Dunany

Archive for the 'Environment' Category

Protect your Lake from Eurasian Watermilfoil: wash all boats!

9 July 2017

This exotic and very invasive plant –   Eurasian Watermilfoil – has already spoiled more than 40 lakes in the Laurentians alone. Fortunately, there is none in Argenteuil. None in our lakes.

We absolutely want to keep it that way because once a lake is contaminated, little can be done to restore it.

I have raised his issue before but I am writing again about it because it is now our biggest threat!

So, this summer, make sure that the boats brought in by renters and friends – and yours if it is used in a foreign lake – are thoroughly washed before they navigate your lake.

Same applies to paddles, fishing gear, electric motors.

Here is how to proceed.

Follow these four steps: inspect – drain – clean – dry

Inspection is the most important. If you look carefully, you will probably locate exotic plants or molluscs. Drain to make sure the is no leftover water at the bottom of your kayak, for example. Clean with fresh water and a bit of bleach. Finally, let dry in the sun for a few days.

All this should evidently be done at a good distance from the lake.

If you wish to know more about this plant, this Guide (in English) should prove very helpful.  eurasian-water-milfoil-guide

 

Lake Results are finally in. Results are very good. But…

2 July 2017

Some of you might have wondered why I did not publish the lake results last spring as I have done in the previous years. Answer is simple: I did not get them till the end of June. Why?

The lab at the Environment Department hit a snag last summer. The equipment measuring the phosphorus content broke down. By the time it was replaced, the third water samples were out of date. The rest is bureaucratic snafu!

If you look at the charts carefully, you will notice an asterisk * leading to a comment that the results of the last sampling had to be taken aside because they  just don’t make sense.

Look at this 2016 Black Lake chart as an example. Click to enlarge it. The first and second phosphorus readings are 2.5 and 2.0 micro grams per litre. Excellent numbers. The third one is 0.6. Implausible!

The third column on the chart is dissolved organic carbon. This measures water coloration, in Black, it is evidently higher than in other lakes. Hence it’s name.

I have been told by the RSVL Team in Quebec City that we can really trust the first two numbers as well as those of the previous years. And now the lab has new equipment to measure phosphorus.

Let us have a look at another chart. That of Curran Lake (below).

Again, very good numbers here 1.5 and 3.0 , except for the third one (1.) that was rejected. The spread is not enormous. I saw the chart of a lake (Manitou) where it went from 1.4 to 6.9! You will also notice that transparency is much higher than in Black. Transparency champion is always Clear. Evidently!

We have ten years of data and there is great value in numbers. We have enough data to establish trends and ours is in the right direction.

You will find all the charts – 2016 and multiyear – here.

This year, we will be taking water samples in late July and August.

But remember: lakes are our main asset. Let them deteriorate  and our properties could lose half of their value. That is why we insist that municipalities make sure all septic systems are in order, make sure that shoreline protection bands are there to prevent nutrients from reaching the lake. That is why we ban pesticides and fertilizers close to the lake. That is also why we insist that you wash your boats to prevent the arrival of invasive and exotic plants and molluscs that can literally kill a lake.

Sorry about the sermon! I know you will forgive me.

 

Will the Beavers Find their Favorite Food on your Shoreline?

15 June 2017

This is my spring beaver report. I will answer the question at the end of this Post.

As of last weekend, there were beavers on every lake except Boyd, usually the beavers favourite lake. A miracle of sort. Touch wood!

But they have been active in the other lakes, especially on Curran where they never stop building a dam in the outlet. Our trapper hopes to have the problem solved by the end of June.

A colony has also taken residence on Black but no damage has been reported yet. Again, more work for our trapper.

Finally, I saw a couple on Clear a few weeks ago and they have feasted again on my shoreline where their favourite food is still abundant. This year they decided to gulp a really pretty dappled willow. The lady did not appreciate at all!

The beavers favourite food is definitely alder.

Here is what it looks like on my shoreline.

If they cannot  it find it, they will eat birch, cherry trees, poplar, willow, aspen and cottonwood.

One piece of advice. If you have valuable trees on your shoreline it would be a good idea to protect them. Here is an illustration as to how to do it. The 2×2 inch mesh should be about four feet high. And leave room for the tree to grow.

We will always have beavers in and around our lakes. Our trapper cannot be everywhere. All we can do is control the beaver population and prevent serious damage to our assets.

And do not be afraid of them, they are herbivores. Don’t even eat fish!

 

A Cozy Nesting Platform for our Loons on Black Lake.

4 June 2017

We all love the common loons and their very unique cry on our lakes even when it is heard in the middle of the night!

Listen if you wish!

