GBA 2022 - Summer Update

April 15 marked the 50th anniversary of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (GLWQA), a bi-national commitment to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the waters of the Great Lakes Basin ecosystem. During its first 50 years, the GLWQA has achieved some significant water quality improvements, but there is still much to do – see the table on the next page for an overview of the 10 annexes into which all GLWQA activities and action are allocated. You can see how important action under the GLWQA is to the future water quality of Georgian Bay and the broad range of ongoing work being done to protect our water. GBA was at the table for the last agreement in 2012 and we are again this year. In addition to submitting direct comments on the new draft agreement, GBA sits on the Planning Advisory Committee. This committee will help plan a series of meetings in Windsor this September to review the past 50 years in order to shape the next agreement and longer-term plans. A new organization is being put together called Great Lakes Ecoregion Network (GLEN: GLEN will coordinate input from the primary non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Canada and the US that have traditionally made recommendations on actions required under the GLWQA. GBA is one of the founding organizations helping to launch and structure GLEN to expand its reach and membership. By acting together under an improved new GLWQA agreement, there is a higher probability that the US and Canadian government agencies involved with the GLWQA will pay more attention to our recommendations. Going forward, GLEN expects to influence the extent and scope of government action to meet core GLWQA objectives. GBA will be part of the team organizing public meetings in August so that you can provide your input and ideas in advance of the key September meetings to determine the future of GLWQA. Please watch for these meeting announcements over the next few months. Vol. 32 No. 2, Summer 2022 Rocking the Boat: Floating Cottages Raise Ecological Concerns. ..............................................6 Ontario’s New 2022 Fishing Regulations...........................8 Anglers Are Vulnerable to Tick Bites...........................................9 Live Bait Regulations for 2022.......11 ED’s Advocacy Report.......................12 Taking Care of Turtles.....................15 President’s Report.............................16 Protecting the Windswept Trees of Georgian Bay......................18 Upcoming Events...............................19 News and I nformat i on f rom the Georg i an Bay Assoc i at i on Regulating Watercraft under Ontario’s Invasive Species Act PAGE 4 PAGE 10 PM # 40038178 GBA U P D A T E Your Voice on the Bay Lost on the Lake: Georgian Bay’s Shipwrecks Continues on page 2 INS IDE : Photo: Rolfe Jones Working Together on Great Lakes Water Quality for the Next 50 Years By Rupert Kindersley, Executive Director

2 GBA UPDATE Summer 2022 Continued from page 1 GLWQA Achievements and Shortfalls by Annex Annex Name Achievements Shortfalls & Outstanding Matters 1 Areas of concern (AOCs) Large number of highly degraded areas throughout the Great Lakes have been remediated. There is still a long list of AOCs with outstanding remediation requirements – 13 in Canada and 24 in the US. There is a lack of follow-up on, and local support for, remediated sites. Algae problems are multiplying as water temperatures increase. 2 Lakewide management Good program to coordinate action on each lake among the relevant government agencies which GBA has participated in. As GBA and others have repeatedly pointed out, there has been too much reporting on the status of each lake and not enough action to address problems. 3 Chemicals of mutual concern (CMCs) Progress made on banning a number of chemicals following good research on their effects on water quality and human health. GBA and others have made many submissions over the years to request swifter action and a major expansion of the list of CMCs, as many dangerous chemicals are not included and the list is rarely expanded to address new toxins. Canadian Environmental Law Association is the lead in Canada. 4 Nutrients Some progress made on controlling nutrient run-off into the Great Lakes – from farms, for instance. Many further improvements to municipal infrastructure are needed to reduce and ultimately eliminate sewage overflows. More support for farms to further reduce their nutrient runoffs is necessary. In Canada, despite all these efforts to reduce nutrient loading, open net aquaculture operations in Lake Huron are still permitted to dump large amounts of phosphorous in the water, which GBA has been objecting to for over 23 years. 5 Discharges from vessels Ballast water regulations have been introduced and recently tightened in both the US and Canada. As GBA has been urging for decades, these regulations should have been introduced much sooner than they were with stricter requirements. This would have avoided some of the invasive species establishing themselves in the Great Lakes. 6 Aquatic invasive species Far fewer aquatic invasive species are now able to invade the Great Lakes than did so in the early years of the GLWQA due to steady improvements in controls. Asian carp have mainly been kept out. Sea lamprey numbers are kept in check. The first 50 years of the GLWQA saw a large number of highly impactful species establish themselves, such as zebra and quagga mussels, round goby, and spiny waterflea. More effort is likely needed to eradicate grass carp from the system. Going forward we need to: continue to be vigilant; find new ways to control existing species and prevent new ones; and continually look at new technology and scientific advancements to find solutions. GBA reports regularly on the status of Asian carp and practical measures to mitigate the spread of invasives. 7 Habitat and species Some progress on restoring wetlands and adding to protected land and waters. Since 1972, many wetlands have been degraded or destroyed, fisheries have declined, and phragmites has spread. Much work needs to be done to restore more wetlands, eradicate phragmites, and restore fisheries. All the GB4 are involved in phragmites eradication in the Bay and we have been singled out as one of the best examples of effective community action in the Great Lakes. 8 Groundwater Improvements in understanding the dynamics of groundwater and its importance to water quality. The International Joint Commission (IJC) has played a major role. Since it is estimated that around 50% of the water entering the Great Lakes system comes directly or indirectly from groundwater, continuing to advance our understanding to inform action needed to improve water quality should be a key future component/focus for the GLWQA. 9 Climate change impacts Some good work on the potential impacts of climate change on the system has been done. Gaining a full understanding of the impacts of climate change on water, air temperature, precipitation, and ice cover is vital to informing policy, strategy, and action across all GLWQA annexes. GBA’s action on water levels issues is now closely linked to climate change dynamics. 10 Science Significant progress on coordinating, integrating, synthesizing, sharing, reporting, and effectively communicating GLWQA scientific work to enhance restoration, protection, and conservation of the Great Lakes. Action to integrate traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) with western science under the GLWQA is relatively recent and a lot more work is needed on this.

