par Anaïs Renaud, biologiste Renaisssance Lac Brome
Renaissance Lac Brome opened its new mobile boat-cleaning station on June 19, 2020. It is located a few steps from the lake opposite the Domaine des Érables campground thanks to the owner’s generous support. The service will be offered free of charge in 2020, seven days a week, between 7:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. from Saturday to Thursday, and between 6:00 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. on Friday.
An attendant will be present to inspect and wash watercraft coming from another body of water and to inform pleasure boaters about the importance of preventing the introduction and spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS).
This project was made possible with TBL’s support, and by a grant from the Quebec government’s regional support program under its 2018-2023 water strategy action plan, which implements concrete measures to protect, use and manage water resources and aquatic environments in a responsible, integrated and sustainable manner.
The situation in Brome Lake
There are already four aquatic invasive species in Brome Lake, including rusty crayfish and Eurasian water-milfoil.
The population of rusty crayfish in Brome Lake exceeds 1.8 million and the aggressive nature of this crustacean causes imbalances in ecosystems such as aquatic-grass beds, where it reduces vegetation. It therefore threatens fish such as the bridle shiner, a vulnerable species whose essential habitat is aquatic-grass beds.
Eurasian water-milfoil is incredibly adaptive and reproduces rapidly through stem fragmentation. Shoots take over the lake bottom, proliferate and compete with indigenous plants. When present in too great quantities, Eurasian water-milfoil can choke a stagnant body of water, reduce habitat quality and harm species diversity. Stems measuring up to six metres in length can get caught in propellers and cause considerable damage.
Unless preventive measures are taken, other invasive species could be brought into Brome Lake and unbalance ecosystems. To date, no zebra mussels have been spotted in the lake and Renaissance Lac Brome wants to keep it that way.
Pleasure boaters and shoreline residents have a key role to play in preventing the introduction of AIS. One should never allow organ- isms from another body of water to enter the lake and the best way to prevent this is to clean all watercraft before they are launched.
Help us keep our lake healthy by making use of the new boat cleaning station!
Translation: Brian McCordick