Lake Massawippi is still resisting the invasion of the zebra mussel which is progressing elsewhere in the Eastern Townships.

Today, Blue Massawippi is completing the final stages of its rigorous zebra mussel control protocol and the results are good, with no mussels in sight. Nevertheless, the organization continues to double its efforts by multiplying actions, projects and regional collaborative activities.

It is with this objective in mind that 8 members of the team went to Lake Magog on Tuesday for a collection of zebra mussels at the Parc de la Plage-Municipale de Sherbrooke (Deauville). The activity, organized in collaboration with the COGESAF, was part of the action plan of the concertation table for the monitoring of the progression of the zebra mussel, which brings together the MRC de Memphrémagog, the City of Sherbrooke, the City of Magog, several ministries and several lake associations, including Blue Massawippi.

"Our scientific protocol is demanding: on the one hand, prevention, i.e. awareness and monitoring of boat washing, and on the other hand, verification, i.e. the installation and analysis of traps, and, very demanding in terms of energy, the methodical active research on 40 sites that we are completing today," explains Michèle Gérin, Director General.

For nearly 15 days, patrollers systematically dive all around the lake, a practice that has become

familiar in August since the discovery of the first zebra mussels in Lake Memphremagog 3 years ago. Having participated in similar activities in the last few years, Vincent Lemieux, project manager at Blue Massawippi, could not help but notice the strong progression of the invader: "Obviously, there is quite a good reproduction at Lake Magog and it is now impossible to think of removing them. There are really a lot of them here, already in the thousands right here."

This relentless progression has caused fears for Lake Massawippi, which is highly vulnerable to contamination. "The patrollers have seen with dismay what they don't want to see in Lake Massawippi and have increased their efforts this week," continues Michèle Gérin, "the results are encouraging, but we need to do more, much more, such as mandatory boat washes when leaving contaminated lakes.

Let's remember that Blue Massawippi has tripled its efforts in 2021, notably with the ÉTÉ project in collaboration with the MRC de Memphrémagog and the riverside municipalities, and the "Renewed Lake Defence" project in collaboration with the Massawippi Regional Park and the Ministry of Forests, Wildlife and Parks.


The patrollers were looking forward to this foreign lake swim to see what we don't want to see here. They were treated to it! It is by the thousands that they saw and harvested zebra mussels at the Parc de la Plage-Municipale in Sherbrooke (Deauville).

Glad to finally see how small they can be.

The patrollers knew this, they had been trained. They were still surprised. In the large space of a lake, mussels appear harmless.

Stunned to see them so numerous and so hidden at times.

As a result, they realized that the strength of the zebra mussel is its ability to reproduce. Especially since its size gives it the ability to insert itself everywhere.

Take the time to watch the short video of the trip to Lake Magog, it is fascinating and useful:

Please do not confuse them with our native mussel.

See the difference: the big ones are native mussels. They are at home and are not harmful.

The small ones are zebra mussels: they will never reach a tenth of the size of a native mussel, but they will cling to it in groups of up to thirty or more until they kill it. Some people pick up native mussels and swear that they are zebra mussels. DON'T DO IT.

Two birds with one stone!

We are happy not to find any zebra mussels, but there is reason to be less proud of what we find at the bottom.

This was a very sad harvest at the entrance to Bacon Bay.

Our youngest patrollers didn't hesitate to kill two birds with one stone and clean up this area. The good news? No bottled mussels 😏 !


Global warming

The IPCC report submitted on Monday does not say anything new. However, the report states that the current and irreversible impact of human activities on the climate is no longer debatable, it is scientifically proven.

In the future, the effects of increasing warming, even under the least pessimistic scenarios, will be more significant for Canada.

If the great principles and global challenges may seem distant or too complex, they become much more concrete when we think of the lake we want to protect.

Already vulnerable to human activities, how will the lake be affected by this warming?

Too much.

Heavy rain = erosion. More snow = flooding. Warmer water = blue-green algae. Storms = deforestation. These are obvious examples because they are already familiar to us.

But there are and will be other consequences that scientists are only beginning to discover. Among others, the dramatic decrease of oxygen both at the surface and at the bottom.

A study published in Nature in June, which was picked up by National Geographic in July, found that since 1980, with an average temperature increase of 0.38ºC every 10 years, oxygen levels in lakes have decreased 3 to 9 times faster than in the oceans.

Simply put, our lakes will suffocate.

The cascading impacts will be countless and direct for the ecosystem, for the quality of drinking water and for our quality of life.

This is concrete information that should encourage us all to embrace the cause of the climate and ecological emergency without reservation.

