Fishing, Wildlife and Nature

Embark on a fishing adventure, catch a glimpse of wildlife and explore nature at Eagle Lake!

FISHINGDuck

The lake is a popular with anglers and the varying depths of the lake makes for great fishing year round.

Natives species to the lake include brook trout, lake trout, whitefish, brown bullhead, white sucker and the smelt. Specific programs to stock the lake with walleye, rainbow trout, smallmouth bass, and yellow perch have taken place over many decades. Northern Pike were also introduced to the lake approximately five years ago.

WILDLIFE

It does not take much to spot wildlifeScreen Shot 2015-09-07 at 9.34.52 PM in its natural environment on Eagle Lake.

The lake is home to at least three sets of loons, snapping turtles, many families of duck, otters, deer, bald eagles, osprey and over 90 other species of birds. Black bears are also frequently spotted at the township landfill site.

NATURE

Eagle Lake and the surround community is home to many species of stunning flora and there are multiple nature and hiking trails to explore.

Screen Shot 2015-09-07 at 9.11.51 PMBe sure to check out the Discover Trails website for more information. Whether you are looking for a short 30 minute hike on foot through Mikisew Provincial Park or a longer day journey by bike with a 65 km ride around the entire lake this website should be your first spot when planning an adventure!

CANADIAN GEESE AT EAGLE LAKE

A new family spotted on the lake on July 2016

Over the past few years we have had numerous complaints about Canada Geese fouling peoples’
property. Ironically, Canada Geese did not historically stay on Eagle Lake during the summer but only
stopped temporarily when they were migrating. Unlike most waterfowl, these geese feed primarily on land, and prefer grazing on large open lots which they do for around twelve hours a day. They digest very quickly (approximately one hour) and require large amounts of food from which to obtain their nutrition. For example, it is estimated that an adult Canada Goose will eat four pounds of grass per day and deposit one to three pounds of droppings on the lawn or in the water.

When they are moulting they cannot fly. Since the moulting period lasts for a month or more, they must be able to find sufficient forage in the water or within walking distance of their waterway. Traditionally, Eagle Lake did not provide conditions suitable for this feeding pattern. However, there are now numerous properties from which the geese can easily access the grass they enjoy for forage. These lawns also provide wide, unobstructed views of any approaching predators and ready access to the safety provided by the water. By nature, these are tundra animals that congregate on low vegetation in close proximity to water.

The main problem for lakefront property owners is the mess that is created on their properties. The droppings are extensive, messy, and a potential health risk. They contribute to e coli contamination, and can contain parasites such as that which causes swimmers itch. In addition to polluting the Lake, the fecal material contain both nitrogen and phosphorous which accelerate the growth of algae. With the recent emergence of the dangerous blue/green algae in Lake Bernard, this represents a significant potential threat for our Lake. Adult geese can also become aggressive if disturbed, particularly when breeding and nesting.

There are a number of things a property owner can do to prevent these problems: Firstly, do not feed these geese or any other waterfowl. Human food such as bread and popcorn does not contain the nutrition they require, and feeding encourages them to return. Secondly, if you maintain a lawn, a natural or artificial barrier can limit or eliminate their access to your lawn. The preferable option involves creating a barrier of natural vegetation at the shoreline. Canada Geese will not wander through underbrush that limits their visibility and reduces their sightlines. Ideally, the barrier should be over thirty inches tall. It works best if it continues 20 to 30 feet back from the shoreline. This option provides numerous other benefits for the health of the Lake and the shoreline.

For more expedient solution, you can create a barrier such as a fence. Other, more elaborate, options that have been suggested include a wire stretched across the shoreline, or plastic netting placed on the grass.

INVASIVE PHRAGMITES

Eagle Lake has always been fortunate because, as a headwater lake, the only way the water or environment can become degraded is through the action of residents whose property is on or near the lake or those that use it on a temporary basis. Historically, the main environmental concern for the ELCA centred on the high level of phosphorous in the water which represented the most immediate threat to the Lake.

Recently another threat to the health of the Lake has been identified. Invasive Phragmites (European Common Reed) has been identified in the south basin of the Lake. The most dense outcrop of this perennial grass is growing at the property located at 40 Angus Point Road. For more information from the ELCA on phragmites, please check out the February 2017 and June 2017 newsletters.

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