The Blue Sea Lake Watershed Association Bulletin
Issue No. 14 - June 2014

 

RSVL Results for 2013 Now Available
Two of the most important activities of the Association are the annual measurement of water transparency at and the collection of water samples from various lakes within both the Blue Sea Lake and Blue Sea Creek watersheds. The taking of these measurements and the collection of the samples are done by volunteers in accordance with the scientific protocols established by the “Réseau de surveillance volontaire des lacs” (RSVL). RSVL is a provincial agency that helps lake and watershed associations throughout Québec monitor and document the health of their waterways. Under this partnership, association volunteers effect the measurements and collect the samples while the RSVL team analyzes, interprets, and publishes the results. RSVL also provides valuable support in many other related areas.
The province-wide results of the 2013 RSVL water quality monitoring program are now posted on the RSVL website. For those lakes monitored by our Association, the results for both this year and previous years are available via the Water Quality page of our website. The Association currently monitors the water quality of the following lakes: Blue Sea, Edja, Grant, Laverdure, Beaudry, Paquin and Profond.
 
In interpreting this data, two points must be borne in mind. First, taking transparency measurements/water samples is a long-term effort; the results will vary from year to year and are only meaningful over an extended period of time. Second, and more importantly, these data only tell part of the story: assessing the environmental health of a lake is a very complicated endeavour that involves the consideration of a multitude of other phenomena including aquatic plant and periphyton growth, the appearance of blue-green algae blooms, etc. To get an idea of what’s involved, please read “Assessing the Health of a Lake” on our website.
 
The Association will begin its 2014 RSVL monitoring program soon. If you would like to know more about this program, please write to us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
 
Door to Door Information Campaign
With the help of more than 40 of our members and the assistance of local area lake associations/volunteers, the Association will be conducting a door-to-door information campaign throughout the Blue Sea Lake/Blue Sea Creek watersheds from mid-June to the end of July. The purpose of this campaign is to raise awareness regarding the fragile state of our waterways and to enlist the support of both residents and cottagers in the fight against the many threats facing our lakes.
 
Last fall's blue-green algae blooms have made this campaign that much more important as these blooms clearly demonstrate the precarious state of our watersheds. Only through greater awareness, commitment, and action can we hope to overcome the challenges with which we are faced. This campaign will help raise our community’s awareness of the problem and, hopefully, its commitment to do that much more to protect our waterways.
Beavers and our Environment
On Wednesday, May 21st, the Association received a very special visitor in the person of Mr. Michel Leclair. For the last thirty years, Mr Leclair has been in charge of beaver management for Gatineau Park, the National Capital Region’s Conservation Park. Featured in a documentary on beavers that appeared on CBC’s “The Nature of Things” (click to view), he is an internationally recognized expert in his field and one of the world’s few ‘beaver whisperers’.
 
For several years, the Association has been concerned about the relatively high levels of phosphorus in Lac Laverdure. In an effort to find solutions to this problem, we have conducted two studies. Among the recommendations detailed in last year’s Groupe Hémisphères' report was the suggestion that we consider ways of controlling the local beaver population and, in conjunction with this, of regulating the flow of water in both the stream and the wetlands connecting lakes Maclean and Laverdure.
 
Mr. Leclair’s experience in Gatineau Park has convinced him that it is futile to try to eradicate beavers through trapping – especially as a reaction to a problem that has already occurred. He feels that such an approach is tantamount to running around trying to extinguish fires with a bucket of water. He believes that a much more effective approach is to carefully analyze the situation and, based on that analysis, modify the hydraulic system around the beaver dams in the area and, when appropriate, initiate proactive trapping so that the fires never ignite.
 
Don Karn, president of the Association, coordinated the visit with the assistance and financial support of the municipalities of Blue Sea and Messines. Alain Racine and Dave Beauregard, two employees involved in beaver control and management for the Municipality of Messines, accompanied Mr. Leclair to the three sites he visited in that municipality. In addition to Lake Maclean, Maclean Creek and the surrounding wetlands, Mr. Leclair visited three other sites: the Galipeau dam on Lake Laverdure, the culvert between Lake Grant and Blue Sea Lake, and a culvert on the Lac des Isles East Road near Lake Riopelle in the Municipality of Blue Sea .
 
The Association would like to thank Gilles Galipeau, Jean-Robert Tremblay and Mark Roveda for their invaluable assistance with this visit.
 
Mark Your Calendar
The 6th Annual General Assembly of the Blue Sea Lake Watershed Association will take place the morning of Saturday, July 26 at the Municipal Hall in Messines. Our guest speaker will be Michel Leclair, naturalist and renowned beaver expert, who will address the issue of managing our relationship with this animal. Come, meet other members of the Association, and share your concerns and questions about our watershed. Details to follow. Plan to attend!
Our Website is 3 Years Old
On June 1st, our website celebrated its 3rd anniversary. Many thanks to all of those who have and continue to use and support the site (www.associationbluesea.org).

Shorelines is a production of the Blue Sea Lake Watershed Association
Contributions: Dick Ryan, Francis LeBlanc, Don Karn, Ron Leblanc, Paul R. Ouimet. Production: Paul R. Ouimet.
To contact us: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.