Echo Lake is a beautiful, spring-fed lake located 4 km outside of Baysville Ontario, in the Township of Lake of Bays, Muskoka. An early surveyor located seven places where a clear echo could be heard, and generations of children have enjoyed listening for those magical sounds. Echo Lake is 223 hectares in size with 12.6 km of shoreline (12% of which is wetland). In general, it is a fairly shallow lake (averaging 4.6m) and at its deepest location measures 12m. The towns of Bracebridge and Huntsville and the village of Dorset are all within a 25 km radius from Baysville, making Echo Lake a great location for services and events of all kinds in every season.
Fire Danger Ratings
For current LOCAL ratings click here or call 1-877-847-1577.
Ontario forest fire info can be found here. Please note the following...
YOU are responsible for fires you light!
From April through October, people using outdoor fires must follow strict guidelines under the Forest Fires Prevention Act of Ontario to ensure their fires are properly managed. Anyone who starts a fire outdoors must take all necessary steps to tend the fire, keep it under control, and make sure the fire is out before leaving the site. A person failing to burn safely could be fined and held responsible for the cost of putting out the fire. People living in municipalities should check with local fire officials for bylaws on outdoor fires. Those of you who rent should make it VERY clear that their rental agreement does not exempt them from the rules above. Renters are not exempt from fire restrictions.
Please note that while this website continues to be our primary method of providing info, we now have a private Facebook group for those of you interested. It is a great site for posting photos, comments, and other tidbits.
Blue-green algae bloom
Algae Video from Muskoka Watershed (thanks to Ril Lake Association for sharing!)
A panel was formed to present a virtual Algae Presentation for the Ril Lake Association. The panel was comprised of Dr. Peter Sale, Rebecca Willison, Summer Valentine, and Christy Doyle, many of whom have also advised us over the years. If you are interested, here’s the link: https://youtu.be/U4wLZ0bXFBk
Causation Study (to include Echo Lake)
This year, the District of Muskoka is planning to undertake five studies of lakes across the watershed to determine the cause or causes of indicators that suggest that these lakes may be vulnerable from a recreational water quality perspective, such as a confirmed blue green algae bloom. Background information is available in two staff reports (click here and click here). Here is the info specific to Echo Lake.
To stay informed on the causation studies that are of interest to you and to be advised of the opportunities to participate and to provide data or information to the consultant(s), please subscribe to updates on the Engage Muskoka webpage. Consultation plans are still being finalized, but at this point, we anticipate a combination of an online survey and virtual stakeholder meetings for each lake being studied. Subscribing to the Engage page will ensure you receive notice of these opportunities to participate as well as other important project updates. To subscribe to a page, enter your email address under the “Stay Informed” tab and press “Subscribe” (this tab is located at the top right-hand corner of your desktop screen, or scroll down your mobile device). Future updates, including information on how to participate in the consultations, will only be provided to those who subscribe.
Thank you for your interest in the causation studies. We look forward to your involvement. If you have any questions, please contact Jacquie Evans, Planning Policy and Programs Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (705) 645-2100 ext. 4419.
Please note that the algae bloom notice for Echo Lake has been lifted. Please also note that without getting to the source of the problem, it may possibly rear its ugly head again some time. We should not fall into complacency. Out of sight, out of mind is a danger here. So what can we do about it? Unfortunately not a lot right now - but here is what can be done to prevent future blooms.
- Plant and maintain native vegetation around the lake, which help filter water and don’t require fertilizer (i.e. create a buffer zone). This is also good for overall lake and aquatic life health. Incorporate native vegetation, rather than cement banking or manicured lawns, around the lake shore. Allow natural vegetation to grow near the water’s edge. Don't remove it!
- Make sure your septic system is properly maintained (pumped out every 3 to 6 years depending upon use (number of people, number of months used, etc). If it is damp or smells around your septic system, chances are it is overloaded or failing. You may need to replace the tank and / or the septic bed. The cost is not cheap but it will be offset by the preservation of your property value. Obviously algae blooms will make a lake less desirable and therefore lead to a decrease in property values.
- Do not use lawn and garden fertilizers, especially near bodies of water.
- Remove grass clippings and leaves to prevent decomposition in or around the lake.
- Do not allow pets to defecate in or near the lake. Pick up and remove any waste making sure to properly dispose of it.
Remember, blooms not only hurt the lake ecosystem but they can also hurt property values. Please do your part to help our lake!
We respectfully ask that you take a moment and check the Members Only area and view the membership list (web only version) to verify that your information is correct. If we don't have the right info, we can not contact you! We also ask that more of you consider getting your info added to the online version of our database. It is not an all or none proposition. You have the option to include as much or as little info as you want! This choice can be made on the short online form found in the Members' Area. Please note that whatever you tell us will be the status quo unless you notify us to make a change.