3 GBA UPDATE Summer 2022 For Non Association Members: Call your local association and sign up today to enjoy these discounts HOME / CONDO COTTAGE AUTO with Substantial Discounts: Exclusive to GBA Members “NEW” in addition to our Gold-Standard Cottage Program, we now offer a Gold-Standard Insurance Plan for 1-800-579-7423 WWW. R I C E I N C . C A We also specialize in all cottages including: • High Values • Island Properties • Unique Construction • Multiple Owners • Rented Properties • Boats

4 GBA UPDATE Summer 2022 HERITAGE There are more than 6,000 shipwrecks scattered throughout the Great Lakes. Georgian Bay, due to its geography and navigational challenges, has more than its fair share of these wrecks, especially where Lake Huron meets the Bay at the Bruce Peninsula near Tobermory. Georgian Bay has come to be the final resting place to hundreds of sunken vessels, many of them of great historic interest. Big ships, steamers, tugs, leisure yachts, and small boats are no match for Georgian Bay’s frigid waters, rugged islands, hidden shoals, and quick temper. One of the biggest disasters in the history of the Great Lakes is that of the SS Asia. The Asia set off from Owen Sound on September 14, 1882, loaded with 10 workhorses, cargo, and 128 passengers and crew destined for the French River. Despite a storm warning, and misgivings from the steamship company, which briefly considered holding her in port, the Asia pulled out around midnight. Leaving the shelter of the Bruce Peninsula, she sailed directly into the storm, which by nine o’clock in the morning is reported to have reached the velocity of a hurricane. The wind increased drastically and changed direction. Cargo was thrown overboard, and the horses were put down. By 11 a.m., the Asia was foundering in gale force winds and high seas. Heavily laden and top-heavy, she listed to starboard and sank close to Lonely Island between Manitoulin and Byng Inlet. It was reported that the doomed vessel was running without a licence, having been refused one on account of carrying an insufficient number of lifeboats and life preservers. Shocked passengers clung to floating timber and an overturned lifeboat, but it flipped over several times and when the gale finally subsided, only two young survivors remained. Christy Morrison and Duncan Tinkis drifted ashore and were subsequently rescued by a man who took them to Parry Sound on September 17. Another ill-fated ship was the Waubuno, which conveyed passengers and freight between Collingwood and Parry Sound. She sank at Wreck Island near Moose Point during a gale on the night of November 22, 1879, though the exact cause of her sinking is unknown. The ship had been trying to leave Collingwood for days, but snow and fierce winds had kept the ship in port. During a break in the weather on November 21, the ship set off with 24 crew and passengers. It was last spotted afloat by the lighthouse keeper at Christian Island who noted the ship was faring well. Searchers found no trace of the passengers but picked up several articles they knew belonged to the missing vessel, consisting of a lifeboat, life preserver with the ship’s name, several articles of furniture, the ship’s ledger, and part of the paddle box. Barrels of apples, flour, and different articles of freight washed up on shore. Other parts of the ship have been recovered over the years: a hull can be found near Wreck Island, its rudder is on display at Midland Ontario’s Huronia Museum, and the anchor was recovered in 1959. By Allison Needham, UPDATE Deputy Editor Lost on the Lake: Georgian Bay’s Shipwrecks The Asia’s Captain, John Savage, survived the sinking of the ship, but later died in a lifeboat.

5 GBA UPDATE Summer 2022 Christian Island and the adjacent Hope Island is a favourite destination for curious divers given the proximity to several old shipwrecks there. Lost in 1867, the Marquette had been damaged in a storm and dropped anchor east of Hope Island to make repairs. A sudden wind shift finished off the job the storm had begun, sending the boat to the bottom. Marquette is currently the most intact of the area’s wrecks, and because it is sheltered from the winds it can be accessed on most days of the season. The Mapledawn went down northwest of Christian Island in a snowstorm in 1924. Due to reduced visibility from the storm, the ship ventured too close to shore and hit submerged rocks. A section of the stern and a portion of a propeller shaft ripped off, flooding the engine room. Helpless without power or steerage and pushed by wind and waves, she ran aground. Two men made it to shore, hiked across the island for help and all the crew were saved. If you are a shipwreck enthusiast, you might like a snorkelling outing to Carling Rock where the wreck of the Atlantic is located. Near the Mink Islands the remains of the Seattle can be found. Both are in shallow water and can be seen from the surface. A diver actively searching for wrecks must have a licence and can’t take pictures or go near a wreck if one is located. A find must be reported to the Canadian Coast Guard’s Receiver of Wreck. Some wrecks are protected as cultural or heritage resources, other wrecks are located in parks and conservation areas. No one may disturb the following types of wrecks without special permission: ≥Wrecks of historical or archeological value ≥Wrecks in marine-protected areas ≥ Military wrecks The ships that sank over the course of hundreds of years of travel and commerce along the lakes look much like they did the day they went down. While salty waters can decay sunken ship parts and corrode metal, freshwater acts as the perfect preservative. The very water that brought countless ships to ruin in our Great Lakes serve to protect them. Over time they are forgotten but they sit at extreme depths, preserved for eternity. It was 6 a.m. when the Waubuno passed the lighthouse at Christian Island. Apart from two lumbermen hearing the ship’s whistle at noon, she was never seen or heard from again. The worst maritime disaster ever on Georgian Bay, the Asia sank on September 14, 1882.

