Has council done their homework for Clark Lake?

March 22, 2018

To the Editor,

This letter is in response to the notice of a public hearing to enforce a proposed bylaw to restrict all motor boats, and perhaps, all watercraft, from accessing the public boat launch at Clark Lake.

We realize that the town owns the boat launch but if council wants to prohibit the use of all vessels, then an application for a Vessel Operation Restriction Regulation (VORR) through Transport Canada is required. Does the town of Bancroft have such an application? It is definitely required.

We have lived near this lake for approximately 15 years now. And the only boats that we have ever noticed using the lake are canoes, kayaks and the occasional small boat using an electric trolling motor (we can count on one hand the number of vessels with that description). The residents that reside around the lake can probably testify to this statement as well.

Actually, council should have surveyed these people and asked how many motor boats and other watercraft they have noticed using the lake.

Also, was council aware that there is a cottage on one of the islands in the lake? If all watercraft is restricted, how will the owners (also tax payers) access their property? They presently use a canoe. Can one assume that anyone who has property on the lake will still be able to use their boat(s)?

Also, can one be assured that the Town of Bancroft has permission from the Ministry of Environment to draw water from Clark Lake?

One can understand the concern that some of the councillors state for the water intake pipe and the treatment plant but they are seriously ill-advised in their attempt to prevent the potential of zebra mussel infestation into the lake.

There are other means to address concerns around invasive species. Perhaps signage should be posted as a reminder to the public as well as general education and outreach.

One can’t help but wonder how places such as Toronto, Belleville, Trenton and Peterborough deal with the issue of zebra mussels. The water bodies that they draw from are surely plagued with them.

Perhaps council should do some more homework and look to these places for advice. There are such things as “low frequency magnetism,” which creates heat and kills any larvae in the system, as well as chemicals which effectively control the same.

People also pay a license fee to fish our provincial lakes. There are only a couple of places that one could possibly fish from the shore of Clark Lake but it is quite shallow.

The proposal to restrict watercraft here is of great concern to anglers and they should be allowed to enjoy this time-honoured activity.

There are many signs around town and in the municipal office inviting all to enjoy this four-season destination. Having restriction on water bodies are more of a deterrent to visitors than an attraction.

So, Town of Bancroft councillors, seriously reconsider your proposal regarding the public use of Clark Lake.

Bruce and Carol Babb



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