Our Environment

Environmental Stewardship is core to the mission of the Association. It’s important that everyone on our lake recognize how critical it is to maintain proper stewardship over this precious resource!
The 2023 Fall Environment Report showed good progress in several areas, but the growing threat of Milfoil is now critical.
Water Sampling

The Association works with La Peche and volunteers to regularly test our lake for phosphates, bacteria and other key measures. The results from 2023 are here.

Milfoil Threat

The biggest threat to our lake today is Eurasian Milfoil. Learn more about that here.

Protecting our Shoreline

Keeping our Shoreline healthy directly benefits the health of our lake. Learn what you can do about it here, and check the assessment of your area of the lake.

Protecting our Water

Milfoil isn’t our only threat. Guarding for other invasive species and knowing what to look for is a critical part of keeping our lake healthy, just as important as maintaining a safe and operational sceptic system.

Boating and Critical Buoys markers

The Association and its army of lake volunteers have marked critical areas on the lake. Safe boating and respecting these marked areas is critical to the sustainability of our lake.

Protecting Wildlife

Co-existing with local wildlife is a key concern for our Association.

Lake Bernard, along with most lakes in our region and across North America, has come under stress not just from our immediate actions in and around the lake, but also the impact of global warming and the increased mobility of invasive species. Top of our concern is the dramatic and accelerating spread of Eurasian Milfoil in Lac Bernard. This invasive species has already choked out nearby lakes and is proceeding to do so at Lac Bernard. We also pay close attention to the water quality in the lake and perform regular testing to ensure phosphates are properly controlled. We also work to educate owners about maintaining their shoreline in as natural state as possible as shorelines have a direct impact on lake health. The good news is we can all have a positive impact in these areas by following some pretty simple do’s and don’ts, and these efforts are paying dividends. With a focus on septic tanks improvement, lake phosphate and e-coli levels have been dramatically reduced since the 1990’s. Now however, we face the great challenge of milfoil control and eradication.

The 2022 Environment Report is Available Here
a close up of a bird on a body of water

In addition to the direct benefits to cottagers and residents, we know that a clean healthy lake will be more resilient to any threats to the environment or property from storms, high temperatures and other threats.

Here is what the association is doing for Environmental Stewardship:

Monitor: understand the situation today including current problems and threats and understand the impacts of any positive changes we make. It takes all of use to be aware and inform each other other, so if you see something, please use the Contact form on this site, call the Association, or call local government. Our monitoring also includes the lake water level, which varies year to year. We’ll keep you regularly updated as the season progresses.

Manage: invasive weeds and other invasive species through shared best practices for individuals and planning for lake-wide or watershed approaches for major collective efforts. The most important thing we can do is avoid boating in areas where Milfoil is present. The Association has marked some of these areas with Bouys. You can learn amore about this on this site.

Correct any current threats:  When septic systems fail we introduce phosphate and e-coli to teh lake. When we over-develop the shoreline of the lake, we starve the lake of critical nutrient loads. The most important thing we can do is preserve our shoreline in an undisturbed state, and make sure our septic systems are up to date and well maintained.

Communicate and Educate: We have learned that many new cottagers and owners aren’t aware of the some of these best practices. Even some of the long tenured cottages! So in the coming year we will be establishing a communication blast to share best practices for shoreline management, weed management and other issues that affect the environment we share and love. The most important thing we can do is education each other, so please read the do’s and don’ts and let us know where we can improve them.

We love our lake. We love to play in it, swim in it, catch its fish. We love watching the otters and loons and herons, and hearing the bird song. We love to watch how it changes over the seasons and reflects the mood of the weather. Being the effective stewards of our lake for the generations to come is our way of thinking of the lake environment and our place in it. We believe a healthy lake environment has benefits in its own right, and because a healthy environment enhances our ability to enjoy the lake we love.

Board Executive

100 years ago, Lake Bernard teemed with lake and speckled trout. The water was clean enough to drink, and we’re fortunate that in many ways it still is. But this requires all of us to work together to ensure we are effective stewards of our lake for generations to come

Individual efforts done collectively have a HUGE impact:

  • If each cottage pulled out four wheelbarrows worth of milfoil cuttings near the shoreline, we will have removed about 160,000 pounds of weeds from the lake.
  • If every time a boater grabbed weed cuttings as they went through a dense mat of milfoil, there would be thousands fewer possibilities for the weeds to spread
  • If those cottages who have grass down to the lake, or ground not protected by plants, thousands of pounds of sediment and nutrients would be kept out of the lake.
  • If the remaining cottages (there are very few) corrected their septic issues, we could completely starve the lake of human nutrient loads and bacteria
  • If we clean our boats prior to putting them in the water, and NEVER dump species that don’t belong in the lake (goldfish, crawfish, clams, mussels, carp, aquarium plants and fish, etc.), we could stem the flow of invasive species.