6 GBA UPDATE Summer 2022 By Rupert Kindersley, Executive Director GBA has been working on the issue of floating cottages for about 25 years, but due to a recent proliferation of new manufacturers and designs, there has been a renewed interest in developing appropriate regulations to address a variety of concerns. Municipalities, for instance, are interested in making these accommodation units subject to local taxes. For GBA, the primary concern is to ensure that environmental protections are in place – proper disposal of black water, grey water, and garbage are the most concerning environmental issues. What Is a Floating Cottage? Floating cottage design varies between those that need to be towed from place to place and those that have their own means of propulsion and navigation. However, all are clearly accommodation units built on rafts, rather than within a hull. At present there is a clear distinction between floating cottages, which GBA wants to see regulated municipally, and houseboats, which are outside of GBA action on floating cottages. This may change as more imaginative designs are developed. Legal Precedents ≥ In 1997, a floating cottage turned up attached to a private, natural-state island in the Township of the Archipelago (ToA). ToA launched a lawsuit to enforce its removal and won, forcing the floating cottage to be removed. ≥ In 2015, an Ontario Supreme Court decision on a boathouse in Kawartha Lakes may create a pathway for municipalities to enforce their bylaws on structures that are floating above lakebeds. Rocking the Boat: Floating Cottages Raise Ecological Concerns ADVOCACY These two recreational vehicles on barges were tied off to Crown land for an extended period in the Bay of Islands in 2019. Similar setups have increasingly been observed across the GBA area.

7 GBA UPDATE Summer 2022 ≥ In 2017/18 the City of Victoria, BC, succeeded in its defence of its 2016 bylaw aimed at stopping houseboats from mooring for extended periods of time in the Gorge Waterway – some of them had been there for 40 years. The court found that the bylaw superseded federal regulations in certain key respects and the houseboats had to move on. Taken together, these legal precedents are helpful to the efforts of GBA and others to work together cooperatively to establish that floating cottages are subject to municipal oversight and regulation. Ultimately, we believe this will be the best way to minimize environmental impacts, particularly protecting water quality. GBA Recent and Ongoing Action: ≥ Initiated discussions on a coordinated approach via a strategic alliance between key stakeholders to determine how municipal regulations can be implemented and enforced ≥ Commenced discussions with Transport Canada to request that vessel licences not be issued for floating cottages and those that have been issued be rescinded ≥ Developing a strategy on advocating to the federal and provincial agencies that have a direct or indirect role regulating floating cottages ≥ Provided input to the Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry (MNR) at a March 2022 consultation webinar on the issues ≥ Developed suggested comments for member associations to use in their responses to the MNR’s request for feedback on the issue in March/April 2022 ≥ Submitted comments on the MNR’s Environmental Registry of Ontario (ERO) posting, see: https://bit. ly/36zjtUv. Related Issues Besides potential lake bed and shoreline degradation from lack of sunlight, overuse of the shore where floating cottages are tied up, and aesthetic and noise impacts, the primary environmental problem with floating cottages staying in one location for extended periods of time is the continuous dumping of grey water during such stays. Many believe that using environmentally friendly cleaning products means that grey water discharges in water do no harm. Unfortunately, this is not the case, as such products are designed to break down only in soil. 2 3 M i s s i s s a g a S t W , O r i l l i a www . c l o u d g a l l e r y . c a 7 0 5 - 3 3 0 - 6 4 4 5 @c l o u d g a l l e r y c a Cottage Country's Regional Art Gallery Visit us in-person and online ART ON THE BAY Beautiful Ontario Art For Sale and On Display at Gilly's Snug Harbour P R E S E N T JUNE 17, 18, 19 SEPT 16, 17, 18 (This assumes that garbage and black water are properly disposed of; however, there are major concerns and questions regarding how – or if – this would be done, given the lack of any collection or pump-out services.) Grey water discharges from boats are an issue that GBA has been trying to resolve for many years. The primary impediment to progress on this front is that existing boats are not required to capture grey water and discharge it safely at onshore facilities. Furthermore, introducing such legislation would be very challenging because, for most existing boats, it is either extremely expensive or impossible to retrofit with grey water collection tanks. GBA has also recently been working with others on the issue of inappropriate mooring buoys that block local boat channels and/or provide long-term accommodation for small islands or lots with limited septic processing capacity, see: https://bit. ly/39cOZsF. With ever-warming water temperatures driven by climate change, these accumulations of grey water are more and more likely to lead to anoxic conditions and blue-green algae outbreaks. For this reason, addressing this water quality issue is a priority for GBA.

