Set up a scientific knowledge exchange group on Lake Saint-Pierre

Context and project description

Lake Saint-Pierre is a fluvial lake of exceptional interest. Its ecosystem is recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as a world biosphere reserve, and the lake is listed as a wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention. The degradation of its water quality, habitats and biodiversity is a troubling phenomenon involving multiple factors. For instance, a moratorium has been placed on yellow perch fishing in the lake owing to a decline in stocks that has been observed since the early 2000s. Many local, regional and national stakeholders are joining forces to better understand the phenomena that they are seeing and to ensure that management methods are appropriate. Although Lake Saint-Pierre is the subject of a number of St. Lawrence Action Plan projects, there is no forum for exchanging scientific knowledge specific to this environment and its ecosystem. The purpose of this project is therefore to form a knowledge exchange group made up of researchers and experts who will study various hypotheses that could explain the major ecosystem changes occurring in the lake.

Results 

The first scientific knowledge exchange workshop on the ecosystem integrity of Lake Saint-Pierre was held on March 24, 2015, at the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières. It was attended by about 40 participants, researchers and experts, primarily from universities and government departments. This first workshop facilitated dialogue and exchange between experts and enabled them to identify the most probable factors behind the deterioration and determine their relative significance. The workshop also provided an opportunity to identify knowledge gaps, develop a list of research and monitoring activities to fill those gaps, and make recommendations to decision makers. For more details on this workshop, consult the summary report of the event (PDF/HTML version).

A second workshop will be held in 2019–2020 to provide an update on existing knowledge and the progress of the research. The work of the scientific knowledge exchange group on Lake Saint-Pierre will inform decision making.

Participating departments

Government of Canada

  • Environment and Climate Change

Government of Québec

  • Ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques
  • Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs