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Thanks to Matt will be upgrading our website, this year, to make it even more attractive and easy to search items.

Mark, Sunday May 26th, on your calendar. We will have our AGM at the municipal hall in Lac Saint Marie between 1:30pm and 3pm. Please come!

Yes! In 2019 we will be in our 5th year of existence! We have been working since September in ways of improving our Association and today we share with you our projects for the coming year.
Our greatest work has been the revision of our by-laws to reflect our present reality and to plan for the future. This document of more than ten pages is available here for your personal reading. We will be voting for the approval of our new by-laws at our extraordinary general meeting in May

Do you want to read our NEW association rules?

We will also propose, a new name for our Association that is inclusive for our members from Newton and Brochet lakes:

Association du bassin versant du Poisson Blanc

Those changes will help us to better understand our community, to manage our common problems, to express our opinions, to have fun and to make decisions about the environment we live in. We want to stay on the human scale with our Vice Presidents which represent each section of our watershed. By this, we have a effective communication that highlights the particularities of each sector with the municipal or regional authorities. Also, by these changes we can share our tasks and responsibilities so that no member is overwhelmed.
In 2017, we incorporated the owners of Lake Newton and in 2018 those of Lake Brochet. Being more numerous, this allows us to increase our ability to meet the needs of our members: more volunteers available which means more opportunities for activities or projects and more money available to pay for them. Currently we are 82 active members. More details will be shared in our spring newsletter.


News for your sector …

Bowman

Mylène, Pierre & Linda

On March 1st, Linda and Pierre participated at our first ever official meeting with the municipality of Bowman. Linda did a real good job of explaining in detail the history and concerns of our members at the southern portion of lake du Poisson Blanc. We had a very good response from the mayor and general director of the municipality telling us that we should see visible changes this summer at the boat launch.

A second meeting will be organize with the “Base de plein-air Air-Eau-Bois”, the municipality and the Association before the end of April we hope. A positive sign was the final installation, late fall, of the sign indicating the canoe/ kayak launch. Hoping that this will ease some tension at the boat launch.

The mayor of Denholm will present our concerns about policing & security in the southern end of the lake to the Regional MRC Security Committee in the coming days. We are hoping that the Maniwaki division will accept to monitor our sector on a regular schedule instead of the Papineauville division.

If you didn’t know your Vice President MARK PROULX had to resign this summer due to the birth of his first child. As he is going to be quite busy in the coming year, the Board has chosen LINDA CORNELL to replace him.
Here are your Vice President’s concerns for 2019:

  • Since most of our problems are directly related to the management of the parking lot (s) and access to the lake, the Association will ask if it could have a copy of the agreement between the Base de plein-air Air-Eau-Bois and Bowman;
  • Need cedar hedges along the fence of the parking lot to protect the privacy of 3 cottages / residences;
  • Need for the Base to ensure that there is no overnight camping in the parking lot that it manages;
  • During the busy summer weekends, better management is needed: 1) at the launching site (lower area near water) – overflows occur too often, people encroach on a privately owned lots, frustrations rise, shouting at each other – especially when large groups with canoes and boats are trying to get in and out our lake 2) garbage and recycling management needs reviewing;
  • Canoe-kayak dock – better monitoring because some people pass threw private properties, drink alcohol, leave their garbage on site, and spill fuel on the dock;
  • Major environmental concerns for the lake health … unsupervised campsites, untreated sewage / garbage and toilet paper left after tourists leave.
  • Safety issues: 1) canoes on the lake at dusk – there are near-miss accidents every year with motor boats or other boats which have no lights at night, 2) the ‘Base de plein-air’ must actively discourage campers from swimming from their beach to the other side of the lake without security equipment.

Newton Bay

Your Vice-president Ronald Thomas
Municipal meeting on March 8th

Finally, the BIG DAY arrived, on Friday March 8th! All property owners from Montée Jean-Marc and Solitude Nord were present to hear from the municipality on the propose road reconstruction of Montée Jean-Marc. As a Association we had in our mandate to advocate property owners rights. We supported and helped the “Association des propriétaires de la baie Newton” in their demands since 2015.

Those who attended were presented the historical facts since 2015, the cost and time table for the completion of this project. A map was presented detailing the propose route.

In yellow, the propose new Montée Jean-Marc

To read the complete history of this project please follow this link to number 2: https://lacpoissonblanc.ca/our-projects/

As some already know, we have revamped the rules of our Association in the fall of 2018. They will be presented to you in our special AGM meeting on the 19th of May. In the coming weeks you will be receiving by email information about those changes but for the purpose of this article here is our propose NEW MANDATE…

  1. To see to the protection of the flora, wildlife and ecology of our watershed;
  2. Ensure a monitoring role over the quality of the bodies of water and the underground water located in our watershed;
  3. Promote partnerships between all users of our watershed who share our community values;
  4. To protect and defend the interests of its Members.