8 GBA UPDATE Summer 2022 FISHERIES By Bill Steiss, Chair, Fisheries Committee Recreational anglers across Ontario contribute to a sustainable fishery worth over $1.75 billion a year. To maintain and manage this fishery, the Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry (MNR) publishes an annual summary of the recreational fishing regulations. See: Georgian Bay and the North Channel, including the rivers and countless streams running into these waters, are identified in the guide as Fisheries Management Zone (FMZ) 14: https://bit. ly/3uZLrCh. Zone 14 offers recreational anglers excellent fishing for popular fish species such as walleye, small and largemouth bass, northern pike, muskellunge, lake trout, yellow perch, chinook salmon, and rainbow trout. Protecting this valuable fishery is achieved when the guide’s regulations, such as catch and possession limits, protection of fish sanctuaries, open/closed seasons, and bait restrictions, are respected. Anglers can do their part by following the guide’s regulations and avoiding activities potentially harmful to fish, thereby ensuring that Georgian Bay’s and the North Channel’s fisheries remain healthy and sustainable. The Commercial Fishery Commercial fishing also plays an important part of Zone 14’s heritage, providing healthy food and local employment. Offshore anglers are reminded in the guide that tampering with commercial fishing gear, nets, and traps is prohibited under the provincial Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act and can be unsafe. To learn more about commercial fishing in Ontario, please visit Getting an Outdoors Card Anglers between 18 and 65 years of age require an Outdoors Card, which offers two choices: a sport fishing licence, or a conservation fishing licence. The difference between the two licences is related to the number of fish you are allowed to possess at one time – including any fish you might have at home in your fridge or freezer. Anglers purchasing a licence are supporting an annual stocking program of over eight million fish into Ontario lakes. For more information about the Outdoors Card, visit: https:// Opportunities to Fish for Beginners For those without a fishing licence but keen to fish, the province provides an opportunity to fish for free without a licence on the following weekends: ≥ Family Day Weekend (also known as Family Fishing Weekend!) ≥ Mother’s Day Weekend ≥ Father’s Day Weekend ≥ Ontario Family Fishing Week (the week after Canada Day) ≥ For more information see To help get fishing beginners started, Ontario also provides the online Learn to Fish guide covering all the basics: choosing the right fishing rod and tackle, tying knots, casting techniques, identifying fish species, and using catch and release techniques. Access the guide here: https://bit. ly/3xPAq8F. Ontario’s New 2022 Fishing Regulations

9 GBA UPDATE Summer 2022 As an angler, I’m often treading along river shorelines or walking in tall grass and bushes. In the back of my mind is the possibility that I may pass a shrub with a hungry tick waiting to bite me, and I may not even know it! As ticks are most active in the spring and summer, an unwary angler could be their next target. The Culprit and Where They Are Found Blacklegged ticks (Ixodes scapularis), also know as deer ticks, are usually found in wooded areas or in tall grasses, bushes, and shrubs. Some of these ticks carry the bacteria that causes Lyme disease (Borrelia burgdorferi), and a bite from such a tick can cause the disease in humans. As climate change causes temperatures to increase, blacklegged ticks have been moving farther and farther north. According to Public Health Ontario, while the probability is low, you could encounter an infected tick anywhere in Ontario. Telltale Symptoms Most symptoms usually appear between three and 30 days after a bite from an infected tick. The classic presentation is a bull’s-eye rash that is round or oval, larger than 5 cm in diameter, or a bruise-like rash. Bull’s-eye rash Bruise-like rash Other symptoms may include fever, chills, headache, stiff neck, muscle aches, joint pain, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, spasms, numbness, tingling, and facial paralysis. Symptoms from untreated Lyme disease can last years and include recurring arthritis and neurological problems, numbness, paralysis and, in very rare cases, death. The good news is that in most cases, Lyme disease can be treated successfully with antibiotics. Contact your local public health unit or speak to a health care professional as soon as you suspect you have been bitten by an infected tick. Preventing Tick Bites Prior to setting out along a wooded path, or fishing along the banks of a river, the following precautions should be taken: ≥Wear light-coloured clothing as it’s easier to see ticks. Wear long-sleeved shirts and tuck pants into your socks (avoid shorts). ≥ Apply bug spray or other insect repellents that contain DEET (or icaridin) on exposed skin and always read the label on how to use it (anglers should avoid getting repellent on their flies or lures). ≥ Throughout the day, while visiting streams and walking on wooded paths, periodically check clothes, head gear, and body for ticks, paying attention to the scalp and behind the ears. ≥Wherever possible try to remain on cleared paths. ≥ Arriving home, kill any ticks that might be on your clothing using a dryer on high heat for at least 10 minutes prior to washing them. A shower is also recommended as soon as possible to wash off any ticks. If possible, have a friend or family member help you check areas of your body you can’t see. How to Remove a Tick 1. Using fine-tipped tweezers, grasp the tick as close to your skin as possible. Be careful not to squeeze, as you might crush or damage the tick, which could cause the bacteria to pass from the tick into your bloodstream. 2. Pull the tick straight out, gently but firmly; don’t jerk or twist the tweezers. Don’t use a lit match or cigarette, nail polish, nail polish remover, petroleum jelly, liquid soap, or kerosene to remove the tick. 3. Once the tick is removed, wash the skin with soap and water and then disinfect your skin and hands with rubbing alcohol or an iodine swab. 4. If possible, place the tick in a bottle with a screw top so it can’t get out or be crushed and contact your local public health unit. Source: Much of the information above and diagrams are from the Ontario government’s web site at By Bill Steiss, Chair, Fisheries Committee Anglers Are Vulnerable to Tick Bites LANDS AND FORESTS

