Soyers Lake


Soyers Lake Fall 2016 Newsletter
The Fall 2016 Newsletter as well as past newsletters are available in the MEMBERS ONLY / NEWSLETTERS area. CLICK HERE to go to the MEMBERS ONLY / NEWSLETTERS area (make sure you have your login information handy).
(Added November 22, 2016) Top

Soyers Lake Maps
Maps of Soyers Lake which show the marker buoys are now available on MAPS page. There is a Google Maps version and a printable (PDF) version.
(Added June 8, 2016) Top

2015 Annual General Meeting Presentation
The 2015 Annual General Meeting was held at the Haliburton Highlands Outdoors Association Fish Hatchery on Saturday July 11, 2015. Debbie Balika gave a presentation on Water Quality in Soyers Lake and you can view her presentation by CLICKING HERE (Requires a Powerpoint viewer)
(Added July 15, 2015) Top

Minden Hills Passes New Noise By-Law (from township notice)
On September 26, 2013, Council voted in favour of a new noise by-law that should result in a reduction of unnecessary noise and will limit the use of personal fireworks.

The new by-law prohibits unnecessary noise 24/7 whereas the old by-law only prohibited unnecessary noise from 11 pm through 6 am. An exception is made in the new bylaw for construction work between the hours of 7 am and 7 pm.

Personal fireworks are now prohibited in Minden Hills except during the following times:
- New Year's Eve (dusk through 1 am)
- Victoria Day weekend (dusk through 11 pm)
- Canada Day and the weekends immediately before and after (dusk through 11 pm)
- Labour Day weekend (dusk through 11 pm)

Enforcement will require the complainant to contact the municipal office and complete a complaint form providing detailed information about the nature of the noise or fireworks infraction, the location, date(s), time of day and the name of the perpetrator. The complainant will have to agree to appear in court on behalf of the Township in the event a complaint is referred to the courts.

Municipal staff will not be doing on-site complaint investigations, they will rely on the complaint form and a detailed conversation with the complainant in order to determine whether a complaint has sufficient merit to be sent to a prosecutor.

Council hopes to create a more peaceful environment for the enjoyment of all residents.

To make an enquiry or report a complaint, please contact:
Paula Stamp
Permit Clerk/Municipal Law Enforcement Officer
Township of Minden Hills
Box 359, #7 Milne Street
Minden, Ontario KOM 2KO

Phone: 705-286-1260 Ext. 211
Fax: 705-286-6005

(Added October 21, 2013) Top

Septic System Video
At the SLRA Annual General Meeting on July 6, 2013 an informative video about septic systems was shown by Paul MacInnes of the CHA (Coalition of Haliburton Property Owners' Associations).

You can view the video by CLICKING HERE or by visiting the CHA web site.
(Added July 7, 2013) Top

Changes to the Trent Severn Waterway
During the past several years there has been a lot said about the need for proper management of the Trent Severn Waterway System comprising the Kawartha Lakes and interconnecting canals and the Reservoir and Flow Through (RAFT) lakes and watersheds of Haliburton County and the northern portion of the City of Kawartha Lakes.

In 2008 a report commissioned by the Federal Government was released called It’s All About the Water. This report made a number of recommendations including the urgent need for upgrades and refurbishment of infrastructure controlling the water levels of the RAFT lakes in Haliburton as well as changes to the overall management of the entire system.

Recently, Barry Devolin our MP for Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock announced plans to introduce a private members bill to change the way the system is to be managed. The Government has announced reductions in manpower levels and operation times of the canal system to meet budget cutbacks. The impact of this and other actions has been reviewed by the Coalition of Equitable Water Flow (CEWF), an organization of waterfront property owner associations of which SLRA is a member.

A more detailed report on Barry Devolin’s planned bill can be found in the Minden Times by CLICKING HERE or at

The cover letter and report they have issued are available on our web site (CLICK HERE to read the cover letter and CLICK HERE for the report).

We encourage you to read the report and send a letter of concern to the local MP as suggested by the CEWF.