A must read: Le changement climatique asphyxie les lacs National Geographic (French) and Widespread deoxygenation of temperate lakes Nature

The team shrinks

Four of our patrollers are leaving us today for the return to school.

For 6 weeks, Dexter Oldland and James Shiel have mainly assisted our experts in the field.

Back for a 2nd season, Eliott Horrobin has become indispensable, capable of all tasks. Salomé Gareau has been a great addition to the ÉTÉ team.

Thank you to all 4 of you and have a great school year!

The Massawippi Foundation celebrates its 10th anniversary

In 10 years, the Massawippi Foundation has succeeded in protecting 1,200 acres of virgin forest. It promotes research and education and develops walking trails.

The Foundation generously finances certain activities of Blue Massawippi.

The 2 organizations share the same passion for the protection of Lake Massawippi.

On the occasion of its 10th anniversary, the Foundation is offering a free family event at Quebec Lodge on August 21st from 2 to 5 pm. The Foundation will celebrate this anniversary by inaugurating Ethan's Beach with pontoon rides. Happy Birthday!

More info on the event

At the wetland

This is not a camera. It is a device for recording the calls of bats. Of the 8 species of bats in Quebec, 4 are classified as endangered by the federal

government. In collaboration with Corridor Apalachien, we are conducting an inventory at the Tomifobia wetland. Bats communicate by ultrasound (echolocation). The device will allow us to locate them.

Water Quality, BEACHES

The water quality of all public beaches is excellent according to our recent analyses.
As for cyanobacteria, no alert in effect despite the recent heat wave. 😃


The Blue Massawippi team has the privilege of seeing the NATURAL beauty of the lake and its watershed up close and personal, and we want to share it. This week, while diving, the patrollers had the opportunity to see that the food chain is cruel, even without human intervention. Note: Smallmouth bass are very common in Lake Massawippi. This one is a nice sized specimen that would be a sport fisherman's delight.

Faint hearts please refrain 😶



Today's announcement of a federal election for September 20th is an opportunity for you and for us to obtain commitments from the next elected officials.

Blue Massawippi intends to ask each of the candidates aspiring to become members of Parliament to express their views on the issues of greatest concern to the lakes in their jurisdiction.

By participating in the survey, you will help us choose our battles.


We learned this week that Mayor Michael Page will no longer be a candidate in North Hatley. Vincent Gérin from Ayer's Cliff, Denis Ferland from Hatley and Martin Primeau from Canton-de-Hatley also announced their departure a few weeks ago. Only Jacques Demers from Ste-Catherine-de-Hatley will seek a new mandate. This wave of change must come with a firm commitment to the future of Lake Massawippi.

Tell us what you want to hear.


Federal election: choose the most relevant question, we will select the 3 most popular

Municipal election: choose the most relevant question, we will select the 5 most popular

1.Nearly 15 years after the adoption of the by-law, what commitment are you making to ensure that the 5-metre riparian buffer is strictly respected and that penalties are imposed?

2.Zebra Mussel Control: Despite our efforts, many boaters still come ashore without washing. Will you fund a 7 day a week water patrol with a mandate to issue tickets?

3.Do you think it is realistic to maintain unsupervised boat launch ramp in your municipality?

4.Would you agree to fund 50% of the cost of Eurasian watermilfoil control activities?

5.Massawippi Beach: do you intend to adopt a strategic plan with your colleagues, with mission, vision and timeframe in the first year of your mandate?

6.Do you support the hiring of a common environmental inspector to serve all 5 municipalities and standardize lake protection measures?

7.Land Management: If you had to choose between real estate development and maintaining forest cover on your territory, which would you choose?

8.How much do you think the municipality should invest directly in protecting and enhancing the lake environment annually? How much did it invest in 2021?

9.For you, as Mayor, what is the most important issue for Lake Massawippi?

10.Are you willing to turn over full responsibility for Lake Massawippi to the Regional Park?

11.If the federal process were more streamlined, would you agree to regulate boating on Lake Massawippi?

12.Public Safety: What is your plan for addressing cyanobacteria outbreaks?

13.Do you have a reforestation policy for your territory in the immediate Lake Massawippi watershed?

14.What actions do you plan to take to promote the enhancement and protection of wetlands in your municipality?


September 25, 2021 at 9:30 am.

The meeting will be held in a hybrid mode, in person at Massawippi College and virtually via zoom. Registration details for the virtual mode will be available in early September.


You want to support our actions?

It is always possible to do it by mail. Send your check to the order of Bleu Massawippi:

P.O. Box 2703, North Hatley, QC, J0B 2C0

Photo: James, Salomé and Julia, zebra mussel protocol



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