As far as I know, there is only one nest in Dunany. It is on Curran. So, when we were approached by Développement ornitologique Argenteuil who proposed to install a nesting platform on one of the other three lakes, I said sure.

By the way, this NGO is strongly supported by the MRC – which pays for the platform – and the Townships of Wentworth and Gore.

Black Lake was chosen because it has a large inhabited area – so-called Frenchies bay – where loons can reproduce away from their natural predators (that includes us). By the way, loons lay their eggs in June.

Here I want to thank Maurice Pilon who happily volunteered to help install the platform and will handle the maintenance, including the removal in the fall and the re-installation once the ice is gone. The man with him in the pictures that illustrate this Post taken on June 1 is Martin Picard, the biologist who runs the DOA.

Let us hope some loons will like this new home.

As for us, if you wish to have a look at it, look from afar, use binoculars. Getting close to the platform will scare away the loons and defeat our purpose.

 

An inventory of aquatic plants on Clear lake: all’s clear!

19 March 2017

When the MRC launched its program to identify invasive and indigenous plants in the lakes of  Argenteuil, I raised my hand and proposed to include Clear lake. The 56 page interesting report drafted by the CRE Laurentides (Environment Council)  has just been made available and if you wish to practice your French, you will find it here.

The inventory was done in 25 lakes – including such lakes as  Louisa, Bixley, and Hugues –  and, thank God, no exotic or invasive plants were found in the lakes surveyed. This is comforting but we should not forget that 40 lakes in Laurentians have to deal with Eurasian Watermilfoil, an extremely invasive plant that can destroy a lake. Also, there is some of it in a couple of landing stages on the Ottawa River in Brownsburg-Chatham. So we must be very vigilant!

Back to Clear lake. Thirteen varieties of plants were found, according to the report. In all the 25 lakes, the count is between 9 and 32. Which is to say there are not that many.

Clair carte herbier

The verdict of the biologist who directed our work was non equivocal: dam nice lake! If you look carefully at the map, your will find that the plants are concentrated in five bays around the lake.

I have prepared for you a page with pictures and names of the plants that you will find here.

Any questions?

PS. I have twelve pictures, not 13, because I think there is some confusion around the many varieties of Pondweed. There are so many varieties. Like Heinz products!

 

A new and Interesting Map of the Dunany Watershed and it’s Wetlands: have a look!

12 May 2016

This map is a section of a larger one of the Wetlands of the Laurentians produced by Ducks Unlimited, the world’s largest private, non-profit, waterfowl and wetland conservation organization,  and Abrinord, the organization responsible for the management of the North River Watershed.

Wikipedia defines a wetland as a land area that is saturated with water, either permanently or seasonally, such that it takes on the characteristics of a distinct ecosystem. Wetlands play a number of roles in the environment, principally water purification, flood control, carbon sink and shoreline stability.

Wetlands are also considered the most biologically diverse of all ecosystems, serving as home to a wide range of plant and animal life.

Bassin versant de Dunany et ses mielieux humidesThe map is only available in French. Key words in the legend are marécage, marais (Swamp), Tourbière (Bog), eau peu profonde (shallow water) .

It was produced though 3-D imagery. It is quite precise. For example, there are small bogs with trees (tourbière boisée) on and close to  my property and they are clearly shown.

I am sharing this information with you as the health of our lakes is inseparable from the preservation of our wetlands as they play vital functions such as water filtration, water storage, biological productivity, and provide habitat for wildlife.

To view the full map, just click on this link.

 

A Report on the Beaver Situation in Dunany.

16 October 2015

The hot topic in Dunany these days is beavers!

Beavers on Curran! Beavers on Clear! Beavers on Boyd! This is not surprising since this is their most active time of the year. Beavers are getting ready for the winter. So they cut trees and build huts. Late this summer, they were especially active on Clear where they cut alder on my shoreline to bring it on the other side of the lake. The action is now on Curran where they have developed a fondness for birch tress.

beaver-trapping

I can report that our trapper Marcel Gauthier has been very active recently on these three lakes and captured a good half dozen of them. But there are still a few left and the goal is to have all of our four lakes beaver free by November 1. There were some beavers on Back but they showed up early this summer and the problem was solved. He will also remove the new dam on Boyd in the coming days.

By the way, you should know that our trapper respects Quebec’s laws and regulations scrupulously.

Many of you have had the opportunity to meet with him and he has asked me to thank you all for your collaboration. This is essential because he wants to be absolutely sure that you know what is going on and that no dogs or cats get hurt in the capture process.

By the way, chicken wire can be useful to protect valuable trees on your  shoreline. If you chose this method, use the 1 sq. inch type.

If you have specific questions you can continue to write or phone me.