Protecting our Shoreline

The shallows of a lake are crucial to the healthy habitat of fish, frogs and crayfish. To protect the shallows, please note that permanent concrete docks and retaining walls are prohibited by law, and only permanent docks allowed by Environment Quebec and holding an appropriate municipal permit can be constructed.

The native grasses, shrubs and trees that grow along the first 5 meters of shoreline of a lake or waterway serve as an excellent and essential barrier to curb erosion and to trap nutrients during run-off. Naturally occurring nutrients and those from human activities (such as phosphates) can cause serious deterioration in lake water quality.

Our most recent survey of the shoreline showed a marked deterioration of the health of our shoreline. We can address this by reversing any unnecessary and cosmetic over-development of our property’s near the lake.

Shade from trees at the shoreline helps to cool the shallows, which in turn helps to encourage fish spawning. If your shoreline has a lawn running down to the shore of the lake and no shoreline shrubs, we encourage you to regenerate it to a more natural state by planting native shrubs and trees.

We strongly discourage cottagers from building retaining walls, but where they exist, it helps to plant shoreline shrubs on top as the roots of the shrubs help protect the lake and stabilize the wall.

Some basic rules of thumb:

• interfere as little as possible with natural shoreline growth

• do not remove or cut back trees and shrubs on the first 5 meters from the lake shore,  except, for example, where absolutely necessary to provide access to the lake

• encourage shoreline regeneration

• provide a view of the lake from our cottages, not by cutting down or topping trees, but instead by permitting the trees to grow and only cutting branches that restrict our view

MRC des Collines de l’Outaouais Control By-law No. 137-09 sets out provisions for protecting the shorelines of lakes and watercourses. The primary objective of Control By-law No. 137-09 is to get shoreline property owners to re-naturalize the shorelines of lakes and watercourses. We want to do our part in this effort!