Our Lake Defined:

Sixteen Island Lake, like many other lakes in Canada, is a living environment which is born, grows old and dies. This phenomenon is called eutrophication. Unfortunately in Canada our lakes are aging prematurely due mainly to the effects of human activities that significantly increase intakes of sediment (soil erosion) and nutrients (natural fertilizers and chemicals) that contribute to the deterioration of the bottom of the lake.

In 2007 the Sixteen Island Lake Municipal Council adopted the MRC des Pays d’en Haut’s “Charter of Lakes”. Two by-laws were adopted to revitalize the shores of Sixteen Island Lake and Lake Laurel.

Important Facts to Preserve our Lake:

  • The importance of natural lakeside vegetation cannot be over-emphasized. The riparian vegetation (shoreline) provides important habitat for fauna and protects the shore against erosion.
  • The trees and shrubs along the shoreline provide a good network of deep roots which helps stabilize the soil and prevent erosion.
  • The shoreline ensures the transition between aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. It is a habitat for wildlife and flora: prevents excessive warming of water; it acts as a barrier against the flow of sediment to water.
  • The riparian zone is the first 5 meters of the 15 meters of shoreline measured from the high water mark.
  • The high water mark is the line that is used to delineate the boundary of the shore. It is the point where you pass a predominance of aquatic plants to a predominance of terrestrial plants.
  • Municipal By-law #118-5 prohibits mowing grass, clearing the ground, felling trees and spreading fertilizer within this 5 meter zone.
  • The shallow area of the lake around the shoreline is the most productive part of the lake. Disturbances or disruptions of this part of the lake threaten the fragile equilibrium of the lakes’ ecosystem and should be avoided.
  • The littoral zone (the shallow water zone) is a productive natural habitat with diverse plant and animal life. The bottom substrates provide suitable spawning sites for various fish species. A healthy littoral zone is one in which natural features have been preserved.


Simple and Sustainable Solutions for Effective Cottaging:

  • Plant shrubs and trees near the shoreline
  • Stop cutting grass near the shore
  • Don’t use fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides
  • Check and maintain your septic system
  • Use phosphate-free products

*Cyanobacteria (Blue-Green Algae)

The outbreaks of blue-green algae in September 2007 led to a wave of changes by municipal governments in Quebec. The website  contains a wealth of information on preventative measures.

Important Sixteen Island Lake By-laws

  • By-law 152 states that septic tanks must be drained every 4 years for a system used on a seasonal basis and every two years for systems used year round
  • By-law 118-5 states rulings for norms for shoreline protection. It prohibits mowing grass, clearing the ground, felling trees and spreading fertilizer within the 5 meter zone.
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