Conservation Corner > Keeping It Blue!
Keeping It Blue!
May 2, 2009 --

As Summer rolls in to the Coon Lake Beach area it becomes a busy place. Not only for us seeking recreational activities but  alot of nature becomes busy also.  Fish looking for spawning areas along the shore, Loons, ducks, geese and birds also like to nest along the shoreline. Other animals include raccoons, mink, weasel, muskrat, frogs and otters like to call the lake their home.

As a user of the lake shore, each one of us has a responsibility of helping keeping the lake blue and clear. Not only at the shoreline but at our homes also. There are many things that each of us can do to to help the water quality of the lake.

One of the most important things a homeowner can do is not to fertilize their lawn, especially down by the lake shore or beach.  Any fertilizers should be phosphorus-free. Algae uses fertilizers as a food source. Keeping it out of the water should be a high priority.

Leaving a buffer zone at the waters edge is very helpful in preventing runoff into the lake. It can be as simple as leaving your grass a little longer for a few feet at the waters edge. This will also help keep waterfowl off your property and prevent chemicals from entering the water directly.  Be sure to compost your grass clippings and leaves which can contain phosphorus. make sure your septic system is up to code and working or bacteria could reach the water.

Keeping your patio and driveway clean is another way to keep chemicals from entering the lake via rainwater runoff.  Be sure to clean up oil spills and other chemicals from these areas. Actually go outside during a rain storm and see how the running water affects your property. Use the recycle center on Viking Blvd. near the fire station.

When boating in shallow areas it is important to try and not disturb sediments which can stir up and that harmful algae will take a hold of.

Algae has become a common part of summer, but it does not have to be that way. Algae is more than just unsightly, its Algae blooms can be dangerous. Last year the state health dept warned of dangerous Algae in several lakes. A child was sickened and a dog was believed to have died from contaminated water. Algae can cause mild rashes to liver damage and more. the effects are not just upon us, fish and wildlife are also affected. Algae decaying can deplete oxygen so that there is not enough oxygen for fish to survive.

We know how to limit the Algae blooms in our lakes.  It is your effort in all aspects of protecting and using preventable measures  that will have a combined effect for Keeping It Blue! Everything is connected via the watershed, it all ends up in a body of water somewhere.  The cumulative affect of all the property owners behavior does make a difference in our water quality.