10 GBA UPDATE Summer 2022 INVASIVE SPECIES Many of us use various watercraft getting to and from our camps, finding fishing spots, or simply exploring local waters – but what happens when we go to other lakes or rivers? Recent changes to Ontario laws regulating watercraft aim to reduce the chance that we will carry invasive animals and plants from one body of water to another. The Threat of Invasives Aquatic invasive species such as zebra mussels, round gobies, spiny waterfleas, or Eurasian milfoil can catch rides on watercraft and equipment. When they do, these invasives could quickly alter the water’s natural biodiversity, causing fish habitat disruption and declines in the variety and number of fish species. Eventually, this could harm sport fishing, swimming, and boating opportunities, and lead to declines in local tourism, commerce, and cottage real estate. Urging Boaters to Clean Their Watercraft Several years ago, GBA, working with the Federation of Ontario Cottagers’ Association and the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, posted signage at local marinas and boat launching sites urging boaters to be aware of aquatic invasives hitching rides. The Don’t let Them Catch a Ride campaign, asking boaters to clean, drain and wash their boats, trailers, and equipment, is part of Ontario’s Invasives Species Awareness Program (ISAP: to stop aquatic invasives from entering lakes and rivers where they haven’t historically existed. New Laws to Regulate Watercraft With more boaters and anglers than ever before visiting Ontario’s lakes and rivers, the government has stepped up the ISAP by regulating watercraft as a carrier of invasive species through an amendment to the Invasive Species Act. Starting January 1, 2022, boaters, including canoeists, kayakers, and anglers are required to: ≥ Prior to reaching a launch site, inspect their vehicles, trailers, watercraft, and equipment ensuring they are not carrying any aquatic plants, animals, or algae ≥ Take reasonable measures, after being on the water and prior to leaving a launch site or shore, by cleaning and removing any aquatic plants, animals or algae growth that may be on their vehicle, trailer, and equipment ≥ Should a launching site not have washing facilities, or the physical constraints of the operator prevent removal of invasives, the operator should find alternative washing facilities to ensure boat and equipment are completely free of unwanted travellers (washing should be done quickly, as some aquatic invasives can survive up to two weeks out of water) ≥ Leaving a launch site and moving watercraft over land, the operator must open all drain plugs to remove bilge water, including water left in live bait wells Further Actions to Control Invasives GBA will continue working with cottage associations and Boating Ontario to raise anglers’ and boaters’ awareness of invasive species and how to prevent their transmission. GBA will also extend the Don’t let Them Catch a Ride campaign by ensuring local marinas and cottagers’ associations have posted signage at all launching sites. GBA will also continue providing information to anglers and boaters on how to identify the various aquatic invasives and limit their spread. As well, GBA will work with Boating Ontario to urge anglers and boaters to report any sightings of aquatic invasives by calling the provincial Invading Species Hotline at 1-800-5637711. By Bill Steiss, Chair, Fisheries Committee Regulating Watercraft Under Ontario’s Invasive Species Act Eurasian Milfoil Try to wash down your boat after pulling it from the water. Photo: Invasive Species Centre

11 GBA UPDATE Summer 2022 By Bill Steiss, Chair, Fisheries Committee Supplying bait is big business in Ontario, and many anglers purchase minnows, leeches, crayfish, and other live bait species as alternatives to using artificial baits and tied flies. However, you may not be aware that new regulations recently came into law restricting the types of bait you are allowed to use depending on where you are fishing. Potential Risks of Using Live Bait Historically, Ontario’s fishing regulations were relatively unrestricted. For years, anglers faced few controls around where bait was purchased, or how and where it was used and disposed of. Unfortunately, this lack of regulation may have caused the spread of infectious fish diseases such as viral hemorrhagic septicemia (VHS). Disposing of live and dead baitfish, fish eggs, soil from bait containers, or other material into the water may also have jeopardized the ecosystems of lakes and rivers for future fishing. As a result, various regulations and legislation have been enacted to minimize negative impacts to our aquatic ecosystems. New Bait Management Zones As part of Ontario’s work on developing regulations to support sustainable bait management, on January 1, 2022, the province created four new Bait Management Zones (BMZs). Anglers wanting to purchase and fish with live bait in one of the northeastern, central, or southern BMZs bordering on Georgian Bay and the North Channel are now required to comply with the following restrictions: Anglers choosing to fish outside of the BMZ of their principal residence are required to retain a receipt for live bait and leeches purchased from a commercial bait licence holder in the BMZ where they’re fishing. If anglers fishing within the BMZ of their principal residence purchase live bait and leeches locally from a licenced operator, they do not need to retain a receipt. Anglers are not allowed to move live or dead baitfish and leeches from one BMZ to another BMZ – the exception being that anglers are allowed to move bait into an adjacent Great Lake, and they can only move baitfish and leeches into an adjacent BMZ for the purposes of immediately disposing of them more than 30 metres from the water. Ontario and Canadian anglers having a valid sport or conservation fishing licence are permitted to catch local baitfish, leeches, and crayfish for personal use, but only in their home BMZ. You do not need to provide documentation, but you are subject to restrictions on the number and type of fish species collected. Whether harvesting your own or purchasing live bait, you are allowed to have in your possession no more than 120 baitfish, 120 leeches, and 36 crayfish from a permitted list of 48 fish species. For details, see https://bit. ly/3Ou7qc9. Anglers are required to use or dispose of commercially purchased live bait and leeches within two weeks. Bait containers cannot be emptied within 30 metres of a lake or river. As an alternative, anglers can freeze bait for later use. Commercial bait operators must now take a training course, administered by the Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry (MNR), to learn about risks of harvesting and selling live bait, avoiding non-targeted species, and using MNR-prescribed logbooks to document bait transactions. In summary, Ontario’s new regulations controlling the use of bait should enable fewer opportunities for spreading invasive baitfish species through Georgian Bay, the North Channel, and its tributaries. The regulations are now active and should address many of the concerns raised in GBA’s 2020 submission to the province, as well as those of the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters. With bait regulations now law, anglers are encouraged to report violations to MNR by calling toll-free at 1-877-847-7667. Live Bait Regulations for 2022 FISHERIES Northern redbelly dace baitfish

