|Danger! Eurasian! Respect the Yellow Buoys!
The navigation season on our lakes begins; it is time to remember the danger of water milfoil for the health of our lakes and the importance of respecting the yellow buoys to be installed shortly by the Association to warn boaters of the presence of water-milfoil-infested areas, that they must avoid. In this regard, new signs have been will be installed at the Messines and Blue Sea public wharves to highlight the message.
Wash your Boats!
And to prevent the importation of other specimens of this invasive plant and of all other species of the same nature, we remind you of the importance of washing your boats before launching them if they come from another body of water. Messines and Blue Sea washing stations are easily accessible; take advantage of them! In this regard, it should be noted that both municipalities remain committed to the continuation and improvement of the mandatory boat washing program. Regulations are in place to give the program a firm legal basis and the municipalities are increasing the resources devoted to inspection and enforcement, and are looking at new ways to make complying with the program and the boat washing process as user-friendly as possible.
The number of boats washed in 2018 increased over the previous year and both municipalities are pleased to note that there is a greater willingness by both residents and visitors to cooperate with the program and wash their boats. A reminder to renew stickers for 2019 was sent this spring to boat owners. For more information on the program:
Do not Make Waves!
Spring has arrived. The water level is higher than normal. The banks are more fragile and therefore more vulnerable to erosion by waves. On the other hand, motorized boat passages, particularly wake boats, induce a significant increase in the energy contained in the waves that reach the shore, on average by a factor of 4 in the case of wake boats (French only). This combined with the fragility of the shoreline in the spring when the water level is high has the effect of significantly increasing erosion. Be good boaters; in the spring, do not make waves! Follow the guidelines, visit our website.
The postal membership recruitment and renewal campaign was launched on April 10th by sending just under 900 letters to members of the Association (more than 400 in 2018), as well as to riparian owners of the watershed. As of May 20th, we had already received 199 membership registrations, including 26 new ones, and a total of $ 3,930 in donations from 42 donors.
Note that the annual membership fee is $ 20. In addition, as the Association is recognized as a charitable organization, you can donate to support the efforts of the Association; an official income tax receipt is issued for all donations of $ 20 or more. If you have received the registration form by mail, take a moment to complete it and return it with your payment. You can also register online.
On March 29th, the elected representatives and officers of both municipalities and those of the Association (Vice President Don Karn and Treasurer John Turnbull accompanied President Francis LeBlanc) met within the scope of a tripartite meeting, such meetings being held periodically to take stock of issues of common interest and ensure the coordination and follow-up of actions resulting from them. Highlights of this meeting:
- Detailed account of municipal boat washing operations and the role of the Association in promoting and supporting the program;
- Progress and constraints of the burlap installation project to combat milfoil;
- Projected display explaining the meaning of yellow buoys;
- Measures for monitoring and controlling the water level of Blue Sea Lake;
- Association concerns with fireworks on and near lakes and waterways;
- Status of the situation with respect to ice fishing (winter ice fishing);
- Progress of the septic tank emptying program on the islands in Messines;
- The issue of shoreline revegetation.
The representatives of the Association were able to note with great satisfaction the commitment and proactivity of the municipalities.
Time Travel and Water Levels - A Call for Shoreline Pictures
Following the emergency intervention to solidify the dam on Blue Sea Creek in the spring of 2013, the Association started monitoring and documenting water levels on Blue Sea Lake. Thanks to this foresight and initiative, we were able to assist the municipality and the MRC in the fall of 2017 when it became apparent that it was necessary to modify and consolidate the initial work. Meanwhile, in the spring of 2017, a simple but effective water level gauge was purchased by us and installed with our technical assistance on the east side of the Blue Sea public dock to monitor water levels. The municipality subsequently accepted responsibility for documenting the data.
For those who haven’t seen the Blue Sea Creek dam, it should be pointed out that the word ‘dam’ may seem an imposing word for what looks like an unimposing assembly of rocks and boulders; which is not to demean the importance nor the care and thought that has gone into how those rocks have been placed to create a structure designed to maintain the optimal water level of the lake.
Assessing what this ‘optimal’ level should be may seem like a simple question but is actually extremely complicated when considering factors such as seasonal precipitation cycles, natural annual fluctuations, and the consequences of man-made interventions to control this level, their impact on the environment and, not to be ignored, the public purse. Accordingly, historical information could be crucial when faced with future decisions concerning the maintenance or when proposing modifications to the dam.
Regrettably, we have no objective water level data for the lake prior to May 2013 – anecdotes yes – but no objective record. However it is possible to collect historical data by studying details of a picture of a fixed landmark taken prior to 2013 and measuring with a ruler or measuring tape the vertical difference between the water levels as seen in the picture and the current water level of the same site. Knowing the date, even if approximate, of these pictures, it will thus be possible to compare past water level assessments with recent data. The images below give a hypothetical example. It can be seen that on May 20th, 2018, the water level would have been 7 cm higher than on May 21st, 2011. If the 2018 level corresponds to the reference level of 92 cm at the Blue Sea public wharf gauge, it can be concluded that the reference level of May 21st, 2011 was 85 cm.
Using this comparative technique, it is possible to establish a reasonable estimate of the historical level of the lake. Precise dating is not a prerequisite for pictures to be helpful but their value would increase the more accurately the moment they were taken could be pinpointed. So check it out. You may just have some valuable water level information encrypted in your family album. Please let us know if you find something on such a trip back in time!
Welcome to our Associate Members
The Blue Sea Lake Watershed Association is pleased to welcome the membership of two lake associations within our watershed as associate members. Before our Association was legally established in 2009, informal Lake Associations already existed to represent shoreline residents of Lakes Edja, Roberge, and Caya, in one and of Lake Profond in the other.
In order to better coordinate our efforts and avoid duplication in terms of costs, our Association, in 2018, established a process to enable members of these associations to join us as “associate members.”
By agreement, and according to provisions in our General Rules, the 55 members of the the Lake Edja, Caya, and Roberge Association (LECRA, now legally constituted) and the 35 members of the Lake Profond Association, from now on will be associate members of the Blue Sea Lake Watershed Association without having to pay their membership fees twice.
The associate member is now able to receive information and services and to be represented on the Board of the Blue Sea Watershed Association by a delegate. However, in order to vote at our Annual General (or Special) Assemblies, he or she must also be a paid-up member of our Association.
The amendments to our General Rules that created this new category of membership were adopted at our 2018 AGM. The formal agreements and transfers of membership revenues were completed this spring. Our website and Shorelines bulletin will publish news from our partners and will be able to collaborate more closely on initiatives such as the water quality monitoring based on the RSVL program and the protection of our local environment in general.
Welcome to our new associate members!
In order to reforest the shoreline and protect our lakes, the Association annually distributes FREE various tree species from the MRC, in partnership with the municipalities of Blue Sea and Messines.
This year the trees will be distributed Saturday June 1st, from 9 AM, at the following two places:
- Blue Sea: municipal office parking;
- Messines: sports complex of the Multicultural Center.
We will have, among others, white pine, red pine, spruce, sugar maple, yellow birch, oak, black walnut, and late cherry. Come make your choice; it's free. Limit of 5 trees per person. First come; first served.
Do not forget to attend our Annual General Meeting and the 10th Anniversary celebration this year on Saturday, July 20th at the Blue Sea Municipal Hall.
Hope to see you there!