Hello everyone,

It’s hard to tell if spring is really here when people are in shorts in downtown Ottawa at the end of February and then temperatures plummet after March break. Even the usual Leafs being out joke is of no help this year. (For our American readers, please ask your Canadian neighbours to explain.) Luckily, when all else fails, we can check on the Friends of Lake Pemichangan (FLP) Facebook page for the one sure sign that spring is here and that’s that the ice is gone on the lake!

There have been changes on the FLP Board over the winter. Rick Roberston (Past President) and Pat Zakaib (Membership) have both left the Board. The FLP and the greater Pemichangan community thank Rick and Pat for their contributions and wish them the best in their new endeavours. The rest of the Board continues to meet once a month to discuss all things Pemichangan. For this issue, we thought you’d like to know a bit about some of the people who devote time and energy to furthering the FLP’s mission of preserving lake health. You’ll find that they represent quite a diversity of backgrounds and skills and that they have joined the Board for a wide variety of reasons. The Board is always looking to add to the mix so please contact Jeff Stanier if you want to join this group of interesting and FUN people.


Jeff Stanier – President
We’ve had our cottage on the west side of île Chantigny since 2001. My wife and I are from Manitoba but spent lots of time in the forests of North-Western Ontario. When we first saw the lake we felt right at home with the clear waters, the rocky shores and the beautiful forests. Since then, we’ve met many great people, and made lots of friends on the lake and in the area. My background is in Engineering and I work developing wireless communication network products for Ericsson. I’ve been involved with the FLP since 2003 and joined the Board to know more about the lake and the history of the area.

Michèle Patry – Secretary and Communications
My family has been in Knight’s Bay (South end) since 1933. My grandchildren are our family’s sixth generation at the lake! I’m originally from southern Ontario but I spent my adult life in Montreal. Before retiring, I worked in law and translation. I joined the Board to ensure that the FLP’s communications are in both French and English and to meet people from all over the lake.

Karen Butterfield – Camping, Watershed and Lake Health
I found our place at the North end in 2006 when looking to bring my young family “back home” from London, England. I grew up in Montreal but moved around in Canada and then to France and England. We now live in Ottawa to be closer to the cottage. My background is in Engineering and Management Consulting but since retirement I have become a kayak instructor. I joined the Board to focus on lake health.

Tracey Henderson – Camping, Watershed and Lake Health
We’ve had our family cottage on the South end since 1972. I’ve never missed a summer at Pemichangan! I grew up in Ottawa but now live in Canmore, Alberta, where I work as a veterinarian very part time, which allows me to spend most of the summer and some of the fall at the lake. I joined the Board because I care deeply about the lake – its beauty, its health and all that it has to offer to those of us who are fortunate enough to call it home.

Marianne Kennedy-Beaulne – Outreach and North End
I am a relative newcomer to the lake, having acquired our North end cottage in 2019. I grew up in Montreal (for a few years) and the Greater Toronto Area (mostly), and ended up in Ottawa with my previously peripatetic husband, for whom the Ottawa/Outaouais region was a sort of home base. Before retiring I worked in law and knowledge management. I joined the Board to help further its efforts to protect the lake and ensure it remains as healthy as possible now and for future generations.

Nicole Laframboise – GFGC Liaison
My immediate family has had a cottage near the small twin islands at the North end for 17 years. I grew up spending summers on the Green Lake string of lakes at my grandparents’ cabin on Oxbow Lake. I am from the Outaouais region but have lived most of my adult life first in London, England, and Toronto, but mostly in the Washington, DC, area, working for an international financial institution. Before retiring last year I worked in economic research and public policy. I joined the Board to help promote the care, sustainability and stewardship of the lake for future generations.

Todd Norton – Camping Culture
My parents purchased a cottage at the South end in the summer of 1965 when I was a year and a half old. I was born and raised in Ottawa. I was blessed to grow up and spend summers on the lake with the same group of friends that I am still blessed to enjoy special summer moments with. I am a chiropractor in Ottawa. A particular concern growing up was the state of the campsites on the lake. I joined the Board to help safeguard the health of the lake and surrounding watershed.

