Many lakes in northern Ontario have been harmed by sulphur dioxide emissions originating from coal fired power plants and other industries operating hundreds of kilometres to the west. Scientists claim that this has already had a major impact on fish populations and other aquatic life in the eastern Canadian lakes.
High Lake, being at the headwaters of a pristine chain of lakes, was chosen for an experiment to determine whether the addition of oxygen could protect a lake and hence promote healthier aquatic growth. Two platform-mounted windmills are anchored in the middle of High Lake to pump oxygen into its depths.
Over a five year period, meaningful results have been achieved. The survival rate of stocked fingerlings increased and the size and health of the fish caught is much improved. These results are despite an active family of otters, and the kingfishers and other birds of prey which have returned to the area, including a recent sighting of a bald eagle on Limberlost Road.
Another environmental experiment conducted on Buck Lake appears to have been equally successful. This involved repairing a weir with crushed limestone at the southeast corner of the lake. Water flows throughout the year over this weir through Poverty Lake and three other lakes before reaching Long Lake.
The limestone has a positive environmental impact by helping to neutralize the acidity of the waters in the downstream lakes. The weir construction was initiated in the late 1980s as a school group conservation project by Nancy Lynch, whose family has maintained cottages and protected the downstream lakes for the past fifty years.