12 GBA UPDATE Summer 2022 At our Annual Members Meeting (AMM) in early April, we highlighted the matters we are currently working on, including advocacy work to governments at all levels, education and information, and services we provide to you and your associations. The following is a list of these items: Coastal Protection 1 Our largest project is the municipal planning comparison project which is about 70 per cent complete. It will compare the planning regulations between five coastal municipalities on the east and north shores of Georgian Bay to surface sound procedures and best practices that will lead to future discussion and information sharing between these municipalities. 2 Our planning policies and regulations guide for members is approximately 90 per cent complete and will provide comprehensive information on how to navigate planning rules, applications, and enforcement. 3 A planning consultants and expertise database will be a resource for these five coastal municipalities. We have started compiling this and expect to complete it shortly after the municipal planning comparison project is completed. 4 The recently formed Floating Cottages committee is looking into how these accommodation units can be properly regulated to mitigate any negative environmental impacts. Learn more about this issue on page 6. 5 Recently the Township of Georgian Bay (TGB) launched a waterfront area policy review. GBA is engaging on this, as we believe that it could surface valuable information and best practices that can be beneficially shared with the other coastal municipalities. 6 Development projects that can potentially impact the environment and/or set unwanted precedents to circumvent planning regulations are of particular concern and, accordingly, GBA has weighed in on development issues on specific properties whenever we have the support of one or more member associations. 7 A septic management and maintenance guide is under development and expected to be finalized shortly. This will help you understand septic options available and how to avoid negative impacts on water quality. 8 We are developing some guidelines for municipal septic inspections and associated advocacy on such issues as: expanding the types of systems permitted under the Ontario Building Code that are suitable for low soil areas and the logistics of inspections in wateraccess-only communities. Water Levels 9 Towards the end of this summer, we expect to receive a comprehensive and informative Environmental and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) future water levels study. Since preliminary results were released in July 2019, GBA and Georgian Bay Forever (GBF) have been pushing for the release of this work. It provides vital information for any resident, business (e.g., marinas), or municipality investing in any form of mitigation of extreme water levels. 10 Analysis of this future water levels study and dissemination of the results to all stakeholders will be undertaken by GBA and GBF later this year. Public events and more deputations to municipalities and the marina industry are planned. 11 We continue to work on the water level action plans that came out of the successful and well attended joint GBA/GBF 2020 Symposium and H2O 2021 webinar series, see: and 12 Given that existing control systems on the Great Lakes are inadequate for addressing the full scale of future water levels variability, GBA will continue to urge governments at every level to find solutions that will work. We believe that simply saying that we must all just adapt is insufficient, and the upcoming future water levels study will provide a rationale for more substantive action. 13 We continue to provide comprehensive weekly water levels reports on the GBA website. Water Quality 14 We are working with GBF and other stakeholders to provide input on Bill 228 about dock foam regulations now that the Bill has been enacted. 15 We continue to work with GBF and other stakeholders to help enact Bill 102 (previously 279) about washing machine filters now that it is through the provincial government’s second reading. 16 We are providing input on the new Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (GLWQA) and 50th anniversary meetings. Please see the article on the cover page of this issue for more information. GBA continues to attend and provide input at Great Lakes Executive Committee meetings. 17 We provide support and testing kits for the continued expansion of test sites under the Lake Partner Program. By Rupert Kindersley, Executive Director ED ADVOCACY REPORT 48 Things We Are Working on

13 GBA UPDATE Summer 2022 18 Working with our non-governmental organization (NGO) partners, there are ongoing submissions on chemicals of mutual concern, watershed issues, pollution legislation, fines, and more. 19 We provide ongoing input on the new Canada Water Agency and Georgian Bay Biosphere’s (GBB) State of the Bay research and publication. 20 We are examining the effects of mercury contamination in fish and the need to update advisories. Wetlands 21 We have been an active participant in the ECCC Great Lakes coastal wetlands resiliency study over the last five years, which is expected to be extended for another five. We are following up on the release and dissemination of seven significant reports late summer, which including the future water levels study referred to above. Boating Safety and Emergencies 22 We have been providing continuous reporting on the state of boating – boat licences (currently being modernized), operator licences (stricter rules are coming), and boat sales (impact of new luxury tax on marina viability). 23 By highlighting boating fatalities statistics and their causes, we have been demonstrating why it is so important to wear a lifejacket for all boating activities. 24 We have been working with Safe Quiet Lakes (SQL) to follow up on their highly successful 2021 survey demonstrating your strong support for the Decibel Project, which aims to introduce new legislation to control excessive boat noise. GBA is a founding member and most GBA associations have now joined the Decibel Coalition. 25 We continue to ensure that the recently updated Georgian Bay for Everyone brochure gets into the hands of all boaters and cottagers to encourage mutual respect and consideration. In particular, we are targeting new boaters and boat/cottage renters. This project is a joint venture with Boating Ontario. 26 We continue to monitor fires, provide current information of coastal municipal fire ratings, and update the substantive fire safety web pages. 27 We provide information on flares, flare disposal, and the approval of the safer alternative – electronic visual distress devices. Aquaculture GBA’s ongoing advocacy to move open net pen aquaculture operations into sustainable facilities (on land) is now in its 24th year. The dedication and hard work of the aquaculture committee is ongoing. 28 Despite constant pressure to expand, there are still only five licenced/regulated and six Indigenous/non-regulated operations in Lake Huron. GBA has bi-annual meetings with the Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry (MNR), Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP), and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) to address the proposed new 20-year licences for this industry, increases in feed quotas (production), and upgraded environmental assessment requirements. The resultant action items are significant. 29 GBA is working with all stakeholders to get the Lake Wolsey operation closed down before more algae outbreaks occur. The landowner and operator at this location is now working in partnership with the Sheshegwaning First Nation, making it one of the six Indigenous/non-regulated operations. CHATHAM POTTERY Individually handthrown, functional stoneware Located in Cognashene in the Summer GPS: 44°55’17.7”N 79°55’00.1”W text , email or call to set up a time to stop over or to place a custom order Continues on page 14

