PRESIDENTS MESSAGE WINTER 2024
Dear CLA Members,
This is my first message as incoming President of CLA. What a responsibility! We are Ontario’s oldest Lake Association– founded in 1890 – and have worked tirelessly over decades to preserve and enhance our beloved Charleston Lake.
Having served as a Director of CLEA, our environmental arm, for the past 5 years, I know that the President is truly primus inter pares -- first among equals. Each of our CLA and CLEA Directors commits hundreds of hours in support of the Association. This includes leading our ongoing activities such as Finance & Administration, the Newsletter, the Web Site, the Summer Camps, and the Golf Tournament, as well many special projects. All of us will be counting on the continued commitment of our volunteer
Directors as they drive forward with several new initiatives, and we thank them for their commitment and service.
I would like to thank our outgoing President, Pierre Ménard. Pierre served on the Board for over 10 years, and, as President, was a steady hand as we emerged from the Covid-19 period, and undertook several new initiatives, notably the boating safety program with its improved signage at boat ramps and an all-new map of the lake, and the launch of our lead-free tackle exchange program last summer in collaboration with leading local retailers (Thank you!).
I would also like to say a special thanks one of our longest-serving Board Members, Wayne Gill. For more than a decade, Wayne has served as our Secretary-Treasurer. While in a role that is not as public-facing as those of some of our other Board members, Wayne has been truly indispensable to the good management of both CLA and CLEA, looking after agendas, minutes, all of our financial affairs, and government and regulatory filings, among other tasks. Wayne has already been a huge help to me as I take on the President’s role, and we look forward to his continued commitment and hard work.
This fall, we welcomed Kristin Ireland to the CLEA Board. Kristin is a life-long resident of the lake and will bring new energy and ideas.
2026 will mark the 20th anniversary of the Charleston Lake Plan. This landmark document quickly became a benchmark for other Lake Associations and community organizations across Ontario. Starting this year, the CLA will be launching the Charleston Lake Plan 2.0. The process will involve measuring our success (or not) vs. the objectives of the 2006 plan, and seeking CLA member input on a refreshed set of priorities and objectives going forward. Please watch our Website for more information as the process gets underway.
Other initiatives for 2024 include:
Establishing bass spawning sanctuaries. One unexpected positive outcome of Covid-19 was the significant growth in Bass populations as pre-season angling was curtailed by lock-down restrictions in Spring 2020. This led scientists to consider wheter a sanctuary program could have similar positive effects on Bass populations. The CLA is working with MNR and a team of scientists to implement a program of Bass spawning sanctuaries for limited periods, in certain sections of Charleston Lake. The sanctuaries will allow significantly more young fish to make it to adulthood, improving Bass populations across the the whole lake. In an article in this newsletter, one of the scientists, Prof. Dave Phillip, explains how the program will work, and how scientists will measure the results.
Upgrading and enhancing our on-line and social media presence. A group of Directors is working on re-launching our Facebook Page, and CLA will soon be on Instagram. Please remember to follow us!
Deepening our engagement with municipal and provincial authorities. With the many changes happening around planning and zoning, it is vital that CLA engage constructively to ensure that development on and around Charleston Lake respects the rules and regulations that are in place “to protect our natural environment and lake community
Continuing our participation in land conservation initiatives. In recent years, we have worked closely with organizations such as the Nature Conservancy of Canada and the Thousand Islands Watershed Land Trust to place hundreds of hectares of pristine lands into permanent conservation – this includes areas both on the lake and in its watershed. Most recently, we supported the Whip-poor-will Woods project near Leeder’s Creek, which you can read about in this edition.
Maintaining our perennial summer activities, which are already being planned for 2024. This includes our Summer Day-camp Programs, and the Doug Hale Memorial Golf Tournament. You can read more about them in this edition of the newsletter – details will follow on our Website.
Let me conclude by thanking you, our CLA members. Without your support, year after year, we could not do what we do. We are always looking for ideas and volunteers, so if you are passionate about something around the lake and want to work on it, do reach out to me or one of our Directors.
Yours in preserving and enhancing Charleston Lake,
Michael McAdoo - President Charleston Lake Association