Nautical activities -Then and Now

 

The surface of Lac Mercier,  described as of middle size, is 1.2 km². The lake is only 288 meters wide at it’s center. Its’ total length is 2.5 km.

But this small lake has been a source of significant conflict between the practitioners of different nautical activities over the years.

 

Over the years, the Association du lac Mercier has repeatedly received complaints from lakeside residents and others who want to enjoy tranquil nautical activities.

Numerous attempts at compromise and adjustment have been made.

 

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Chronology of the requests relating to nautical activities on lac Mercier:
  • At the 1991 Annual meeting where 95 members were present, 82 voted for the resolution limiting water-skiing and towing activities between the hours of 9 AM and 7 PM.  After that, the Association:

-Held several discussions amongst users of the lake, in order to harmonize the nautical activities (1990-1991)

-Requested the Municipality of Mont-Tremblant to limit access to the lake by outside boats, via the municipal beach (resolution 1991-371)

-Asked the owners of motorboats to adopt a Code of Ethics relating to the use of their crafts on the lake (1992)

-Distributed information bulletins and held interventions/discussions requesting that the local owners of motorboats restrict the hours of waterskiing between 0900h and 1900h (1992-1999)

-Created a motorboat committee, because of the need to find solutions to the numerous problems created by certain owners/operators of large motorboats, including those that originated from elsewhere than Lac Mercier

  • Discussions, dialogue and multiple attempts at compromise between the lakeside residents and the owners of motorboats, between 1989 and 1999
  • At the Annual Meeting of October 1999, it was proposed to ban all motorboats on Lac Mercier.

-November 1999, a survey of the 120 lakefront owners: 72 of the 80 responses (90%) were favourable to a prohibition of all motorboats on Lac Mercier

-Request for an amendment to the regulations relating to restrictions of motorboat activity on Lac Mercier (December 11, 1999) so that all motorboats be banned, and only boats propelled by electric motors be permitted

-In December 1999, the municipal council supported a request restricting motorboat activities on the lake (Resolution 1999-704)

-Memorandum presented to the Municipality supporting the prohibition of watercraft propelled by gas motors.

-At a public consultation on June 18, 2000 a large majority of those present supported the Association’s request for restrictions on motorboat activity.

-On August 11, 2000 the Municipal Council voted for the status quo, because there was not unanimity  amongst the interveners.

 

Code of Ethics
  • Development of a Code of Conduct for nautical activities on the lake.

 The Association continued to receive numerous complaints from lakefront residents, concerning the noise of motorboats, and the hours of water-skiing towing (2000-2003)

  • Further requests to the Municipality to improve the controls (gate) for boats coming from outside the municipality, at the level of the municipal beach (August 2002). The regulation is implemented in 2003; Request to the Municipality to place obstacles (large rocks) to inhibit the launching of boats near the lake outlet
revision of the Code of Ethics
  • Presentation to the Municipality (June 2003), of a revised Code of Ethics relating to usage of the lake and request to provide each motorboat owner with a copy of the Code of Ethics.

The Code addressed the following:

-Control of access to the lake for non-lac Mercier boats, including the obligatory washing of these craft

-Recommendations relating to the operation of motorboats on the lake keeping a safe distance from the shoreline

-Limiting the hours during which water-skiing was permitted, between 10 h. and 19 h.

request for regulations
  • The Association participated in a public consultation meeting on August 23, 2003, which addressed our request for regulations and restrictions on the operation of motorboats on Lac Mercier.

-Despite the opinion of the large majority of those present who supported the request of the Association, the Municipal Council modified the regulations that were requested in order to accommodate the owners of motorboats; Municipal Council did however support a request an amendment to the Federal Regulations relating to the restrictions of motorboat activity, in order that certain restrictions be applied to lac Mercier (résolution 2003-645  September 2003)

-This demand for regulation was forwarded by the municipality to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs of Quebec (September 17, 2003) and then on to Transport Canada on June 27, 2005

-This request for regulations is still “under study” and new documentation is required (active dossier)

Ville de Mont-Tremblant: résolution 2003_645      

  • The Association du Lac Mercier agreed to the concessions to boat operators included in resolution 2003-645 of September 8, 2003

 

  • Requests to the Municipality to implement more effective measures to control access to the lake via the public beach (since 2003)

 

  • Support for the proposals in federal new statute (Law S-8) to control the nuisance originating from personal watercraft (Sea-Doo) in 2004

 

  • Despite the compromises made by the Association, a group of water-skiers proceeded to create an association (ASRT) in 2006, whose main objective is the rescinding of regulation 2003-645, which was democratically voted by the city council

 

  • There have been numerous attempts at dialogue and compromise with the water ski group since 2006

 

