An Open Door for Invaders on Lake George?

Adirondack Explorer

Lake George is separated from Lake Champlain by just over two miles of waterfalls on the La Chute River, which tumbles through the one-time mill town of Ticonderoga, a word loosely translated to mean “where the waters meet.”

As Town of Hague Deputy Supervisor Steve Ramant notes, you can pull your boat from the waters of Lake Champlain and be ready to launch it into Lake George in the space of about 10 minutes.

Despite their proximity, these two bodies of water could not be more different in terms of invasive species. Lake George is a highly decorated model for fending off nonnative aquatic life that puddle-jumps from lake to lake, taking over and altering ecosystems as they go.

But the international Lake Champlain, connected to a ship route from the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes, hosts a virtual field guide of nonnative species that have hitchhiked on the hulls of unrestricted boats. One fish, the alewife, has altered the lake’s fisheries. The most recent invader—the fishhook waterflea—consumes zooplankton and threatens to upend the food web.

Some of Lake George’s top defenders worry that two boat launches on northern Lake George could become portals to invasives that they have so diligently tried to keep out…

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