A lake is a very slow flowing body of open water which occupies a land depression. This group of water bodies includes ponds and impoundments. Lakes do not include artificially created ponds, excavations, containment structures for agricultural purposes, ponds constructed for wastewater treatment, fish culture, fire protection, or on golf courses.
Did you know that lakes are actually complex, ever changing environments formed from a wide range of interconnected lake properties? Lake properties can be defined as the chemical, physical and biological characteristics of a lake. When you notice the fish, algae and plants of a lake, you are in fact observing the biological elements; when you take in the size, depth and temperature of a lake you are noting its physical characteristics and many of the things you do not even see, including the dissolved oxygen, nutrients and metals, involve the chemical make-up of a lake. Lakes are also part of a larger ecosystem that extends beyond the lake itself to the land that surrounds and drains water into the lake. Changing any one factor in a lake’s system can have important influences on other properties of that body of water.
Here in New Brunswick, we are very fortunate to have many lakes (approximately 1,700, each over four hectares). We enjoy the benefits that our close proximity to lakes provides us, including activities such as swimming, boating, fishing, hiking, camping and weekend visits to the cottage. All of these activities and more are so closely tied into our lifestyle that it is important to keep our lakes healthy so that we can enjoy them and they can continue to thrive as part of a balanced ecosystem.