The Blue Sea Lake Watershed Association Bulletin
Issue N° 32 - March 2018
Municipal Elections Confirm Support for Mandatory Boat Washing
Both newly elected municipal councils of Messines and Blue Sea have reaffirmed their commitment to the boat washing program on their respective territories. Boat washing represents a radical change in the culture of fishing and pleasure boating. We are pleased that, in the face of some regional and provincial resistance and criticism, both municipalities have reaffirmed their long-term vision and commitment to the environment, as well as to science based policy making(1).
Study, discussion and planning of the new program began in early 2017 and, while agreeing in principal to mandatory boat washing, determination of the precise details proved to be a challenging and time consuming process. It wasn’t until mid-August last summer that the program was finally up and running. At that time it was understood that the program would require constant evaluation, monitoring and subsequent modification. In this spirit, the Messines and Blue Sea administrations are currently discussing how the program will be applied this summer. The Association has indicated that we will be supportive in any way possible.
Blue Sea River Dam Update
In December 2017 the Municipalities of Blue Sea and Messines received regulatory approval to carry out major work on the Blue Sea River Dam to correct the deficiencies in the existing emergency rock dam built a few years ago. The completed new dam structure is pictured on the right.
The design and construction of the new Blue Sea River Dam hopes to accomplish two main objectives:
- Reduce the existing dam’s contribution to the abnormally high water levels in Blue Sea and Grant Lakes.
- Increase the water discharge capacity (cubic meters per second) of the dam to dampen seasonal and weather related water level spikes.
To accomplish these, the MRC’s engineers used water level data collected since 2013 by Association volunteers. We later donated a new water level gauge, which was installed with our expertise and used to determine a desired water level in the late fall. Based upon historical data, the water level in late fall of 2017 was 30 cm above the normal levels for that time of year. Using this data as a basis for the design of the new dam, the top of the new dam was constructed 30 cm below where the top of the old dam was. To handle the seasonal and weather related inflow / outflows of water through Blue Sea Lake the dam discharge spillway width was increased to 5 meters from the existing 2.5 meters.
All parties will be watching and monitoring the water levels in 2018 season and beyond with great interest.
In Memoriam: Lucie Joanis (1957-2017)
In November members of the Association and Board of Directors were deeply saddened to learn of the passing of our dear friend and life-long resident of the region, Lucie Joanis.
Many local and cottage residents knew Lucie and husband Michel as the third generation, proprietor/managers of the Alex Lafrenière & Sons grocery store, for many years serving and greeting customers with a friendly word and welcoming smile.
Lucie was also a dedicated defender of Blue Sea Lake and the environment. She was a member of the Board, past treasurer of the Association and active volunteer of both the Association and its forerunner, the Sauvegarde. Her dedication came neither lightly nor lately.
Lucie died peacefully at her home, l’Alpage, on the shores of Blue Sea, surrounded by family and loved ones. She will be remembered fondly by everyone who knew her.
Association Launches its 2018 « Watershed » Recruitment Campaign
The Association has launched its membership renewal and recruitment campaign for 2018. We wish to thank the more than 275 members who paid their dues in 2017. We invite you to renew your membership again this year. We hope to interest residents of Blue Sea who are not already members to join as well.
For the first time, we will be also be reaching out directly to residents of other lakes in the watershed with an invitation to join our Association, something which was not possible in the past. Thanks to the collaboration of the MRC and the Regroupement pour la protection de l’eau de la Vallée-de-la-Gatineau (of which our Association is a member), we are now able to do so.
More than ever, our Association will be able to call itself a watershed association in fact, as well as in name.
Our message is threefold:
- One: there is strength in numbers. Nearly as many resident live on other lakes as on Blue Sea Lake itself. With more members from throughout the watershed our voice will that much stronger.
- Two: our concern is the environmental health of the entire watershed, not just Blue Sea Lake. For years we have been carrying out water quality testing on several lakes and the new mandatory boat washing program which our Association championed, and helped launch in 2017, covers the entire watershed.
- Three: we are an association of volunteers. With more volunteers, on more lakes in the watershed, we can accomplish that much more. So, if you care about the lake you live on, why not join the Association and offer some of your time and talents to help take care of it.
An easy to complete membership form will soon be sent to residents living on the following lakes: Allard, Blue Sea, des Castors, Caya, Clément, Edja, Glen, Grant, Grenon, Laverdure, Profond(2), and Roberge.
The membership will include an invitation to join our team of volunteers. Those who indicate an interest will be contacted by a member of our Board of Directors.
You can also join online by clicking the “Registration” tab on our website and following the prompts. Let us know if you’d like to volunteer and someone will call you.
Action Plan for 2018
The Association’s Action Plan for 2018 is now available on our website. To see it, please click here.
AGM 2018: Mark Your Calendars
This year, our Annual General Meeting will take place at the Municipal Hall in Messines on the morning of Saturday, July 21st. Details will follow. For now, please mark your calendars and plan to attend.
1. Transporting watercraft between lakes by land is one of the most important means of spreading invasive species – Dr. Claude Lavoie & Benjamin Lelong, Université Laval, citing a myriophylle study (Smith Berko, 1990)
2. A local environment protection group is already at work at Lac Profond.
Shorelines is a production of the Blue Sea Lake Watershed Association
Contributions: André Beauchemin, Robert Duval, Don Karn, Francis LeBlanc, Robert Roe, Sally Southey et Paul R. Ouimet