New lake protection measures

Aquatic Invasive Species Control

Sépaq is involved in the fight against aquatic invasive species (AIS) and is providing greater protection for the bodies of water under its management.

Two aquatic invasive species are currently under surveillance in the network: an aquatic plant, the eurasian watermilfoil, and a small crustacean, the spiny water flea. 

In order to reduce the risk of spreading these aquatic invasive species in our lakes, certain measures regarding the use of personal watercraft have been put in place at our fishing destinations.

Dominic Boudreault | © Sépaq

New rules concerning the use of personal watercraft

Consult the following table for the new rules that apply at our fishing destinations regarding the use of personal watercraft during a fishing stay with accommodation or a daily fishing outing.

DESTINATIONAPPLICABLE RULES
Wildlife reserves
La Vérendrye You may still use towed personal watercraft, but you must wash your watercraft at home, at a wash station along the way or at the wash station of the Northern Registration Centre. 
Laurentides You may still use towed personal watercraft in lakes allowing personal boats, but you must stop at the registration centre upon arrival to have your boat inspected. Exception: Mare-du-Sault (only personal watercraft that do not require towing are permitted - canoe, kayak, stand-up paddleboard, rowboat without trailer, personal motors).

Although the inspection of personal watercraft that do not require towing (canoe, kayak, paddleboard, rowboat without trailer, personal motors) is not mandatory, it is strongly encouraged to carry out a visual inspection of them before launching.
Ashuapmushuan
Port‑Cartier‑Sept‑îles
Saint-Maurice
You may still use towed personal watercraft in lakes allowing personal boats, but you must stop at the registration centre upon arrival to have your boat inspected.

Although the inspection of personal watercraft that do not require towing (canoe, kayak, paddleboard, rowboat without trailer, personal motors) is not mandatory, it is strongly encouraged to carry out a visual inspection of them before launching.
Chic‑Chocs
Mastigouche
Matane
Papineau-Labelle
Port-Daniel
Portneuf
Rimouski
Rouge-Matawin

Only personal watercraft that do not require towing are permitted (canoe, kayak, stand-up paddleboard, rowboat without trailer, personal motors).

National parks
Aiguebelle Lac Matissard: only personal watercraft that do not require towing are permitted (canoe, kayak, stand-up paddleboard, rowboat without trailer, personal motors).
Gaspésie Claude and Cascapédia lakes: only personal watercraft that do not require towing are permitted (canoe, kayak, stand-up paddleboard, rowboat without trailer, personal motors).
Lac‑Témiscouata Petit and Grand lac Touladi: only personal watercraft that do not require towing are permitted (canoe, kayak, stand-up paddleboard, rowboat without trailer, personal motors).
Opémican All lakes except for Rivière Kipawa: only personal watercraft that do not require towing are permitted (canoe, kayak, stand-up paddleboard, rowboat without trailer, personal motors).
Yamaska Réservoir Choinière: only personal watercraft that do not require towing are permitted (canoe, kayak, stand-up paddleboard, rowboat without trailer, personal motors).

Precautions to take

To avoid inadvertently transporting these species, some precautions must be taken during transportation of a watercraft from one waterbody to another: 

  1. Inspect and remove all plant fragments or mud residues - pay special attention to the trailer and the underside of the vessel.
  2. Drain watercraft bilge, livewell, motor and other water containing devices before launching.
  3. Clean the watercraft at a washing station or allow the vessel and equipment that have been in contact with water dry completely.
  4. Repeat the process before going to any new waterbody.

Thorough inspection can greatly reduce the risk of spreading these species if it is carried out before each watercraft launch.

Thank you for actively helping to protect the environment and to maintain the quality of fishing.

Réserve faunique La Vérendrye
Réserve faunique La Vérendrye Émile David | © Sépaq
Fokus Productions | © Sépaq

Find out more about aquatic invasive species

The introduction of an AIS in a lake can lead to significant ecological, economic, and social impacts which in turn can

  • Adversely affect sport fishing and water activities.
  • Reduce the quality of fishing and affect lake performances.
  • Damage aquatic ecosystems and harm indigenous species.

How do these species spread?

Eurasian watermilfoil

When loading your boat on a trailer, stem fragments can stay stuck or caught on equipment. These fragments can then survive up to 35 hours out of the water and take root if they are deposited in a new waterbody, quickly creating a new population. Herbaria spreading over a number of hectares can form in just a few years.

Spiny water flea

Contrary to the Eurasian watermilfoil whose fragments are easily observable, spiny water flea adults are 1.5 cm long and they, along with their eggs, can be found in the residual water of watercraft (in the bilge, motor, and livewell for example) and then discharged in a new waterbody. In the open air, spiny water fleas and their eggs can only survive six hours. It is therefore extremely important to properly drain all the residual water and let your watercraft dry completely.

For more information, see our Frequently Asked Questions.

Eurasian watermilfoil Isabelle Simard | © Sépaq
Spiny water flea Jeff Gunderson | © Sépaq

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