The Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority

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Reports and Studies

We are pleased to offer access to the following reports and studies when requested. Please contact to request a copy of any of the f​ollowing:

Annual Water Balances, Total Phosphorus Budgets and Total Nitrogen and Chloride Loads to Lake Simcoe (2017)

This report is meant to complement the corresponding “Report on Phosphorus Loads to Lake Simcoe” and provides technical details including the methodology used for all components of the phosphorus load calculations.​​

Aquatic Plants in Lake Simcoe: Distribution, Environmental Controls and Utility as Ecological Indicators (2011)

In 2008, LSRCA investigated the aquatic plants in Lake Simcoe with respect to species diversity, distribution, biomass, and utility as indicators of lake trophic status. While previous studies (1984, 1987, 2006) focused on Cook’s Bay, this study covered the entire lake area and identified four environmental variables controlling plant biomass: depth, substrate type, nutrient loading, and subwatershed area. 

In comparison with previous studies in Cook’s Bay, the plant community has been altered (since 1984) by invasive species (i.e. Eurasian Watermilfoil), has a greater maximum depth of colonization (10.5 m in 2008, 6.0 m in 1984), and has almost tripled in biomass (1.2 kg/m2 in 1984, 3.1 kg/m2 in 2008).

Distribution and Change in Impervious Cover in the Lake Simcoe Watershed

Comprehensive air photo coverage of the Lake Simcoe watershed in 2002/2003, 2008, and 2013 have permitted the development of a time series of land cover maps, and an analysis of changes in impervious cover. In 2013, impervious cover in the watershed was at 4.3%. This general land cover class, which includes roads, parking lots, and buildings has increased since 2002, as the watershed’s population has increased. 

This project improved resolution of land cover mapping in the Lake Simcoe watershed to permit more accurate tracking of changes in impervious land use and to support more focused delivery of programs related to urban stormwater, including LID implementation, stormwater retrofits, and salt reduction programming.

Residential Stormwater Management Pilot Project: Downspout Redirection 2017

This project investigates the feasibility of running a cost-effective residential stormwater management program that focusses on redirecting downspouts away from impervious surfaces towards areas where infiltration can occur. 

Erosion and Sediment Control Research Study

The purpose of the Erosion and Sediment Control Policies and Practices Research Study for the Lake Simcoe Watershed is for the LSRCA to work collaboratively with local stakeholders to support improvements to erosion and sediment control practices within the Lake Simcoe Watershed, through funding support from the MOECC. The long term goal of this study is to reduce the overall impact of urban stormwater on Lake Simcoe and its tributaries.

Lake Simcoe Basin Stormwater Management and Retrofit Opportunities (2007)

Stormwater runoff represents a major source of pollution to Lake Simcoe and its tributaries. The lake, which is already showing signs of impairment due to anthropogenic activities, is under increasing stress due to urban growth. The purpose of this study is to create a complete, consistent and contemporary data set of all urban catchments, outlets, and existing and potential locations of Stormwater Management Facilities, as well as to calculate the phosphorus load associated with urban stormwater runoff.

Mapping Expected Road Mortality Hotspots for Wildlife (2015)

Roads have significant impacts on the ability of wildlife to move throughout their home ranges. Direct mortality of animals related to roads can be particularly significant for species such as frogs, turtles, and salamanders, which travel significant distances from wetlands to uplands to complete their breeding cycle (Fahrig and Rytwinski, 2009). This study tests land cover maps and traffic data to predict areas of wildlife-vehicle collisions hotspots, with the ultimate goal of providing roads planners with maps of areas on which to focus efforts.​

Retrofitting of Urban Stormwater Management Facilities Using Innovative Technologies: Comparison of Three Innovative Solutions (2014)

