There have been no recorded incidents of blue-green algae blooms at Otty Lake. However, over 2014, there were four confirmed cases in other local lakes. As of early August 2015, blue-green algal blooms were confirmed on two local lakes.
While cyanobacteria is often present in low concentrations in Eastern Ontario water bodies, it is a complex set of conditions, including nutrient loading and climate, that causes them to multiply and blooms to form. Please don't feed the algae in Otty Lake!
Twenty islands on Otty Lake are "Crown Owned" by the provincial government and managed by Ontario's Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR). MNR promotes a free use policy of Crown Lands and focuses on positive messaging, emphasizing good stewardship. If you are going to be using any of these islands, read these suggestions for responsible use.
In the last several years there has been an increased amount of blooms of green algae at Otty Lake. Periodic sampling of these algae shows that they are a green filamentous type predominately of the two species, Spirogyra and Mougeotia. These green algae are not harmful to humans. It is unclear why there has been a noticeable increase in profuse algal blooms at Otty and other local lakes in recent years and steps are being undertaken by the responsible government authorities to initiate research into this matter. However, there is meaningful action that Otty Lake cottagers and residents can take to control algal blooms.
August 10, 2014 - Reports Derek Smith: "The Spirogyra have just started to bloom in shallow bays around Otty this week. The bloom in early June was a different species. Notice the spiral chloroplasts which make this one easy to identify.
Here are three microscope pictures; the black point in the second are algal “zygotes”, and they are shown in greater detail in the third.
This species has a certain beauty under a microscope, but is not so pleasant as a floating mat."
Below is an example of Cladophora, a branching filamentous green algae.
Populations of Lyme disease-infected black-legged ticks have been found in the Otty Lake area. Not all blacklegged ticks are carriers, but the risk of contracting Lyme disease is on the rise in Canada. Your risk of a tick bite is greatest in spring and summer in forested and overgrown areas. There have been reported cases of Lyme disease in humans in Lanark, Leeds and Grenville, as well as in dogs. Protect yourselves and your pets. If you develop symptoms, consult your healthcare provider right away. A firm diagnosis of Lyme disease can be difficult, but the disease can be treated with 2-4 weeks of antibiotics. A vaccine is available for protecting dogs against the disease. Note that as of July 1, 2014, the Health Unit does not accept ticks for analysis.
In 2013 both Drummond/North Elmsley (D/NE) and Tay Valley Township had Discretionary Septic Re-inspection Programs in place. The municipalities have the authority to require a re-inspection take place on systems older than nine years. Once all the systems are inspected, they will be reinspected on a ten year cycle.
As a result, in 2013, most re-inspections were completed for Otty Lake. In total, there were 28 systems inspected. Systems requiring remedial work were 65% of the total inspected and several septic systems were replaced. All Otty Lake septic systems with Tay Valley have now been inspected. As of May 2014, six D/NE Township septic systems older than nine years on Otty Lake shoreline properties remain to be inspected, and this should be done by the end of the summer of 2014.