Claire Poitras – Outreach and South End
My family has been in Knight’s Bay (South end) since 1933, following my grandfather’s canoeing expedition in 1927. My two sons are my family’s fifth generation at the lake. I live in Chambly, on Montreal’s South Shore. I teach operations management and logistics at Hautes Études Commerciales Montréal. A proud French-speaking Quebecer, I joined the Board to facilitate communications and interactions with other associations and the Quebec government regarding the protection of the lake and its shores.

Wanda Taylor – Membership and US Liaison
I have been visiting the lake my entire life – my uncle and aunt bought the property next to Knight’s landing (South end) in 1936. I bought mine, five lots away , in 1993. My husband and I live near Hershey, Pennsylvania, and we make the trek ‘to the cottage’ as often as possible. I’ve worked in medical research, manufacturing administration, and information technology. I joined the board because the lake is my favorite place on earth.

FISHING SEASON. The Pemichangan (Zone 10) fishing season starts on April 26. Fishing permits can be purchased or renewed online at various retail locations, including the Point-Comfort and the Lac-Sainte-Marie convenience stores. Be sure to show us your catches on the Facebook page!

SPRING COTTAGE TIPS. As the ice retreats and the thermometer rises, many of us will soon be preparing for another spring and summer at the lake. This annual spring ritual involves a number of simple but important ways we can help keep the lake healthy. Here is a brief refresher:

Spring Clean-up. Removing garbage from shorelines helps protect wildlife from potentially harmful waste, but please leave trees, logs and branches in place. Woody debris help control soil erosion and provide feeding, nesting and basking habitat for fish, birds, and turtles. When cleaning, opt for phosphate-free, biodegradable products that are “septic safe,” and use the minimum needed. Avoid antibacterial products and bleach (even indoors) – try cheap, efficient and retro vinegar and water!

Septics. Spring is a great time for residents and cottagers to check that their septic system meets current requirements and is well-maintained. It is also an important time to conserve water, as high spring water tables and saturated ground may reduce a septic system’s effectiveness.

Docks. If you have a dock that needs to be repaired or replaced, opt for non-polluting materials such as natural, untreated wood. Locate docks where they will have the least impact on important aquatic habitat.

Boat Prep. Choose eco-friendly cleaners for boat and trailer washing, and do a thorough clean well away from the lake. A pre-season maintenance inspection can catch safety issues and conditions like cracks and leaks that could contaminate the lake. Once your boat is in the water, forgo chemical boat cleaners for water and a little “elbow grease” (which is good for the lake and may even help to burn a few extra calories!). For more ways to care for the lake year-round, check out the FLP Code of Conduct and Best Practices and keep an eye out for updates on the Facebook page.

PICNIC AND CAMPSITE CORNER. Adopt-a-Site. Do you know about the FLP’s Adopt-a-Site program? Or that the Province or Municipality does not look after our picnic and campsites? Adopting a picnic or campsite is a great way to help preserve the ecology of the lake. If you have kids, it is also a wonderful way for kids to volunteer around the lake. Once a site is adopted, we encourage individuals and families to visit the adopted site 3-4 times over the summer to see if it is in good condition (no damage to trees, abandoned garbage, fires not properly extinguished, or other items needing attention). Please take gloves and a garbage bag with you to carry out any litter you may find. If visitors are using the site, you can engage with them to ask how their visit is going and whether the site was clean when they arrived. It is a great way to let people know that most of the upkeep is done by volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Todd Norton.

Heading out on a camping trip soon? Please consider picking up some kindling and firewood at your local convenience store and carrying it in with you. Stores in Point Comfort and Lac-Sainte-Marie supply both. Wood purchased locally has likely been cut from local indigenous sources. Cutting trees and shrubs, picking up small branches and other woody debris from the ground near campsites contributes to soil erosion and the exposure of the roots of existing trees.

Cutting up old trees on your property and not sure what to do with the wood? Consider donating to one of the highly utilized campsites on the lake. Fire-sized cut wood only and no brush, please. If you have wood to donate, please contact Todd Norton.

MEMBERSHIP. At present, approximately 155 cottagers and campers have joined the FLP and yet there are about 300 properties at the lake, joining the FLP is easier than ever and renewals are automatic. Why not join now? For more information, please contact Wanda Taylor.

Have a general concern? Want to help out? Please contact Jeff Stanier through the FLP Website or at 613-3247277. The FLP wants to hear from you!

Jeff Stanier
FLP President