A Newbie Goes Boating

by Nicole Rogerson, Marketing Manager

I finally had the chance to experience the joy that is boating on Stoney Lake.

Here’s the thing: I know absolutely nothing about boats. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve been on a motorboat. Usually, my idea of boating involves paddling in a kayak or canoe.

On a recent Monday morning, I came into work and settled in at my desk to check emails and catch up from the weekend. We’d just gotten some silkie chicks who were calling the lobby their temporary home, so I grabbed my camera to go shoot a few pics (and say “awwww” repeatedly over the cute little balls of fluff). So far, a fairly typical day. Ben then asked if I’d yet been out on the lake. After answering no, this led to grabbing my hat and sunglasses and trotting down to the dock. Of all days to decide to wear a skirt to work!

As we headed out, I snapped some shots of the resort from the water which slowly shrank away out of sight. My head was on a constant swivel as we cruised towards Upper Stoney. We caught sight of turtles sunning themselves on rocks, an osprey swooping out of the trees, and peeped at the cottages along the shore. Ben pointed out spots where rock lurked just below the surface of the lake. These are easy to miss and can catch unfamiliar boaters off guard (Stoney Lake does its name justice!).

Stoney Lake in the Kawarthas

We went past East Syndicate Island, protected by the Kawartha Land Trust and the largest undeveloped island on the lake. After seeing Big Duck Pond (a very good fishing spot, according to Ben) and coasting through a narrow channel which I wouldn’t have thought passable, we headed back.

Boating Stoney Lake

What a glorious experience!

The water sparkling in the sunshine and the wind tossing your hair around. Admiring the stunning combination of rock and forest, not even sure if you’re looking at island or mainland. It reminded me of the 1000 Islands, with cottages perched on tiny islands and bends leading to small coves and bays.

Stoney Lake in the Kawarthas

On returning to Viamede, I grabbed some shots of the tin boats which are newly available for guests to rent. Back on dry land, Ben said: “Anytime you need water shots, you could just grab a tinny”. I looked dubiously at the boat. If I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve been on a motorboat, you can imagine how many times I’ve been at the helm of one (zero, it’s zero). Something tells me that, by the end of summer, that number is going to increase.


Rent one of our tinny boats or go on a boating excursion with Ben as part of our summer recreation schedule.

Ontario Turtle Conservation Conversation

by Wendy Baggs, Education Coordinator, OTCC

The Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre (OTCC) is home of the “Kawartha Turtle Trauma Centre”. Our mission is to protect and conserve Ontario’s at-risk native turtles and their wetland habitats. The OTCC is a multifaceted hospital that uses a multi-pronged approach to conservation, employing Hospital, Science and Education. The centre is supported by a province-wide network of local veterinarians, private clinics, and other wildlife centres who perform admissions and emergency care. The OTCC holds “Turtle Trauma Workshops” to help train veterinarians and rehabilitators throughout Ontario. The centre has a network of over 5oo Turtle Taxi Volunteers that transport injured turtles. Injured turtles arrive from all across Ontario!

Photo of large turtle; Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre; part of Viamede Resort's summer recreation programmingOntario Turtles At Risk

Seven of the eight species of Ontario’s turtles are now listed as ‘species at risk’. Habitat destruction is the primary cause for many of the species’ decline, followed by injuries and early death from automobiles, boats, fish hooks, dogs, and humans. Other species of wildlife are also injured and killed, however most animals have young from the previous year to mate and replenish their population. Less than 1% of turtle eggs and hatchlings survive to adulthood. Turtles can take from 8 to 25 years to reach maturity. It can take 1500 eggs and up to 60 years to replace one nesting female killed on the roadside. Therefore, every turtle saved is beneficial to the population.

Conservation Efforts

The OTCC treated 940 turtles that were admitted into the hospital in 2018, and incubated over 3700 eggs that came from injured females admitted.

We are currently taking care of over 800 turtles that have been staying with us for the winter. Our Education Program reached over 15,000 people. Currently, we are radio-tracking a group of our ” headstarted” juvenile Blanding’s turtles, alongside a group of wild juveniles, to ensure they are surviving and thriving. We are entering our 7th year in this study.

The OTCC strives to increase awareness of the challenges facing Ontario’s turtles and to inspire individuals to act!

The OTCC will be holding turtle workshops as part of Viamede Resort’s summer recreation programming. Come meet a turtle and learn more about conservation efforts! You can also follow OTCC on Facebook and Twitter.