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healthy shorelines

Protecting Lake & Wildlife Health

Koshlong Lake Association Stewardship

Protecting, preserving, and enhancing our lake and surrounding watersheds is our association’s main mission. A healthy shoreline is a critical factor in achieving this. 

In 2014, the KLA partnered with the Coalition of Haliburton Property Owners Association on the Shoreline Improvement Project (also called the Love Your Lake Program) The project was developed by Watersheds Canada and supported by its national partner the Canada Wildlife Federation.

The Love Your Lake Program was designed to engage individual cottagers or residents and lake associations, by providing information on how to protect their shorelines and improve the water quality in their lakes. It involved taking steps to develop a ribbon of natural vegetation along the shoreline to mitigate runoff and pollution issues and to provide a natural habitat for small creatures that prefer to live near the lake.

It is recommended for the health of a lake to aim for a no more than 25% of the shoreline developed for access to the lake and recreational space leaving the rest natural. Beyond 25% development, critical functions of the lake that maintain its ecological integrity can begin to fail (Environment Canada, How Much Habitat is Enough? 2013) Therefore, 75% of the shoreline should be left in a natural state to provide maximum benefit to the health of the lake.

In 2014, the entire 34 kms of Koshlong Lake shoreline including 252 properties was assessed. The shoreline survey included an assessment of development, building setbacks, habitat, and identification of restoration opportunities, among other characteristics. In summary, notwithstanding the 40% of shoreline that is undeveloped crown land, the developed properties results showed that only 37% of development shoreline classified as natural, compared to 37% ornamental (natural vegetation removed) and 26% regenerative (past natural vegetation removed but in the process of growing back). Hence further restorative work is encouraged!

Our objective was that this data could be used by both the lake association and other partners to determine opportunities for restoration, education, and stewardship. This report can also form the basis for a source of information on the current physical conditions of Koshlong Lake and as a baseline to compare future surveys against.

View the complete LOVE YOUR LAKE report for Koshlong, and visit the Love Your Lake website to obtain a copy of the confidential survey for your property at no charge. 

County Regulation of Shoreline Development

In the interest of protecting natural shorelines, the County of Haliburton passed a bylaw in 2018 governing Shoreline Tree Preservation. It stated that “our lakes, rivers and associated natural environmental features support Haliburton's way of life and our stewardship is central to the creation of the bylaw.” 

The bylaw governs the removal or injuring of all trees with a diameter of 5 cm or more within 30 metres of the shoreline. It also provides for fines of up to $100,000 for the removal of trees. View this Factsheet for details related to the stricter rules, including details of the steps you should take if you suspect trees along the shoreline are being injured or destroyed illegally. 

In 2021, the County seeks to build on the above existing legislation through the creation of a Shoreline Preservation By-law. The proposed by-law includes. Preservation By-law. Building on current legislation, policies and by-laws, the proposed by-law includes but is not limited to:

  • adding new protection for natural shoreline vegetation located within 30 m of the high-water mark.
  • creating a permit process for some forms of site alteration within 30 m of the high-water mark.
  • allowing limited development of up to 25% in shoreline areas; and
  • continuing to protect trees within 30 m of the high-water mark.

The proposed by-law includes all the same protections for trees as the existing Shoreline Tree Preservation By-Law.  The goal is to finalize the bill in the second half of 2021.

To view the draft Shoreline Preservation By-law and to register to participate in the public process please visit Wade In Haliburton County.

Thanks to KLA member Rob Horsburgh for his photograph of Wallace Island used as the background photo throughout this site

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