Top Ten News Story of 2014, No. 6: Mandatory boat inspections begin on lake george

Amanda May Metzger
December 27, 2014
 
LAKE GEORGE — The Lake George Park Commission instituted a historic mandatory boat inspection and decontamination program in May that marked the first advance of this magnitude against aquatic invasive species east of the Mississippi River. The program displayed what appeared to be an unprecedented level of cooperation, securing commitments of public and private funding totaling $700,000 for each year, including half from the state and half from The Save (Stop Aquatic Invasives from
Entering) Lake George Partnership. Mandatory boat inspection and decontamination stations were set up at six sites around the lake. Prior to the mandatory program, the Lake George Association had voluntary boat and trailer inspections with the lake steward program.

The program was modeled after a similar initiative that began in 2009 at Lake Tahoe and has spread to other lakes in the Western U.S. The Fund for Lake George provided underwriting for the training, bringing in nationally renowned trainers in April.
 
A total of 19,997 inspections were logged, with 1,266 washed after the stations closed Dec.1. They are scheduled to reopen in April, and a full report on the program is anticipated in January.

Aquatic species found on boats that had to be cleaned included Eurasian watermilfoil, curley leaf pondweed, Asian clams, snails and water chestnuts, a species that had been found in Lake George before but is not listed as a current invader in the lake.
 

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