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Enviro Lac Gauvreau

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Guidelines for Responsible Boating

It is essential to strike a balance between boating and water sport, respect for the environment and a reasonable expectation of peace and quiet!

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Summer 2023 — Eurasian milfoil remains an enormous threat to the health and enjoyment of our lake, and boats are undeniably part of the problem. Accordingly, Enviro Lac Gauvreau formed a sub-committee that included a cross-section of the Lac Gauvreau community to develop Responsible Boating Guidelines to minimize further spread of the weed. The guidelines deal primarily with the milfoil problem, but also with other environmental, safety and nuisance issues. Many other lakes associations have acted similarly. The map above clearly indicates areas that must be avoided to slow the spread of milfoil.
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    directions_boat NEW— Guidelines for Responsible Watercraft Operation
    Avoid milfoil-infested areas, reduce speeds and minimize wake as follows (click on the map to enlarge):


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    PURPLE ZONE: Buoyed-off milfoil-infested shoreline areas. NO BOATS of any kind, including non-motorized boats, should enter these areas. Access to the lake from the shore and docks in these buoyed-off areas should as much as possible be at 90 degrees to the shore with motors off. Departing through milfoil: if you can, raise your motor, fend off your dock, paddle carefully and do not start motor until clear of milfoil. Arriving through milfoil: if you can, turn off and raise your motor, coast in. Where possible, properly rake out milfoil to form a channel for your boat. Make sure you remove all milfoil cuttings from the water and dispose of them properly.

    RED ZONE: Within 50 metres of shore OR buoyed-off area. NO WAKE! Dead slow, maximum 6 km/h.

    ORANGE ZONE: Area beyond the Red Zone extending to the Green Zone, 50 to 100 metres from shore OR buoyed off area. MINIMAL WAKE! Either continue at slow speed producing no wake or GET AND STAY ON PLANE (runabouts and other planing-hull boats)! Maximum 25 km/h.

    GREEN ZONE: Area beyond the Yellow Zone, exceeding approximately 100 metres from shore OR buoyed off area. REASONABLE WAKE! Maximum 40 km/h. Water skiing, tubing and other towing activities are restricted to the GREEN ZONE and should be commenced and conducted only within this zone. As a courtesy to your neighbours on the west side of the lake, please keep these activities to a minimal duration, no longer than 15-30 minutes. No water sports that require a large wake are permitted. No acrobatics (e.g., no donuts, no sudden turns).
    Additional Guidelines
    • Hulls of all boats, including non-motorized boats, should be power-washed and bilges drained before launching onto the lake.
    • No visiting boats are allowed on the lake. Rental properties (short term) should not provide motorized boats to their clients.
    • Scoop up and properly dispose of any fragments of milfoil you may see on the water surface.
    • Avoid gasoline and oil spills. Clean up when necessary. Get your motors tuned for maximum efficiency.
    • Refrain from littering and other lake pollution. Clean up others' mistakes where you can.
    • Operate your boat safely. Watch for swimmers. Slow down near non-motorized boats and boats that may be stationary.
    • Minimize noise. Check your exhaust system. Keep the music down.
    • Advise your renters and visitors of these guidelines.
    • Be vigilant. Report any abuses of these guidelines to Enviro Lac Gauvreau at: enviro.gauvreau@gmail.com
    The guidelines above are put forward to assure that all boats and watercraft are operated on Lac Gauvreau in a manner that discourages milfoil propagation, protects against shoreline erosion, promotes safety, and generally avoids being a nuisance to your neighbours! Eurasian milfoil is an invasive weed that grows in shallow areas and has spread throughout the lake. It is not only unsightly but interferes with swimming and boating, deprives the lake of oxygen, chokes off native vegetation, affects fish stock – in short, it can potentially kill the lake. It can spread through launch of unwashed boats from other lakes, fragmentation via motorboat propellers and excessive boat wake. Many measures are being taken to reduce existing milfoil and minimize its spread (elimination right now is impossible). Boaters have a role to play, and these guidelines are one of those measures.

    Over the last ten years, the Association has made many efforts to deal with the milfoil issue and the role of watercraft in its spread. These efforts have included buoys delineating “no go” areas for all types of boats, signs to explain the buoys, direct communication with boaters found within the buoyed areas, membership education, professional assistance from ABV des 7 to explore remediation measures, and financial assistance from the Municipality to enhance the previously noted measures.

    We hope that you will adhere to these guidelines in the spirit with which they were developed: to enable us to continue to operate our boats on the lake in a manner that is safe and environmentally friendly.
    location_on Orange buoys = STAY OUT!
    Eurasian milfoil buoys — warnings for all paddle craft and motorboats
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    Orange buoys mean: STAY OUT!
    Refrain from activity between the buoys and the shore.