(Added February 9, 2013) Top

Shoreline Tree Preservation By-Law (by Dave Gordon)
In late August, the County of Haliburton enacted by-law 3505, a by-law to conserve, prohibit, restrict, and regulate the protection, preservation and removal of trees on shoreline properties in the County of Haliburton.

Some of the goals of the by-law are to prevent "clear cutting" of shoreline properties, maintain water quality, enhance aesthetic values of land, and protect fishing habitat.

The by-law applies to all lands in the County within 30 metres of the high water mark of all navigable waterways. The by-law provides a number of exemptions for specific situations:

The following are exemptions to By-law No. 3505:

  • work on any tree(s) with a trunk diameter of less than 10 cm, as measured at 1.37 metres from ground level
  • hazard tree removal
  • removal of dead, dangerous, diseased or severely injured trees or stumps
  • emergency work removal
  • pruning or removal of trees in accordance with professional practices
  • removal authorized or permitted under a municipal building permit
  • removal of any tree within 5 metres of a dwelling or septic system
  • removal of trees for a driveway provided it is no more than 5 metres in width
  • removal of trees for a pathway to the water provided it is no more than 5 metres in width

The by-law restricts a number of the exemptions based on whether you own the shoreline road allowance in front of your property. Also, the exemptions are limited if the slope within that 30 metres from the high water mark is over 25% or in an area adjacent to fish habitat. The by-law specifies the use of qualified arborists and qualified tree markers to approve a plan when you are cutting trees within the 30 metres to ensure that you are in compliance with the by-law and good arboricultural practices.

You can apply for relief from the by-law by writing to the Director of Planning for the County.

The by-law will be enforced by the County and will be based on written complaints that it receives. The penalties for contravention of the by-law include penalties up to a maximum of $100,000.00 and the right for the County to stop the destruction of the tree(s) and/or issue a work order to rehabilitate the land at the property owner's expense.

A copy of the actual by-law along with commonly asked questions are available on the Haliburton County website by CLICKING HERE or by visiting§ion=Planning&subsection=ShorelineTreePreservation on the web.
(Added November 14, 2012) Top

Low Impact Lake Recreation (by Kim Stamp)
(adapted from the Lakeland Living Book)

We all love the tremendous boating opportunities on Soyers Lake. Did you know that the ecological impacts of our recreational activities on the water include wake effects, wildlife disturbance, noise, and pollution? Many animals respond to human disruptions by altering their behaviour and location. Breeding water birds nest at the water's edge where high wakes can drown nests and destroy eggs. Disturbances such as noise and frequent visits to nesting areas may mean that waterfowl abandon their nests or young chicks.

Here are a few tips we can all follow to help reduce the impact of our actions while we enjoy the benefits of The Lake We Love!

  • Operate your boat below 10km/h whenever you are within 30 metres of the shore - it is the law!
  • Always avoid waterfowl nests and other sensitive wildlife habitat.
  • Always follow safe refueling guidelines to avoid polluting the water.
  • Consider using non-lead fishing tackle.
  • Obey posted speed limits and "No Wake" zones and know your boat's wake-free speed.
  • Remember that operating your boat on plane creates a smaller wake than when "plowing" through the water at lower speeds.
  • Remember that large wakes can contribute to shoreline erosion, plugged water lines, flooded loon nests and damage to neighbouring docks and moored boats. Please Respect the Lake you Love by keeping your wake to a minimum until you reach the large open parts of our lake.
  • Remember also that being a good Lake Steward in these ways not only protects the environment of Soyers Lake, it also protects the value of your property!
(Added March 23, 2012) Top

The Importance of Calcium in our Lakes (by Larry Grigg and Dave Gordon)
There have been a lot of studies and chatter of late on the decline of calcium levels in Haliburton and Muskoka area lakes. The importance of calcium levels is that it supports tiny organisms called water fleas. These tiny organisms are a important part of the food chain and feed on algae. The water fleas (Daphnia) provide food for fish and other invertebrates.

The decline of Daphnia may impact fish populations and there may be other aquatic organisms that are sensitive to calcium declines, such as crayfish.

