|Watershed Protection in the Age of COVID-19
Welcome to 2020! As we do our part to slow the spread of this new virus and cross our fingers that the summer may bring a relaxation of the measures that have been keeping us at home and apart, life continues and your Association has been continuing its efforts to protect the Blue Sea Lake and Blue Stream watersheds. Of note, in this regard:
- The authorizations we received from the Quebec Government to carry out the jute tarp project to control Eurasian Milfoil in Blue Sea Lake were extended for 2020. Discussions are underway with our partners and a number of potential contractors in order to carry out the installation of the jute tarps. We will keep you informed as things develop.
- On March 27, the RSVL informed its partners that the Ministry officials at RSVL would be “suspending its sampling activities until further notice” which would, at best, imply a delay in the reporting of results for 2020. We nevertheless intend to continue with the transparency measurements as planned.
- We continue to monitor the winter ice fishing and report on this winter’s activity in the article that follows.
- We have initiated a process for membership renewal by email and is now possible for payment to be made using Interac e-transfer.
- Both municipalities have confirmed their intent to continue with the mandatory boat washing program.
- The Yellow Buoy Program to identify concentrations of Eurasian Milfoil beds to avoid will continue, with plans to install 75 additional yellow buoys for a total of 237, as well as 5 larger signed panels, for a total of 17.
- Unfortunately, due to Covid-19, the annual tree distribution has been cancelled for this year.
Adaptation to the restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 has led the Board of the Association to meet by video conference which is opening a range of new possibilities for engaging permanent and non-permanent residents in the work of the Association.
The Board is continuing to evaluate whether it will be possible to hold the 2020 Annual General Meeting at the Municipal Hall in Messines on July 25th, as currently scheduled, or what accommodation will have to be made for this important annual consultation with our members.
The current public health crisis will undoubtedly continue to require adjustments in the way we do things as summer progresses. As we feel our way in these uncertain times, we will keep you informed through our Shorelines bulletin and our website. Don’t hesitate to give us feedback though email, letter, or by telephone.
Winter Ice Fishing – Municipality of Blue Sea
The winter ice fishing occurs mainly on the portion of Blue Sea and other lakes under the jurisdiction of the Municipality of Blue Sea. This past winter, it has been very well managed by the Municipality, with respect for the environment and the health of all the lakes in its territory and in our watershed. Fishing hut permits, site inspection, the collection of statistics and ‘best-practices’ information offered to participants in the annual ice-fishing tournament testify to this.
It is comforting to note that the vast majority of fishermen practice their sport in a manner that respects the lake and the environment keeping their fishing sites clean during the "regular season" as well as every year during the tournament. Bravo!
It is also worth highlighting the efforts of Mr. Jérôme Dénommé from Blue Sea village and the management of his fishing hut rentals which come equipped with trash cans, recycling bins, and fireplaces to contain the ashes and residues of open fires. He also provided a dry toilet for fishermen during the winter season. Mr. Dénommé has shown great respect for the lake and the environment. Congratulations Jérôme and thank you!
Obviously, if you see signs of questionable behavior, whether for ice fishing or for any other aspect that affects the environment, do not hesitate to report it, either to us or directly to the Municipal office.
Renewal of Your Membership
The Association launched in early May its annual membership renewal campaign for 2020. This year, the notice was sent by email to all those who were members in 2019 and for whom we hold a valid email address, i.e. 289 persons. You should have already received it. In the case of 27 persons for whom we do not have an email address, the renewal notice is sent by mail as in the past.
Please note that from now on, you will be able to make your payments to the Association by Interac payment; this is described in the renewal notification email as well as on the Registration page of our website.
Remember that the active support of our members is essential to the vitality and relevance of the Association. Thank you for your support.
Shorelines is a production of the Blue Sea Lake Watershed Association
Contributions: Francis LeBlanc, Don Karn, Rachel Paquette, Paul R. Ouimet