As in previous years, the clean-up of ditches and roadside areas is planned for the weekend after Earth day, which is April 22 this year. The clean-up is on Saturday and Sunday, April 24 and 25 2021. ALL volunteers are encouraged to participate and rid the roadsides of bottles, cans and various litter.
The proposed budget for this year includes an in-person Annual General Meeting and BBQ tentatively planned for the end of the summer.
Science and Environment Committee
The 2020 Annual Report regarding watershed lake water quality shows the average total phosphorus in Heney to be 10.9 ug/L as measured in the late fall. Dissolved oxygen levels near the sediment water interface were 5.1 mg/L during summer, which is a significant improvement from conditions observed in the early 2000’s.
The committee is also investigating methods to increase dissolved oxygen through mechanical bubblers. This has the potential to lower phosphorus levels by enhancing retention in the sediments. Preliminary discussions regarding a demonstration on Lac Desormeaux (similar to the project on Lac Hotte) are underway.
Membership and Communications Committee
The Committee is developing a plan for more consistent messaging to the membership.
Bay Captains will have additional materials to distribute to watershed residents in the spring. More Bay Captains are needed to cover all designated areas in the watershed. Interested individuals should contact the association.
The Municipality of Lac Ste-Marie supports the Association’s desire to reduce the impacts of island camping. Signage with a “Leave No Trace” style message is proposed.
There is still much uncertainty on where the situation will land on in-person gatherings, but we are looking towards a late summer gathering, sanitary measures permitting. The Board is planning for a renewed program in 2021 and we are working on the 2021 Budget.
Treasurer’s Report – Association was well under budget last year, mostly due to fewer expenses as a result of Covid-19 lockdowns, and strong membership renewals especially towards the end of the year.
Science & Environment Committee / State of the Lakes – Based on the draft report, water quality in Lac Heney continues to improve. As we have significant data, our consultants have recommended conducting a single sampling event next year during the fall turnover. The Science and Environment committee will conduct monthly monitoring of oxygen and temperature. The Association has applied to participate in a voluntary provincial water surveillance initiative (Réseau de surveillance volontaire des lacs (RSVL) on Lac Heney and Lac Desormeaux that will increase our knowledge of water quality with reduced formal monitoring and water analysis. Further discussions include evaluation of potential lake aeration treatments, and environmental impact from island camping.
Membership & Communication Committee / 3E- Engage Educate Enlighten – A committee meeting will be held to develop the education campaign for this year, including discussions on signage, a kiosk refresh and materials for bay captains. New merchandise is being evaluated and purchased.
Member questions – Many questions have been coming in via the website regarding ice fishing and boat launches. Various board members have been tasked with formulating responses. Information on winter fishing is posted on our website https://mylacheney.ca/
The Association has received many questions regarding ice fishing on Lac Heney and wishes to provide this extra information for the residents and members.
- The Association was not informed in advance nor was there any consultation by the Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs (MFFP).
- As far as the Association is aware, the approval of ice fishing by the MFFP means that a valid fishing license entitles the holder to fish in provincial waters, as long as they abide by the rules.
- Trout fishing is prohibited throughout the province. The reason fishing for lake trout is prohibited is because it has a disproportionately negative effect on the fish population.
- We have made the MFFP aware of our lake remediation efforts and our concerns regarding winter fishing for trout. They have been on the lake for enforcement purposes.
- Fires on the ice as well as fires near the shore contribute phosphorous and nitrogen to the water. This can increase algae and result in poor water quality after ice out.
The protection of the watershed is of utmost concern to the Association. Regular monitoring has shown that Lac Heney is slowly recovering. The Association will continue to monitor the situation and plans to discuss the issue with representatives of the MFFP in the near future.