The two primary causes of the decline in calcium are thought to be acid rain and logging. In the past two decades progress has been made to reduce acid rain. Calcium has been and continues to be leached from the watershed soils into lake faster than it can be replenished through weathering or deposition from the atmosphere (e.g. dust). The re-growth of trees following logging can further diminish the supply of calcium available. Recent experiments in forty-nine lakes in south central Ontario, show approximately ten per cent have low calcium levels. Many of the lakes on the Canadian Shield in Ontario are nearing or passed the low calcium threshold. The scientists at Dorset Environmental Science Centre think maybe climate change is also a possible contributor. The reduction in runoff results from changes in climate and precipitation.

What can we do as property owners to help calcium depletion in our lake?

  1. Distributing a dusting of excess wood ash in nearby woodlands.
  2. Supporting or getting involved with efforts to influence government on tree cutting by-law and to consider soil nutrients levels, especially calcium, when developing forest management plans and logging quotas.
  3. The reducing use of energy and fossil fuels including the use of electricity generated by coal and oil fired power plants thereby reducing acid rain-causing emissions.
The SLRA is currently participating in the Lake Partner Program in Dorset who are starting to monitor Calcium levels in the lakes.

Help the lake, do not cut down trees and recycle the fire ash.
(Added March 23, 2012) Top

It's All About the Water (by David Pengelly)
I guess that’s obvious to the members of the SLRA: for the most part that’s why we are here, and why we love our lake. But we grumble from time to time because the water level in the lake is “too high” or “too low”. For the greatest part of the 75 years I’ve been “on the lake” I just assumed the level changes were due to the vagaries of nature, but in the last decade or two I learned otherwise.

Turns out that in 1906 an Order-in-Council (OiC) was enacted which set the legal framework for the Trent-Severn Waterway (TSW) to establish control over water flow and levels throughout the watersheds draining into the canal system. Thus a Federal agency (now Parks Canada) controls the flow out of (and thus the water level in) Soyers Lake. Its primary mandate is to deal with public safety (flooding, etc), but second only to this is its responsibility to maintain navigation through the canal system, but not through so-called “reservoir” or “flow-through” lakes such as ours.

In 2006, a private member’s bill was passed which requested the Federal Government to revisit the 1906 OiC, and to develop a new approach to water management in the Trent-Severn watersheds. A review Panel was set up to engage the various stakeholders, including the public, and to bring forward a Report on their findings. Also in 2006, the Coalition for Equitable Water Flow was created, under the dynamic leadership of its founding Chair, Bonnie Fleischaker, and at that time SLRA became one of the founding members. In 2007, SLRA was one of the 225 organizations (including CEWF) to make a written and oral submission, to the Panel, which is in the public record. The Panel did an excellent job in bringing all these views together in its report, the title of which is: “It’s All About the Water”. There has been some slow progress by Government agencies in response to the Report, and this can be found, along with more material on this topic on the CEWF website:

Additional Resources:
CEWF 2012 Position Paper
Map of Trent-Severn Watershed (Soyers Lake is shown with a star)
Original 2007 SLRA Presentation to the Panel

(Added January 29, 2012) Top

As the Temperature Rises
David Pengelley spoke briefly at our 2011 Annual General Meeting about the likelihood of more frequent extreme weather. He also forwarded the following July 17, 2011 article from CATCH (Citizens at City Hall - from Hamilton, Ontario).

As the temperature rises (July 17, 2011)
The city’s heat response plan kicks into higher gear today as southern Ontario heads into a week of multiple plus 40C humidex readings. But despite a deepening drought (after record spring rainfalls), Hamilton’s situation pales beside the weather affecting much of the continent, with fully half the US population under a heat advisory or heat warning earlier this week.

Half way through July, it has already been a year of extreme weather – demonstrated most dramatically in a four minute video released last month. In June there were over 2700 high temperature records set in the United States, versus 251 locations that established new one-day lows. Two-thirds of the heat records occurred in the first ten days of the month, a period when records also fell across southern Ontario, and by more than a full degree in places like Windsor and Toronto.

