Use these top 5 recommendations for healthy lakeshore living:
Allow natural vegetation to grow along the shoreline, or plant native species such as raspberries, spruce trees, aspen trees, or sedges. Vegetation should be 100ft (30m) deep from the shoreline, or as much as the property will allow. Creating a weed-free natural riparian buffer is the first step to help preserve and heal a lake.
Do not fertilize! Lakes in Alberta tend to already contain high amounts of nutrients leading to algae growth (eutrophication) and lawns are not good nutrient sinks. Therefore, most of the nitrogen and phosphorous that is placed on a lawn washes/leaches into the lake promoting excessive amounts of algae growth.
Route all eaves troughs into dense vegetation or a rain barrel to avoid erosion. As well, the moisture is then able to be absorbed into the soil to help support a healthy riparian buffer.
Avoid using pressure-treated wood outdoors. The arsenic that is used to treat the wood can remain leaching from the wood into the neighbouring vegetation and lake for up to 10 years. The same concept applies to railroad ties, which leach the toxins petroleum oil and creosote into the environment for over 30 years.
Do not use pesticides! They include herbicides, fungicides, and insecticides. The toxins of these products leach into the lake and bioaccumulate in wildlife populations. The incessant use of pesticides also leads to pesticide-resistance populations.
Pigeon Lake Watershed Association P.O. Box 1353 Calmar, Alberta T0C 0V0