Mark Your Calendars: AGM 2018
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.
Mandatory Boat Washing for 2018 Has Begun
The Municipalities of Blue Sea and Messines have launched their 2018 mandatory boat washing program with the start of the fishing season. From now on, all boats must be properly washed (i.e. with hot water) before entering Blue Sea Lake and other lakes within Messines and Blue Sea territories. Boat washing stations will be established at Blue Sea (behind the Municipal office) and Messines (at Roch Lafrenière’s Butcher Shop) for this purpose. The program will be in effect until the close of the fishing season on September 16th.
The program will operate in a manner similar to 2017 with a few minor adjustments. See the regulation summary below
The municipalities are committed to the success and continuing improvement of this program, meant to prevent the introduction of new invasive species to our waterways, and the Association has been an active and supportive partner in this effort.
We want to enlist the active support of our membership and all who read this bulletin. Here’s how:
- Make sure your boat is properly washed before entering Blue Sea Lakes or other lakes on the watershed. You should do the same before launching in any other lakes. Remember, we already have a serious Eurasian milfoil problem in Blue Sea Lake. We do not want to unwittingly contaminate other lakes.
- Talk up this good behaviour with your friends and neighbours and ensure that any visitors to the region properly wash their boat. Be aware that waterfront property owners are prohibited from allowing a third party to launch his boat from their property.
We will be producing signage, brochures, and other communications materials to assist owners in properly washing their boats in proper environmental etiquette. In the meantime, you can click here
to watch a video capsule explaining how to prevent the introduction and spread of exotic species in five simple and effective steps.
The Threat: Exotic Invasive Species
An invasive species is a plant, fungus, or animal species that is not native to a specific location (an introduced species), and that has a tendency to spread to a degree believed to cause damage to the environment, human economy or human health. They harm biodiversity, displace native species through predation or competition, alter ecosystems by compromising their sustainability e.g.: their spawning grounds, reduce the quantity of dissolved oxygen in the water, and accelerate the premature aging of waterways. They can destroy certain species of fish, block water inlet pipes, reduce
property values and severely impact tourism. They can also increase the risk of mosquitoes and limit swimming and other water sports.
Blue Sea Lake and other lakes of the area are at risk of being contaminated by zebra mussels and other invasive species. Blue Sea Lake is particularly susceptible to the introduction of zebra mussels due to its high alkalinity and calcium levels. Other lakes of the watershed are likely in the same situation. Zebra mussels are already present in the Ottawa River.
What is the Problem with Zebra Mussels?
Zebra mussels alter a lake’s food chain; they make the water more transparent which allows light to penetrate deeper, thereby increasing aquatic plants and blue-green algae growth. In addition, they negatively affect fish and wildlife by increasing the proliferation of toxic algae. They are also sharp and easily slash swimmer’s feet. Zebra mussels also block water intake pipes, cover boat hulls causing damage and increased gas consumption and can damage both internal and external motor parts.
Why a Mandatory Boat Washing Program
Pleasure and fishing boats with their bilge water, live wells, trailers, and equipment are the most dangerous agent for spreading invasive species. Whether flora or fauna, exotic invasive species can be tiny and invisible to the human eye (e.g.: mussel or fish larvae, vegetal debris, eggs, or even tiny crustaceans). A high-powered pressure washer will eliminate more than 90% of all small organisms. That is the reason the municipalities of Blue Sea and Messines have implemented in 2017 mandatory high pressure, hot water, boat washing for all boats launched in lakes within their territory.
Why Hot Water?
As indicated earlier the greatest threat to our area is the introduction of the Zebra Mussel. Beside the use of chemical agents which are not recommended for environmental and health reasons, hot water is the most effective way of destroying their larvae too small to see with the naked eye that may attach to the boat hull, trailer, anchors, and propellers. To be effective the equipment should be washed using high pressure (>2500 psi) and extremely hot water 60°C (140°F) for at least 10 seconds. Mandatory Boat Washing Bylaws Summary Guiding Principle
Anyone wishing to launch a boat on the territory of the municipalities of Blue Sea or Messines must first wash his boat, as well as his accessories, and his trailer in a washing station recognized for this purpose and obtain a valid wash certificate. Is exempted from compulsory washing, the waterfront owner whose boat has been stored on its land and has not circulated on another body of water. This boat must display a sticker issued by the municipality identifying it as the property of a waterfront owner.
What Type of Boat is the Regulation Intended For?
The obligation to wash a boat applies to all apparatus, structures or buoyant constructions intended for a displacement on the water whether they are with sail, row or motor.
- For all motorized or non-motorized boats, access to a water body must be made by one of the municipal boat landings. The waterfront owners are exempt from this provision only to launch their own boat from waterfront property.
- All boat users on a water body within the municipalities of Blue Sea and Messines must have in their possession a valid wash certificate or have a sticker affixed to their boat identifying them as waterfront owners.
- A user who launches a boat on a body of water from a municipal boat landing and leaves his vehicle parked there must place a copy of the washing certificate on the dashboard of that vehicle in a way that it is visible.
- A wash certificate ceases to be valid when the boat leaves the water. The user who wishes to have access to this same body of water will have to come back to the washing station, wash his boat and obtain a new wash certificate.
Responsibility of the Waterfront Property Owner
Although the waterfront owner may be exempted from mandatory washing if he launches his boat from his property, he is responsible for washing this boat in accordance with the bylaws if it has circulated on another water body.
At no time, a waterfront owner may allow a third party to launch a motorboat from his waterfront property.
Anyone who contravenes or fails to comply with any of the provisions of the bylaws commits an offence and is liable to a fine of $300 for a first offence or $600 in the case of a recurrence.
The washing stations are self-service type. The user proceeds to wash his boat according to the instructions posted. Once the boat is washed, the user must obtain a wash certificate from the person in charge of the washing station that will allow him to navigate on a municipal body of water. The washing stations are located as follows:
- In Messines, at Rock Lafrenière butcher shop at 73 rue Principale; in operation from 6 AM to 7 PM daily.
- In Blue Sea, at the back of the municipal office at 10 rue Principale (check with the municipality for operating hours)
For a resident taxpayer: no fees payable if he has previously obtained a sticker for his boat, the resident must still wash his boat at a recognized washing station and get a certificate of proof.
For visitors: the fees to wash their boat and for obtaining the wash certificate are as follows:
| Motorized boats *
| Non-motorized boats
| Non-motorized boats less than 6 m
||Free in Blue Sea
* For frequent visitors, a card entitling to 10 washes is available at a cost of $150
How to Obtain Stickers for Identification as Residents of Blue Sea and Messines
At Blue Sea, you must report to the municipal office located at 10 rue Principale during opening hours (Monday to Friday from 8 AM to 12 PM and 1:15 PM to 4:30 PM). A form (French
) is available online to speed up the registration process; please click here
In Messines, you can register or modify your boat registration by clicking on the “LAVAGE DES EMBARCATIONS” tab on the home page of the municipalty's website
. You can also report to the municipal office located at 70 Main Street during business hours (Monday to Friday from 8:30 AM to 12 PM and 1 PM to 4:30 PM).
Both municipalities indicated that inspections will be made on the lakes within their respective territories during the 2018 nautical season.