Through the Ontario Ministry of Environment’s Showcasing Water Innovation program, the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority (LSRCA) worked with our community, municipal and other government partners to implement stormwater management retrofits. Three facilities recognized in our watershed management plans were identified for retrofit: George Richardson (Newmarket), Colony Trail (East Gwillimbury), and Lincoln Pond (Uxbridge). In this case study we compare the efficiency of three innovative technology approaches to retrofitting stormwater management ponds, each designed to decrease the level of phosphorous and other pollutants discharged to the receiving water body. This project has received funding support from the Government of Ontario.​

Significant Groundwater Recharge Areas

Recharge areas are areas of land over which precipitation infiltrates into the ground and flows to a groundwater aquifer. These areas are considered significant when they help to maintain the water level in an aquifer that supplies drinking water, or supplies groundwater to a cold water ecosystem that is dependent on this recharge to maintain its ecological function. Recognizing the importance of these areas to sustaining a healthy watershed, the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan includes a number of policies to help identify and protect significant groundwater recharge areas. Under these policies, significant groundwater recharge areas throughout the Lake Simcoe watershed have been identified.

This document, prepared in collaboration with the Ministry of Natural Resources, Ministry of the Environment, and watershed municipalities, aims to assist municipalities in protecting and restoring these important areas.

Stormwater Pond Maintenance and Anoxic Conditions Report (2011)

Urban stormwater runoff is widely recognized as a significant source of pollutants to Lake Simcoe and accounts for an estimated 14 percent of annual phosphorus (P) loading. Therefore, interception and treatment of these waters is crucial to maintain the ecological health of receiving streams and lakes. This is most commonly achieved through the use of stormwater ponds of which there are 135 quality facilities in the Lake Simcoe watershed. In 2010, a survey of 98 ponds was conducted to evaluate the efficiency of these ponds as compared with their original design efficiency and investigate the prevalence of low oxygen conditions in stormwater ponds. Both these factors influence the ability of the pond to effectively trap and retain sediments and nutrients. The study found that the majority of ponds are experiencing low oxygen conditions and require some degree of clean out maintenance and are therefore not achieving the nutrient reductions previously assumed.​

Stream Monitoring in the Tributaries of Lake Simcoe: Fish (2015)

Technical Progress Series in Stream Monitoring: Report No.1

As part of the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority tributary monitoring program, fish assemblages have been monitored since 2002 and water temperature data has been collected since 2003. The purpose of this monitoring program is to track the health of fish populations in the streams of the Lake Simcoe watershed and to assess spatial and temporal trends.

Watershed Health Reporting

Environmental Monitoring Report

This report provides an overview of factors that influence the health of the Lake Simcoe watershed. LSRCA’s extensive monitoring program studies the lake’s nearshore ecosystem, water quality and quantity in both the tributaries and groundwater, and biological parameters in the lake’s rivers, streams, and creeks. This collection of monitoring data (2007 to 2011) summarizes the watershed’s most current conditions and examines long-term and short-term biological and environmental trends.

Lake Simcoe Monitoring Report, 2014

The Lake Simcoe Monitoring Report, 2014, provides the long-term trends of all environmental monitoring programs for Lake Simcoe and its watershed, highlighting current research that informs these trends. The report was written by the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change with data contributions from the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority, Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, and York, Durham, and Simcoe and Muskoka Health Units. The Monitoring Report provides the technical environmental monitoring information for the Minister’s Five-Year Report on Lake Simcoe (2015).

Minister’s Five Year Report on Lake Simcoe

To protect and restore the ecological health of the Lake Simcoe watershed Lead statement – The Minister’s Five Year Report on Lake Simcoe outlines actions taken to address the goals of the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan and summarizes the results of ongoing environmental monitoring in the watershed.

Le Rapport quinquennal du ministre sur le lac Simcoe : Protéger et restaurer la santé écologique du bassin versant du lac Simcoe Lead statement – Le Rapport quinquennal du ministre sur le lac Simcoe présente les mesures prises pour réaliser les objectifs du Plan de protection du lac Simcoe et résume les résultats des activités de surveillance environnementale en cours dans le bassin versant.

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