A number of people on Kahshe have been noticing or feeling little jelly-like little things in the water while swimming over the past couple of weeks. To solve the mystery of what they are, I collected a sample late on August 28 and have determined that they are a planktonic (water-borne) cladoceran identified as Holopedium glacialis. These little critters with their jelly-like sack thrive under conditions of low lake water calcium. I've reported on the trend towards increased numbers of them due to declining calcium concentrations in several of my Lake Steward Reports, as they have been documented as increasing in soft water lakes in Muskoka and neighbouring areas over the past few years. However, I had never actually encountered them in the water on Kahshe until this year..
Briefly, what appears to be happening is that another cladoceran called Daphnia (another water flea) is slowly losing out to the Holopedium species, as Daphnia require much more calcium and phosphorus, both of which (especially calcium) have been in decline due to reduced leaching from soil since the abatement of the acid rain problem. I've done some initial research in the time since I discovered what they are, and the only negative impact I can find is a tendency of these jelly-like critters which are about 5mm in size to clog up water intake lines. I have not heard of this happening on Kahshe, but it can't be ruled out if they continue to increase in numbers. I'll be looking more closely at the research that has been conducted on them and will have more information to present in the next KLRA Krier or sooner if possible.
Kahshe and Bass Lake Steward