14 GBA UPDATE Summer 2022 30 We have been attending meetings with DFO to explore the potential for updating the regulatory agreement with MNR and the role of DFO, and with ECCC on industry compliance with the GLWQA and the upcoming Lake Huron Management Plan. We have also been providing ongoing input into the new federal Aquaculture Act to ensure that there are clear and distinct rules for freshwater aquaculture. 31 We are investigating the potential for a comprehensive study of the environmental impacts of the cage farms and engaging with DFO, ECCC, International Joint Commission (IJC), and GBF on this issue. 32 We have been meeting with EcoJustice, who are providing support on legal avenues and reviewing the regulatory framework. Fisheries 33 Our focus is on identifying issues facing fisheries and proposing steps to mitigate threats and reporting on: the state of local fisheries industries; the impacts of invasive species on fish stocks; and the need to update commercial fishing regulations. 34 We provide multiple up-to-date web posts and articles on changes to regulations and fishing advisories such as: live bait rules, aquatic invasive species, stocking programs, and the catch-and-release debate. 35 We participate actively in the Georgian Bay Biosphere (GBB) fisheries stewardship framework and are working to expand communication links with the Upper Great Lakes Management Unit, Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, Ontario Commercial Fisheries Co-operative, and the Great Lakes Fishery Commission. Lands and Forests 36 Our invasive species work includes: phragmites eradication efforts with GBF, the Ontario Phragmites Working Group, and other stakeholders; reporting on forest health, pests, and other terrestrial invasive species. 37 Our ongoing advocacy helps to protect species at risk and their habitat, including reporting on legislative changes that could threaten them, and other submissions as required. 38 We continue to develop information and website content about: living with nature, health hazards, safety issues, resilient shorelines, and native plants. First Nations Liaison 39 We are exploring how traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) can be integrated into several GBA committee actions and deliberations. 40 We provide ongoing education on ethical space and two-eyed seeing (see description on page 17), and reporting on the progress of the Conservation through Reconciliation Partnership. Membership and Association Services 41 We continue to work with associations to identify ways to retain and grow membership and provide a resource for information sharing. 42 We continue to build GBA membership benefits and add more savings opportunities for our members; see: 43 We work with the GBA Communications Committee to build deeper inbound and outbound content across associations. 44 We continue to provide various services to associations, including hosting Zoommeetings; piggy-backing mailing services (with UPDATE); providing website templates; and creating social media guides for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Governance 45 The introduction last year of the regulations for the Ontario Not-for-Profit Corporations Act (ONCA) provided an opportunity for GBA to upgrade and update its bylaws and articles of incorporation and put together a workshop for our directors and GBA association preidents, see: This major task will be followed by similar improvements to GBA’s governance procedures and will be of value to your associations as they move towards ONCA compliance. Other 46 GBA continues to monitor, report, and make submissions as needed on the proposed TransCanada Energy pumped storage project at Meaford to ensure that any environmental impacts are minimized should it proceed, which is looking less likely. 47 Election readiness briefs will be produced both for the upcoming Ontario election and then for the October municipal elections aimed at sounding out prospective candidates on issues that affect the Bay. 48 The results of GBA’s economic impact survey were analyzed and communicated this spring. Many thanks for your excellent participation to help enhance GBA’s advocacy efforts. Continued from page 13

15 GBA UPDATE Summer 2022 With the warm weather, long days, and changing of the seasons, many turtle species are on the move in May and June. Midland painted, Blanding’s, northern map, eastern musk, spotted, and snapping are all species of turtles that you can find living in the UNESCO biosphere region along eastern Georgian Bay and its inland lakes. All turtles in Canada are at risk due to loss of wetlands, road mortality, nest predation, poaching and climate change. All of these factors combine to make it incredibly difficult for turtles to replace themselves in the wild, which is what they need for a steady population. For example, of approximately 1,400 eggs laid, only a single egg typically hatches and reaches reproductive age. This timeline would take a snapping turtle about 60 years of egg laying to replace itself. Turtles often use the side of the road as nesting habitats, increasing the chances of female turtles being hit by a passing car. As a result, turtle populations along roadways in some areas have been found to be primarily male. Many studies of turtle populations around roadways have found that even small but ongoing mortality of turtles on roads could result in steady population declines, due to their life history of delayed maturity – some take up to 20 years before they can reproduce. Here are four easy ways that you can help turtles in the Georgian Bay Biosphere region. Remember to always wash or sanitize your hands after handling the animal. How did the turtle cross the road? One of the biggest threats facing turtles is traffic. What to do: ≥ Always be aware of road traffic. Only attempt to help the turtle if it is safe to do so and you feel comfortable handling them. ≥ DO NOT remove from the area you found them. Turtles rely on the ponds and wetlands that are familiar to them. ≥ Move the turtle in the direction it was going or is facing. ≥ If you are uncomfortable lifting a snapping turtle, use a car mat or shovel. For more information, watch the Toronto Zoo’s video, How to Help a Snapping Turtle Cross the Road here: https://bit. ly/3k10Dsw. Found an injured turtle? Contact the Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre in Peterborough at 705-741-5000. For more information, visit their website here: It’s helpful during turtle season to have a turtle trauma kit in your car. This can be as simple as having a well-ventilated plastic container with a secure lid (turtles can climb). NEVER transport injured turtles in water or offer them food. If you find it hard to tell if a turtle is injured, the Canadian Wildlife Federation guidelines state that you should assume a turtle is injured if: ≥ It is unresponsive (it can be hard to determine if a turtle has died so err on the side of caution) ≥ It has head or limb injuries, or cracks to its shell ≥ It is found upside down and is unable to right itself, which may indicate dehydration and overheating Turtle trauma kits are available from the GBB by donation. Contact Tianna at to request one for pick up in Parry Sound or Honey Harbour. Have a turtle nesting on your property? Protect the eggs with a turtle nest protector. This will be difficult with so many natural predators, but you can build one with the instructions provided by the Canadian Wildlife Federation: Record your sightings Become a part of a global network of citizen scientists using the free iNaturalist app. Simply take photos of flora and fauna and upload them to the GBB project which has now exceeded 2,500 species identified. Your information will help inform conservation efforts throughout the UNESCO Biosphere region. Add your observations to the iNaturalist project here: Taking Care of Turtles LANDS AND FORESTS Photos: Georgian Bay Biosphere A Blanding’s turtle emerges from an egg. A nesting snapping turtle observed on a road survey.