  • Since 2008, there were meetings between representatives of the Municipality and the Association of Water-skiers (ASRT), in order to develop more harmonious relationships between all users of the lake.
Lake management committee

In the context of the Municipality’s policy relating to the access and usage of our lakes during 2010, a Lake Management Committee was created, in order to establish rules and environmental codes of conduct, for each lake in the territory. In order to ensure the permanence of the lake, it’s accessibility, tranquility and the security of the users, the City has taken the following principles into consideration:

-the importance of putting in place measures to protect the quality of the lake, such as the obligatory washing of boats prior to launch,

-the requirement that all operators of motorboats be informed about the environmental and Courtesy Code of Conduct,

-the requirement of enforcing better control over boat launches from the municipal boat ramp,

-the capacity of the lake to safely accommodate additional motorized craft by limiting the number of daily external launches to five (5).

City of Mont-Tremblant: Navigation au lac Mercier 2010 (p. 66) 

Our Code of Nautical Courtesy, first developed on 2003, has been modified to incorporate a recommendation made by the Lake Management Committee (City) in 2010 and to address the new issue of wake boats, which, by creating large waves, have a significant impact on shoreline erosion and on the installations of lakefront owners.

Courtesy Code of Nautical conduct on Lac Mercier.

The essence of a Code of Nautical Ethics is to maintain a balance between the protection of the environment, the interests of lakefront residents, and the pleasures of country life, while ensuring a harmonious cohabitation amongst the various users of the lake.   The regulations that are in force and the Environmental and Nautical Code of Conduct have been posted on a panel near the boat-launching area of the public beach. Amongst the Code of Conduct, recommendations can be found:

  • Water-skiing is permitted only beyond a 60 meter perimeter from the shoreline
  • Wakeboard and wake skate activities are permitted only beyond 100 meters of the shore
  • Rapid motorboat activities are permitted between 09:00h and 20:00h.

The Association du lac Mercier share the objectives of the city of Mont-Tremblant, insofar as they relate to the perpetual protection of the shoreline, access to the lake for residents of the Mont-Tremblant, and the guarantee of tranquility and security to all those that enjoy use of the lake.

The Association is always actively collaborating with the municipal Lake Management Committee in:

-enforcing the measures used to control boat access to the ramp near the public beach,

-finding ways to encourage boat users to follow the environmental and courtesy code,

-ensuring that the practice of various nautical activities be acceptable and agreeable for all,

-ensuring that nautical activities have a minimal impact on the shoreline and natural habitats

The Association du lac Mercier is complying with the schedule for towing activities recommended by the municipal Lake Committee.

                                                 

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simplify and harmonize the two codes

In an attempt to simplify and harmonize the various codes of courtesy existing, the Association du lac Mercier has revised the Code of Nautical Courtesy in 2014 in so that it reflects the recommendations of the municipal Lake Committee.

They have received a clear mandate from their members in relation to the safe and agreable practice of nautical activities. Everyone hopes to be able to enjoy the activity of their choice in a safe and pleasant manner.

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The Association insists on the requirement that there be a daily timetable during which “green activities” (fishing, canoeing, kayaking, paddling, pedal boating, swimming, etc.) can be enjoyed without fear and with full security.

 

 

The enthusiasts of calm non wave-creating activities can still enjoy a brief period at the beginning and at the end of the day to practice their activities.

impact of large waves

The great majority of lakefront owners recognize the relationship between the large waves created by wakeboard and wakesurf activities and the erosion of the shoreline.

Lac Mercier is only 288 meters wide at the center of the lake. Erosion caused by the large waves is most noticeable along the shore of the narrowest part of the lake.

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Impact of large waves- results of scientific studies

 

In order to reduce the impact of large waves, the Association du lac Mercier is constantly reminding the operators of these crafts to follow a line at the center of the lake, as far away as possible from the shore.

A plasticized card of our code of nautical conduct has been distributed to all the owners of boats on the lake.

The Association is hopefully optimistic that it will get the collaboration of all the water skiers and wake boarders, so that all those that utilize the lake, and those that reside along  the shoreline, can enjoy their activities in harmony.

 

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Access to the boat ramp near lac Mercier beach

The city of Mont-Tremblant has introduced new measures for Spring 2015 in order to maintain better control of the boat ramp.

Amongst these measures, there is now a more rigorous control over the loaner keys for the gate and the installation of a video camera (CCTV) to verify the entrances and exits using the boat ramp.

 Access to the boat ramp is prohibited to personal watercraft and external wakeboat-type vessels. However, lakeside owners on lac Mercier who own a wake boat will retain their access to the ramp.

The current bylaws remain in effect for all users of the boat ramp, including the requirement for certified washing of all boats.

Control of the boat access ramp at the beach has been improved during Summer 2016, and the municipal police service is undertaking closer surveillance.

 

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