As you can read, our main purpose, as a Association, will be the environmental protection of our watershed. So, on our president advise, we have done our part in helping those owners on their road project and now leave the final work and acceptance to those who are directly concerned. We shall move on to other important projects relevant to our “new” mandate.

If you are directly concerned by this project, please go to the Facebook page of “Ass. des propriétaires de la baie Newton” or contact Darrell from the “Property owners of ch de la Solitude”. We are hoping all the best to all of them from now on.

Please phone the municipality (819-467-5437) if you didn’t receive your letter!


We wish to say THANK YOU to the municipalities of DENHOLM and LAC SAINTE MARIE (LSM) for the maintenance of the Trans Outaouais which is currently open year round. All our members have noticed the improvements to the road undertaken by the municipality of Denholm and also the work undertaken on the big hill by LSM.

Don’t look for the signs indicating the names of our roads. They were vandalized during the hunting season. They will be installed again this spring. Spread the word … do not use our signs as targets because there is a cost to replace them!

bullet holes

Our members of the Chemin du Grand Poisson Blanc had quite a scare in June when a “public” descent (with no parking) was announced in an area at great risk of environmental deterioration in our bay.

unofficial municipal boat launch

Good news, we intervened with the municipal authorities of Lac Sainte Marie and the boat launch sign was withdrawn in October. A BIG THANK YOU to the councillors of LSM for their environmental action!

We were fortunate to have a volunteer who took the responsibility to do water transparency near Mysterious Island and 5 other places in Newton Bay. THANK YOU AGAIN Johanne for your precious time in doing so. She told us she will do it again in 2019!

Joanne

Interested in reading her observations please click on the following link…

Unfortunately, changes have been noticed this summer. Sadly, milfoil has entered our bay, also, some algae is progressing. We will have to monitor this more seriously next year.

Milfoil found in Newton Bay
Algae spotted in October

ATTENTION! Plants should not be pulled out because the roots will survive and floating cut plants will take root easily. Everyone must do their part and monitor their shore to have some control otherwise the situation will worsen over time.

You would like to know more about this? This video will explain about the different invasive species and how the remediate that problem…

from the ministry of environment Québec

Newton Lake

Your Vice-president David Orfald

I would like to address this issue within the association … which is to gather information for residents on what to do in an emergency.

We realized that we did not have a protocol or action plan in place. We do not know if Wakefield or Maniwaki is the best place to take an accident victim- whether we would drive ourselves or better in calling an ambulance – we did not know if there was an emergency information line. But all to say, I ended up thinking that perhaps we should put something in place – “WHAT TO DO IN A EMERGENCY” – recognize the isolation of our little neighbourhood. We should also be promoting a first aid training course in nature next summer and maybe see if we could do a list of members, by sector, who could be helpful and available for first aid.

I would like to add a second concern – which is already very much a part of the Association mandate — to build a supportive community that looks out for each other and the environment. I very much support those raising concerns about use of the boat ramps, the concerns about over-use and invasive species. And Ronald is correct that comes from many access points up and down the lake. A strong and supportive community can help watch and monitor and report on problems — e.g. neighborhood watches, monitoring problems, helping out. So I support the community building work done by the Association and others.

Brochet Lake

Unfortunately, no pictures to share yet but there there is lots of action in this new sector for us, the Association!

  • On September 28, the shore property owners at a general meeting where Pierre, our President was present, decided to join our Association in order to have a stronger voice with the municipal authorities.
  • During this meeting the owners choose Benoît Sirois as their Vice President for our Board of Directors.
  • There was talk of the reconstruction of a dam, respecting the local fauna, to control the level of the lake and also the activity of the beavers. Everything is completed except for the installation, this spring, of pipes and valves under the structure.
  • Some owners would like to be better inform in ways in controlling the presence of invasive aquatic plants. The Association has accepted this idea for the coming year. Further more, Pierre will propose the purchase of jute to control the presence of mil foil as it is done in Lake Pemichongan.
in front of Laura’s property

Other news…

Margaret Coordinator

THANK YOU Margaret for coordinating our buoy committee with Darrell. Our welcome sign on the small island was cemented and some rusty or fragile parts were replaced for the buoys. If you are interested in reading the report, please download it below.
THANK YOU also, to George Mellean, Jean Duchesne, Gilles and Mark Proulx and Fraser Blackwell for adopting a buoy. This committee is very appreciated by all and is a model to be reproduced for the northern section of the lake which is under the responsibility of the Regional Park.

THANK YOU to our volunteers who took care of some neglected camping sites. Since the beginning of our commitment to these sites we have noticed an improvement. You will be able to read their comments here for their respective site shortly.
Many other sites are abandoned and other islands have been VANDALIZED to accommodate the increasing number of tourists camping on the lake. If you are interested in reading their reports, here it is:

PLEASE REPORT ANY VANDALIZED SITES (with GPS coordinates) TO US!

Future meetings

We will have two meetings in May, one after the other. The first will be for the acceptance of our new by-laws, our new name and a vote on our membership criteria. The second will be our usual AGM. We will offer these meetings on a Sunday afternoon. It should take 2 hours. Details coming in February.