The US National Weather Service is currently warning of “a massive heat wave” that threatens over half the lower 48 states with plus 100F temperatures (nearly 38C). And fully one quarter of the US is now officially in drought, with a particularly extreme situation in Texas with 70 percent of that state in the highest category (“exceptional”) and another 20 percent classified as “extreme”.

In Hamilton, maximum daily temperatures have averaged 28.9C so far in July, with no significant rainfall since June 24. Yesterday’s heat advisory called by the city’s Medical Officer of Health was the third this year, but it was upgraded this morning to a heat warning.

The advisory is stage one of a three-stage warning system. It is issued when a humidex reading of 40C is expected. Stage two is the heat warning – when there are two consecutive days over the 40C mark – with a “heat alert” issued for four or more days, or if any single humidex is expected to exceed 45C.

The first level warning invites people to use nearly 50 air-conditioned public buildings such as recreation centres during their business hours. Efforts are also initiated by over two dozen social service agencies to reach and assist vulnerable elderly and low-income residents.

More “cool places” are opened at stage two and hours are extended for some city swimming pools. The Salvation Army begins water distribution. The Hamilton system has been in place since 2008. Toronto began its warnings in 1999. They were initially based on humidex readings, but two years later changed to a system based on anticipated health effects. “A Heat Alert is called when a hot air mass is forecast and the likelihood of deaths is more than 65 percent,” says their Hot Weather Response Plan. “An Extreme Heat Alert is issued when the heat has become more severe or is expected to last longer and the likelihood of deaths is more than 90 percent.”

Today, Toronto has extended the heat alert is issued yesterday.

Global average surface temperatures have risen nearly 1C over twentieth century averages, but that translates into wide variations. Canada’s average has climbed 1.6C while parts of the arctic are up more than 5C. Many climate scientists believe there’s little hope of preventing at least a 2C global average increase and perhaps as much as 4C by as early as mid-century.

Last year tied 2005 for the hottest ever on a global scale. This past June was the 316th consecutive month with a global temperature above the twentieth century average

The Canada-wide average temperature in 2010 hit a record level – 3.0C above the norm – concentrated particularly in the north-eastern part of the country including Baffin Island and northern Quebec. Extreme heat records were set in 19 countries (itself a record amount) including Russia where temperatures averaged 10C above normal for most of a month contributing to 56,000 additional deaths and devastation of the country’s wheat crop.
(Added July 24, 2011) Top

Informational Cottage Posters
The CHA (Coalition of Halibutron Property Owners Associations), U-Links and Trent University have developed the following informational posters for use in homes/cottages where renters, owners or visitors may not understand septic systems etc.. These posters are designed to printed on 8 1/2 X 11 paper, laminated and then hung prominently in the appropriate area.
The posters are for the: Bathroom, Laundry, Kitchen and Garbage

You can also access these posters in the OTHER RESOURCES area of this website.
(Added June 16, 2011) Top

New Swap Shop area on the Soyers Lake Website
The Soyers Lake website now has its very own "swap shop". Do you have things you would like to sell or just get out of your house? Now you can go to our Soyers Lake web site and list all those unwanted items you have been trying to get rid of. It is easy to use and you can even post pictures.

Just go to the MEMBERS ONLY section and check out the Swap Shop (make sure you have your login information handy).

Some of our members felt it would be a great feature especially for cottage items, water toys and used furniture. People would not have far to travel to see and purchase items. The other good thing is that some hard to reach places could have items brought in by boat.

So if you are looking to free up some space or sell some things you no longer need, check out this new feature on our website and remember, "One person's junk is another person's treasure". As well it is a great way to reduce, reuse and recycle.
(Added November 3, 2010) Top

New Members Only Features on the Soyers Lake Website
Now you can update your address information, check you membership dues payment history and more. All you need to do is LOGIN to the MEMBERS ONLY area using your email address and your individual password. The old Username and Password still work but will provide fewer features.

If you don't know your individual password you can have it sent to the email address we have on file.

If we don't have an email address for you, please contact
(Added August 9, 2010) Top