    During the past few years, orange buoys (floating balls) started popping up on Lake Gauvreau to remind all boaters — paddle and motorboats — where to avoid Eurasian milfoil beds. These markers have been strategically placed by volunteers to indicate the presence of Eurasian watermilfoil, usually along shorelines.

    Orange buoys are placed (and will be placed as needed) to discourage boaters from venturing beyond the buoys. We are fully aware that many cottagers find themselves between the buoys and their shoreline and need to pass through the milfoil beds to get from their dock to open water. The buoys serve as warning to other boaters to stay away from those areas.

    Eurasian milfoil is found in areas between one and approximately 30 feet deep, but usually in shallow shorelines extending towards deeper waters. Visually locating the milfoil can be challenging for many reasons such as blinding sunlight or when water levels are unusually high.
    > Read more on our Eurasian Watermilfoil page

    Boating: Current Status & Key points
    October, 2021
    • Science indicates boat traffic/boat wake dislodges milfoil, helps spread weed fragments and is a factor in increasing shoreline erosion.
    • Broken milfoil segments sink and start a new plant leading to extensive proliferation of weeds.
    • Buoys are in place around the lake to mark “no go” areas, and more will be put in place as needed.
    • Signs have been placed around the lake advising all boaters to stay outside the buoyed areas.
    • Excessive milfoil may lead to property devaluation.
    • Inconsiderate boaters are causing the majority of the wake issues on the lake.

    Update: buoys repositioned
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    July 10, 2022 — The orange buoys warning of the presence of Milfoil have been repositioned with the assistance of hard working volunteers such as Marc and John, seen in the above photo. Many buoys had drifted during the winter and others disappeared. There are over forty buoys now deployed. Locations will continue to be assessed and they will be moved or more added as appropriate. Please note that the four buoys marking the shallow area in the middle of the lake, halfway between the island and the campsite, mark a milfoil bed and should be left in in place.

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    August 8, 2021 — Signs warning boaters to keep outside of the orange buoys that indicate milfoil beds have been posted at various locations, including on the lakeshore and on roads leading into the area.

    These new, more effective signs are designed to remind users of the lake to refrain from activity between the buoys and the shore. Tell your neighbours too!
    We thank our volunteers who have contributed one or more buoys
    Ian Arnold
    Tamsin Roach
    Janice Price
    Earl Renton
    Thomas & Hedy Wolstenholme
    Diane & Ian Rutherford
    Linda Erickson
    Charles Khazzam
    Jane Touzel
    Leanne Olson
    Caitlin McLachlan
    Réjean Belcourt
    Alise Bowler
    Rink de Lange
    Christina McNiven
    Al & Adrienne Aho
    Doug & Dixie Robbie
    Claire Gauvreau
    Rick Farrah
    surfing Minimize your wake
    Know your wake
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    Not all wakes are created equal! Because Lac Gauvreau is a relatively small lake, be sure to know how your motorboat's wake may be impacting swimmers, kayakers, canoeists, and especially the shoreline and loon nests.

    Be aware of your location on the lake and don't stay too long in one spot. While it's tempting to remain in one part of the lake, the neighbours in that area will quickly tire of the sound, and the resulting wakes cause excessive damage to the shoreline and flood loon nests.

    Be sure to know the rules that apply to the sports that you are enjoying. Especially with regard to the number of people that should be in the boat as spotters, and the number of available seats. There always needs to be a spotter in the boat. When pulling skiers or tubes behind personal watercraft (PWC), there needs to be a spotter in the boat, and an available seat for the skier.

    No water sports that require a large wake are permitted.

    Because they produce waves that can swamp a kayak, high speed motorboats can really affect the balance of a canoeist, cause a swimmer to take a gasp of water at the wrong time, and cause significant erosion to the shorelines.
    gavel Safe boating is the law!
    Safe boating is the law
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    It’s easy to get casual about boating safety and regulations in familiar water – but let’s be sure that we don’t read about an accident involving a fellow cottager.

    Be sure to keep in mind:
    • Navigation lights must be operational and turned on at dusk
    • Always have spare ropes, lifejackets, throwing weights, paddles or oars, bailers on board – just in case.
    • When being approached by another boat, make sure your intentions about your direction of travel are obvious and made early. Be sure the other boat knows immediately where you plan to travel.
    • Be sure to know the rules that apply to the sports that you are enjoying… especially with regard to the number of people that should be in the boat as spotters, and the number of available seats. There always needs to be a spotter in the boat. When pulling skiers or tubes behind personal watercraft (PWC), there needs to be a spotter in the boat, and an available seat for the skier.
    Transport Canada's Office of Boating Safety is responsible for overseeing regulations, standards and policies, enforcement and technical services for recreational vessels. It encourages safe boating practices and compliance with regulations.