We are 82 members in good standing. With your membership we were able to collect $ 2,050 and Gilbert, our treasurer, tells us that we are not in the red.

Our photo contest had a winner and it’s Natalie Briggs! We will change our featured photo soon and Natalie will get her prize at our next CornRoast. Thank you all those who participated!

2018 photo contest

Your Shoreline!

A new by-law of the MRC for the riparian strip is now in force! Please respect the 15 meters ban in cutting in front of your lake … no cuts of any kind. You risking getting a salty fine since the municipality in now enforcing this by-law!

Want to read the NEW rules for the shoreline (in french) ?

Boat Washing Stations!

We will join with other lake associations in our request for the installation of a boat washing stations in each municipality. This is a long term process since the government is willing to pay 75% of the initial installation but municipalities tell us they cannot afford the maintenance costs afterwards for insurance, staff, maintenance and security. We must find a common solution. The good news is that the municipality of Lac Sainte Marie has send the documents to receive the grant to pay for the initial installation.

Want to read what the Association of lac Sam is asking to the municipality of Denholm?

Here are some of the problematic of controlling invasive species by using BOAT WASHING STATIONS for our lakes:

We do not see any particular problems with the washing stations for non-residents if the launching permits are issued daily or for the duration of their stay on a given body of water.

There is, however, a small problem with the annual or permanent stickers affixed to the residents’ boats if the regulations are not well designed.

Let’s take an example. By making the request to the municipality, I will have the right to get a sticker and affix it on my boat. My boat does not go to other water bodies and year after year it is still launched in May and released in September on the same body of water. I do not go elsewhere and it remains from years to years on the same body of water and overwinter on the ground of the chalet. So no problem, I do not even have to go wash my boat according to the regulations of these municipalities to put my boat back in the water in the spring. J: will have my Lac Sainte Marie license on my boat. So if there is control over Whitefish Lake, I am legal and allowed to navigate.

Now, let’s take a Mr. X who lives in the village of Lac Sainte-Marie. The latter, like me, has a boat that stays in the winter on its land and goes from year to year just as I put his boat in the water but on Lake Ste Marie. This gentleman may also obtain from the same municipality a sticker certifying that his boat is authorized for that municipality. One day, Mr. X decides to take his boat out of Lake Sainte-Marie and come and make a saucette at Poisson Blanc Lake, just to change a little for a day. Carla see the boat arrive and it wearing his resident’s sticker of the municipality, she has no choice but to let him do his launch. Also an authorized officer of the municipality, or another surrounding, does an audit this day and can not differentiate his boat from mine. We are both licensed by the same municipality to navigate this water. Yet there is a big difference. The two boats do not come from the same WATERSHED, although here they are two residents of the same municipality.

But everyone knows that if there is a beginning of water milfoil at the Lac Poisson Blanc, for its part Lake Sainte Marie has been in the Ministry’s eye for a long time for this problem. You do not want, as president of the Association of the Bassin Pourant du Lac Poisson Blanc, which is given in another mission, to try to protect the lake of this fléaut, you do not want this boat, even With its legal sticker for the municipality, can continue to come with impunity in all legality continue to contaminate your lake, but you can not stop it … it has its sticker of the municipality. Or worse, another with which your municipality would have agreements.

Unless the given permit approach and stickers given to residents are given so that the authorized water body is easily identifiable. Not a municipality or a MRC.
Common sense is, for example, that a small, highly contaminated lake in a municipality can not contaminate the other lakes with impunity. I have no objection to a boat from a resident of the Réservoir des Sables, Lac Campion or Lac Spillère coming with his sticker, fishing in Newton Bay or the Poisson Blanc Reservoir. They are all water bodies of the same. We should all be worried that a boat from Lake Heney, Lac Vert or Sainte-Marie may be allowed. Even if they wear a resident sticker from their municipality.

We can put lot of energy on this project, but if they do not share this vision, we will have put a lot of effort, too, but in the wrong direction. From my point of view, when there is no navigable waterway for a given lake, the problem is quite simple to solve. We write the identifier of the lake in question on the sticker and it is set. When it comes to a river, with communicating bodies of water and reservoirs, it’s a little more complex. The Gatineau Valley, which includes, for example, Lac Sainte Marie and the Vallée de la Lièvre, which includes the Poisson Blanc Reservoir, are two different watersheds. That’s why I talked about COBALI. They can influence the municipalities to emit such a point of view and to adopt such rules, especially if they, like the Municipality of Lac Sainte Marie, have different watersheds.

Here is a example of a municipality in the MRC that has a compulsory boat washing station. Sadly, this document is only in french:


TOGETHER, WE CAN GO FARTHER IN OUR CLAIMS.
Never doubt that a small group of people can change the world. In fact, this is how the world has changed
-Margaret Mead

If you have not done so already, ENCOURAGE YOUR NEIGHBOUR TO JOIN US!