The Killarney Lake Action Committee is warning residents and visitors to Killarney Lake to be careful of open water, specifically near the Water Treatment Plant on the north shore where the aeration field system is situated. Two lines adjacent to the shoreline are still in operation to add oxygen to the water, but the remainder of the micro-bubbler aeration field is shut down for the winter months.
"We are now back to colder temperatures, so the ice is getting thicker again," shares Killarney Lake Action Committee Chair, Betty Sawatzky. "The milder temperatures of last week could have compromised the integrity of the ice and so anglers enjoying their first outings ice fishing needed to be really careful. However, with the two lines that are still running, there is moving water under the ice, and we just don't know where that line is and where it's thick enough to walk on. So, we ask that everyone be extra cautious around the aeration field."
Signage and flashing lights will be set out soon.
"Again, we want everyone to exercise extreme caution in this area," adds Sawatzky. "And that goes for all lakes that have aeration fields, like Pelican Lake. Please stay away from these aeration areas because if you put yourself at risk, you are also potentially putting others at risk as well, specifically First Responders, those who rescue you from a dangerous situation because of dangerous choices."
"On Rock Lake there are under ground springs that can easily compromise the stability of the ice," she shares. "I know of someone who broke through the ice in mid-winter because of moving water that he didn't know about at the time and just about fell in. The ice around that area was thick, but there was a weak spot and couldn't take his weight. This man knows to avoid that area when ice-fishing but it took a close call first."
Sawatzky also encourages parents to teach their children about safety on or near the ice. We know keeping the two lines running throughout the winter months results in some open water, but we feel keeping the water moving throughout the cold months is benefiicial to our lake in a couple of ways; providing oxygen to underwater plant life, fish and other water species like clams and freshwater shrimp. Also, its ideal for our aeration field to continue moving the water throughout the entire the year in keeping our blue-green algal blooms in check through the summer months."
"We know we can't eradicate blue-green algae complete, living on the Prairies, but we can do everything possible to deter it as much as possible," she adds.