State of the Lake Simcoe Watershed 2003

Individuals, businesses and community groups interested in the health and quality of Lake Simcoe were asked to participate in a series of Public Consultation Sessions being hosted by the Lake Simcoe Environmental Management Strategy (LSEMS) partners in the summer and fall of 2004. The two-hour sessions included a presentation on the state of Lake Simcoe, as well as a discussion period which focused on participant concerns.

The Facilitator's Notes to these sessions are posted below.


Please note that you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader to view these portable document formate publications.

Watershed Report 2003: High Res (74,451 KB)

Watershed Report 2003: Low Res (23,321 KB)

Watershed Report 2003: Executive Summary (23,321 KB)

2004 Consultation Session Summary: Executive Summary (6.2 Megs)

2004 Individual Public Consultation Session: NOTES

News Release

What is the State of Lake Simcoe and its Watershed?

Newmarket, March 11, 2004... A comprehensive study on the state of Lake Simcoe and its entire watershed has been released by the partners of the Lake Simcoe Environmental Management Strategy (LSEMS). With colourful maps, easy to read text and valuable insights from the scientific community this document provides readers with a clear understanding of the social, economic, and environmental pressures that have been contributing to the deterioration of the Lake.

"Lake Simcoe is a $200 million annual economic resource and a source of safe drinking water for five lakefront communities," said Roy Bridge, Chair of the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority. "As a result," he added, " it is imperative that everyone understands the importance of protecting this vital resource and supports efforts to restore the lake to its former glory."

Although Lake Simcoe is known as the ice-fishing capital of Canada, many anglers are unaware that the Lake no longer supports a naturally reproducing coldwater fishery. Excessive amounts of phosphorus from both urban and rural sources have upset the Lake's delicate ecosystem and fueled tremendous aquatic plant growth. This in turn has raised water temperatures, decreased water course oxygen levels and rendered limited breeding grounds inhospitable. Thus, restoring a wild coldwater fishery has come to represent the resurrection of an environmental jewel.

As Lake Simcoe's 2581 square kilometre watershed includes many jurisdictions, the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority is working with its federal, provincial, municipal and community partners as the lead agency of the Lake Simcoe Environmental Management Strategy. Together, they have set their goals: To improve and protect the health of the Lake Simcoe watershed ecosystem and improve associated recreational opportunities. This goal will be achieved by restoring a self-sustaining coldwater fishery; improving water quality; reducing phosphorus loads to Lake Simcoe; and protecting natural heritage features and functions.

With the release of the "State of the Lake Simcoe Watershed 2003" report the LSEMS partners will turn their attention to developing a Watershed Plan that will identify, prioritize and guide efforts that address the very issues raised in the newly released document.

Limited quantities of the "State of the Lake Simcoe Watershed 2003" report are available, for free, on compact disc by calling (905) 895-1281 or pdf versions can be accessed by visiting or

"The report is an excellent resource for high school teachers and college professors," said Chair Bridge, "as well as those whose livelihoods depend on the lake."

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Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority

120 Bayview Parkway, Box 282, Newmarket, Ontario L3Y 4X1

T: (905) 895-1281 F: (905) 853-5881 E-mail:

~ A Watershed For Life ~