Lake Bernard    
Lake Bernard Lake Bernard Lake Bernard


Download and print this infographic on milfoil and on ways to minimize its effects on Lac Bernard. (pdf, 5.4mb)

Invasive Aquatic Weeds

Eurasian milfoil has been spreading fast - since 2012 we have seen an increase of nearly 400% (from 185,000 sq. m to 570,000 sq. m) in just 4 years. It now covers nearly all parts of our lake between .5m and 7 m deep (57 hectares or almost 10% of the Lake). This weed infestation makes it difficult to enjoy the lake in certain areas.

Actions taken by your Association thus far:

  • We are constantly exploring different funding sources to support our Eurasian milfoil management efforts.
  • We first raised the issue of the invasive weed issue at the La Pêche Municipal council in May 2015.
  • We hired ABV des 7 to conduct a lake-wide study in the summer of 2015 to determine the extent of the issue and how best to address it. They provided our association with a report on their findings in January 2016.
  • Our proposal to control milfoil was presented at the La Pêche Municipal council meeting in May 2016 and we were awarded a $15,000.00 matching grant for our pilot project. Since the project for installing the burlap was never launched (see explanation below) the money was withdrawn by the municipality. When we will be ready to proceed with the burlap we simply need to reapply to the municipality for a grant.
  • During the summer of 2016, we worked with ABV des 7 to prepare a request for a Certificate of Authorisation (CA) that was submitted to the Ministry of Environment (MDDELCC).
  • CA was issued to our lake association giving us permission to install burlap over selected Eurasian milfoil beds but with the condition that the burlap be held down with rocks or cement blocks that could be removed after several years. This approach is not reasonable because it would make the cost prohibitive, requiring professional divers and a mechanical barge. The project was put on hold until a compromise could be negotiated with the Ministry.
  • Our hope and goal was to conduct a pilot project in a selected high traffic area to test the installation of burlap (once the restriction is lifted) with the use of sand to hold down the burlap.
  • We have deployed yellow marker buoys to help steer boats away from dense weed mats areas. We would like to extend the use of these yellow buoys to mark off other areas that should be avoided.
  • The pilot project, funded with the municipal grant and raised funds, was to cover approximately 10,000 square meters. Please note that that the Eurasian milfoil is currently estimated as covering 570,000 square meters. It is obvious that this will be a five to 10-year endeavour to control the milfoil.
  • As of January 16, 2019, The Alliance for a National Eurasian Watermilfoil Management Program gathered the support of more than 135 associations, organizations such as ABV des 7, municipalities and regional county municipalities (RCM). It intends to obtain from the government a province-wide action plan which, through its effective implementation, could become a management model for all invasive species in Quebec and even an example for other jurisdictions.
  • Map of the lake with Eurasian Milfoil beds (as of 2016) outlined in red
    You may download a .pdf copy of the lake map here. (5MB)

Available solutions:

  • Burlap
    ABV des 7 swears by this approach and is proposing a turnkey solution for our lake, at approximately $2 per square meter. Burlap seems to be the preferred approach and the only approach supported by the Ministry of environment (MDDELCC).

  • Note: The following methods are not supported by ABV des 7 and by MDDELCC and therefor cannot be supported by your Executive:
  • Aeration
    At a cost of approximately $6,000, you can remediate a shoreline in front of a cottage (if you purchase a service – less if you build one yourself).
  • Weed cloth or other approaches done by individuals
    screen frames constructed and placed over nuisance weeds in shallow water; staple burlap or weed cloth to a wooden frame (made with 1X3 strapping). Sink the frame over the nuisance weeds and hold it in place using stones. It is best to install these frames early in the season before the weeds have begun growing, and to remove them after six weeks or so. However, this is not permitted by MDDELCC.
  • Manual weed cutting
    In 2015, we provided cutters and advice for those who wished to remove weeds manually. We had some success, and a lot of concern from cottagers who feel there has been a dramatic increase in the amount of weed cuttings in the lake. As of 2016, we stopped the use of the cutters. Cutting the weed causes fragmentation which is difficult to pick up. It is also the leading method by which the Eurasian milfoil proliferates. This method is not permitted by MDDELCC.
  • DASH (diver assisted suction harvesting)
    has worked very effectively in New York state, some northern US states and British Columbia but it is a slow yet steady progress. It may take five to 10 years to clear the lake of milfoil using this approach. Due to sediment levels in the lake, this measure may be very slow and is not supported by MDDELCC.
  • Mechanised cutting
    has worked effectively in the Rideau lakes and in some lakes in Vermont. It’s a much faster approach but it must be repeated continuously and it contributes to the proliferation of the plant.  This approach is not supported by ABV des 7 and the Ministry of the environment of Quebec (MDDELCC).
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