In late August, I spent a two days on Beaven and Round lakes surveying the colonies of eurasian milfoil along with Samuelle Durocher of the Conseil regional de l’environment (CRE) Laurentides. In the coming months, Ms Durocher will provide our association with up to date maps of the infestations in our lakes. We will use this data to consider what can be done to counter this agressive attack on our lakes biodiversity by this plant which is beginning to dominate the ecosystem.


Alex Tyrrell and Samuelle Durocher conducting milfoil survey

Although it will take some time for the maps to be produced, I saw first hand the extent of the damage. Entire bays are infested to the point where eurasian milfoil are virtually the only plants present. Fish habitat has been reduced, the biodiversity of our lakes is in decline and every year the problem gets worse as this invasive plant expands and conquers new sections of our lakes.

This species rapidly overtakes indigenous vegetation and can form thick mats on the surface that block out light. The stands can be so thick that fish and other wildlife cannot swim through. Even paddling a kayak through an infestation is a challenge.

For the past few years, the association has placed yellow buoys around some of the larger colonies to reduce boat trafic which fragments the plants. Each time a plant is cut by a propeller, paddle or wake a new plant can grow. The approach of putting buoys has helped slow the spread but it is important to note that this will not stop the spread or reverse the trend. Even with everyone staying out of the colonies they will continue to expand. The only way to reduce the prominence of these plants is to carefully remove them from the lake preferably using suction harvesting.

One of many dense stands of eurasian milfoil. In this photo the milfoil has all but destroyed the diverse collection of indigenous plants that used to be here (Round lake Aug 2021)

Any intervention in our lakes to remove eurasian milfoil wil cost tens of thousands of dollars. Based on our research there is no government funding available for the removal of plants in lakes that are dealing with our level of infestation and which are not part of a research project. The municipalities have limited resources and we are in contact with them but if we want to remove these plants from our lakes volunteers and homeowners like us are going to have to take matters into our own hands by funding a large portion of the cleanup operations.

If the Eurasian milfoil is left unchecked in our lakes it will expand greatly over the next few years. This will be detrimental to both the environment and the users of the lake as swimming and practicing water-sports will become more difficult. Some have suggested that a problem of that magnetude would have a considerable impact on property values around the lake.

If we want to do something to address this issue we will all need to pitch in and contribute to this effort. Wether it be through volunteering or donating, we need all the help we can get.

Many lake associations have turned to diver assisted suction harvesting which removes the entire plants including their roots

Although many of us would like to depend on government funding for this issue, the unfortunate reality is that all over Quebec lakes are suffering from poor water quality and invasive species. Less than 2% of the provincial budget is put towards the environment.

Following our general assembly we were lucky enough to receive a donation of $2000 from a member who is concerned about the milfoil situation. If each homeowner would donate a similar amount we would have a shot at saving the lakes biodiversity while making it more pleasant for swimming and water-sports.

This year AlBeRo registered formally as a non profit organization which will enable us to accept donations and government funding. We had our most recent general assembly in August and have been concentrating our efforts on water quality testing and eurasian milfoil.

If you are interested in contributing to this effort please contact our treasurer Huguette Messier who is also in charge of membership renewals and volunteer sign ups. She can be reached at I am always happy to talk with our members ou can reach out to me directly by responding to this email. We are also looking for individuals to join the lake association’s committee to address this issue. If you are interested in joining the committee please reply to this email.

If we work together and tackle this issue as a community I am confident that we can stop the expansion of this plant. If we choose not to act we will spend the next few years watching the health of our lakes decline. AlBeRo will be on the front lines of this issue in the years to come and I hope we can count on your help in the coming months.

In solidarity,

Alex Tyrrell B.Sc. Env

President – AlBeRo

Leader – Green Party of Quebec


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