16 GBA UPDATE Summer 2022 PRESIDENT’S REPORT By Rolfe Jones, GBA President It has been one year since I became president of GBA, and I have quickly realized that there is much to learn and do. Being your president is truly rewarding, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t say that the issues we face (development creep, high/low water levels, an explosion of new boaters on the Bay, noise pollution, growing environmental challenges) are getting bigger, more complex, and increasingly expensive to challenge with each passing day. Your Board works incredibly hard for you, but as we move forward, I would like to plant a seed for consideration with each of you to help us be better and do more. Before going any further, I’d like to take care of a few housekeeping items, as we’ve just recently held our Annual Members Meeting (AMM), (previously our Annual General Meeting) and there are a number of people who should be recognized. First of all, thanks to our Board members, our executive director Rupert Kindersley, and our communications and executive services coordinator Shannon Farquharson for pulling together such a great and informative session for our GBA membership. I’d also like to thank our association presidents and their voting members for attending our AMM – your engagement and input make good things happen for the Bay! Thank you to our outgoing directors Andrea Proctor (Madawaska Club of Go Home Bay) and Kathleen Kilgour (Woods Bay) for their contributions to GBA. And much appreciation to Eric Armour (Sans Souci and Copperhead) for his many years of service and for always being there with his supremely crafted thoughts, questions, and observations. And while I did thank John Carson (Wah Wah Taysee) last year when he passed the president’s torch to me, I would like to thank and recognize John’s many GBA contributions including serving as president, chair of the executive, editor of UPDATE, chair of governance and nominations, founder and chair of the Coastal Protection Committee, member of the Communications Committee, as well as advisor to me as your incoming president. John, on behalf of the entire Board I’d like to thank you for your many meaningful contributions to GBA and the Bay! We had a lot of great presentations from our Board chairs at this year’s AMM resulting in many good questions and conversations. Here are some highlights from the meeting that impact you and your families: One Year on Staying informed. Keep up to date through our UPDATE and eUpdate newsletters. Encourage your family members and friends to sign up for eUpdate by forwarding your email link to them so that they can keep up with important Georgian Bay issues and GBA matters. More boat traffic on our waterways. New boat sales were up by 15 per cent in 2021 from the previous year. Personal watercraft and jet boat sales were up 21 per cent and 28 per cent respectively. Basically, this means more people and more boats on our waterways. It may also mean that more people may not know the rules of the waterways and therefore drive faster, throw greater wakes, and bring more noise pollution with them. The Safe Quiet Lakes (SQL) survey helped us understand our members’ cottaging priorities while SQL’s Decibel Coalition told us that members want to reduce excessive boat noise, speed and wakes. For more information, visit: Safety. Last year was the third worst boat safety year in the last 10 years, with 27 fatalities. Ten of these deaths happened in canoes – more than in any other vessel type. Another telling detail was that 113, or almost 45 per cent, of the 260 marine fatalities in Ontario over the last 11 years were people aged between 35 and 64, with preventable fatalities being mostly males aged 25-74. Modernization of pleasure craft licencing. The current lifetime and 10-year licences will move to five-year terms and will be phased in over six years. A $15 licence fee will come into effect in fall 2022. Fire. Protect your family and property by re-reading our fire safety protocols ( And remember: if there is a fire near you, get out of the way of waterbombers and please don’t fly your drones within nine kilometres of a fire for a closer look. Bill 76: Lifejackets for Life. This private member’s bill would require parents and guardians to ensure that children 12 or younger wear a lifejacket while on a pleasure boat that is underway (this includes human-powered vessels too) or while being towed behind a pleasure boat. Failure to comply could result in a $200 fine. Water levels webinars. GBA/GBF executed a series of webinars about extreme water levels to discuss how to adapt to the impact of water levels on docks, septic systems, and structures. The key takeaway from these webinars was that there are some solutions to these challenges, but we need to plan carefully and adopt long-term strategies. Coastal protection. We have several initiatives underway, including extensive research by our coastal protection projects