Submitted for Dave Ham / Assiginack Township:
Hi There : The Lake Manitou water level problem has a very simple solution. My permanent home is near the Manitoulin Resort , I monitor the water level both winter and summer. This past spring the level of Manitou was at a record level because of the record snow. Lifting and placing logs in the Sandfield Dam is certainly not a solution to the problem.. After speaking to various people with Hydro One , I find that Lake level control has a solution that should be studied . Since I have been flying around the shores on Lake Manitou for over 40 years it is quite obvious that the shortest distance to the Lake Huron Georgian Bay water levels would offer an excellent opportunity to generate many megawatts of power while at the same time keeping Lake Manitou at reasonable levels. These systems are computer operated and work very well. Just for your information the distance from Assiginack Bay on Manitou is only 2 miles with an estimated fall of 200ft. By increasing the size of the duct this system could keep Manitou plus or minus a few inches. When the lake comes into balance , the flip of a switch simply shuts off the flow. Better yet a automated system would do everything automatically. Having mentioned this to Hydro One , they seem to be quire interested in a project to generate power and place it back into the grid. This may be a win win for everyone .
Submitted for Don Payne, Franks Road area:
We're not bothered by the changes in water levels because we have a floating dock and our shoreline is well fortified with rocks so that deeper water doesn't wash the shoreline away.
My unscientific observations support many of the comments. In addition to the high water level early this year, larger climate changes, including much more intense precipitation events and more frequent East winds, seem to be causing increased shoreline erosion on the West side of Green Bay. Additionally, significant new road construction, and other land developments, have greatly increased the soil disturbances around the island. I believe this is contributing to increased heavy run off and the increases of silt and cloudiness along our shoreline. Changing the dam water release pattern to more accurately reflect the changing climate may sound like a good idea, but I suspect there is no easy or obvious way to do this. By definition, climate change patterns are less predictable. There will likely be unexpected and unintended consequences to changing seasonal lake level patterns and Manitou River flow patterns. The targets outlined in the study should be adhered to until scientific study shows a better pattern. Until then, we should look at an affordable way to make more frequent incremental dam adjustments within the historic water level pattern.
Submitted for Ken Stewart, Gibraltar Road Area
We have no problem in Jumps Bay area
Submitted for: Dave Anderson, Oak Cliff Area
We have owned property on Lake Manitou since 1988 in the Oak Cliff subdivision on Lot 11 Concession 11 Sandfield Ward of Central Manitoulin. When the water levels are high (as they were this spring) and we get wave action from the east or north east there is significant shoreline erosion that creates a great deal of siltation along the shore. This cloud of silt affects household water supplies as well as the inshore ecosystem covering the plants and gravel beds with a layer of silt. I know that natural water level fluctuations are an integral part of a healthy ecosystem. However, I believe it is time to review the policy governing the management of water levels on Lake Manitou. I believe it is time that the primary driver of the policy needs to be overall ecosystem health and not focused to such a large degree on socio/economic issues. For instance if Lake Manitou was managed at a lower level with adequate flow provided for the spring and fall spawning runs up the Manitou River there would be less shoreline erosion on Lake Manitou and enough water to support the spawning fish in the Manitou River. I think that the OMNR needs to review the current policy and determine the benefits and or drawbacks of managing the lake at different levels and choose the option that will provide the best overall health for our ecosystem.
Submitted on behalf of Manitoulin Resort, Holiday Haven Road area: Thank you for including our business to comment on the fluctuations of Lake Manitou. As a staff at Manitoulin Resort, Myia asked me to reply to the concerns. There is a Ministry dock placed at the launch area but when the level of the water is so low, the dock is sitting on the ground with so little water it becomes useless. There are countless times lake/dock users have damaged their boats and their vehicles as they are backed in so deep into the water to attempt to put on/off their boats. Our resort docking area is in a desperate situation come August when the lake has drastically dropped to a point where some guests’ boats are sitting on the bottom of the lake while tied to their docks. People cannot launch their boats because of the incredibly low level. It becomes frustrating to them as well as us. It does impact our business as those who use this launch feel the need to come in to our store and vent at us regarding this issue which we have no control of. The town dock and use of the lake is a bonus point for the folks who bring their boats to fish and stay with the resort however it affects our resort reputation when we are placed as blame for the lake levels.
As a cottage owner on Lake Manitou, I must pull my boat out of the water at the end of August every year because I can no longer get it off the marine railway because of the low levels. This is very frustrating! Thank you for your time, Regards Sybil MacMillan for Manitoulin Resort
Lake Manitou Area Association
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