quickly intervene to let them know that when you consider that our dock and useable area is really only about 20 feet and the rest is shallow, weedy, and mostly unusable, it's not so “wow.” In fact, I usually use the word “crappy” to describe our shoreline. My husband hates this. “I love our shoreline,” he defends, “it's awesome!”

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A Message from our President

Our big project in 2016 and 2017 has been and is the ‘Love Your Lake’ shoreline assessment study, in partnership with the Coalition of Haliburton Property Owners’ Associations (CHA). This summer the remaining properties on Paudash (approximately 300+) will be assessed. In April or May each property owner of lots assessed in 2016 will receive a confidential report about the results for their property.

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Making Winter Feel Good in Your Bones

Everything was coated in a sturdy layer of snow for the first time in quite a few years.  Like fondant on a wedding cake, the roof, the lawn, the lake, the trees, the walkway, and the roads looked fresh, clean and in waiting.  A cousin said coming to Paudash was like her version of visiting Aspen, a chic Colorado Rockies ski town.  All weekend, my mother referred to our home as “Aspen” and delighted in the idea of her place being a winter escape in which people could revel, never mind simply endure.

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Practical Tips for Protecting your Lake

We all care about the health of our lakes but who is looking after lake health? Governments of all stripes are cutting back on the people and programs that used to protect our lakes and give us up to date data on lake health indicators. Lake associations can help fill this void but only if all of us step up individually and become Lake Protectors. What can we do to make a difference? The Coalition of Haliburton Property Owners Associations (C.H.A.) has some of the most knowledgeable lake health scientists in Canada as scientific advisors and we asked them that question...

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Is My Dog at Risk of Lyme Disease in the Highlands?

Prevention of ticks is the best course of action to protect your dog. Ticks can cause painful or irritating swelling at the insertion site. If removed improperly, the mouthparts of the tick can create an abscess. Some ticks are small and we may never notice them, but can still infect your pet with diseases. Although Lyme disease, or other tick-borne illnesses, are not endemic in our area at this time, the environment is constantly changing and chances are high that we will be affected one day. 

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Buy Local: Drink Craft Beer!

With breweries popping up all across Ontario why not stop by one the next time you’re heading to Paudash and pick up a few cold ones to go. No matter where you’re coming from there are plenty of options on the way. Live at the cottage all summer?  Why not do a day trip and check out a few within a short drive.   Have some testers and bring back your favourites.  This is one sure way to impress any family and friends. No matter if you’re a light beer, dark beer or flavoured beer fan, there is something for everyone. The staff at any of the breweries will walk you through the beer making process and teach you about all things beer. 

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Hunting for Treasure: Geocaching in Paudash

Our Paudash Lake Geocaches have been getting a lot of action. Burnt Island Cache has been found 5 times this spring, Footbridge Cache 3 times and Soldiers of the Lake 6 times! More geocaches to come this summer! Get out and enjoy the lake. Geocaches vary greatly in size and appearance. In the field you will see everything from large, clear plastic containers to film canisters to a fake rock with a secret compartment. 

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Staying Safe in the Sun

“I’m a one, you’re a two and you’re a three,” I shared with two girlfriends as I doused every patch of my skin with SPF 70 sunscreen spray. The numbers refer to the Fitzpatrick skin scale, developed by Harvard dermatologist Thomas B. Fitzpatrick. The scale classifies how different people respond to ultraviolet light – specifically to one hour of sunlight on the first day of spring. So when my friends and I were in Las Vegas this weekend, the intense winter white I cultivated under scrubs and artificial lights all season was ready to burn.

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