By: Stephen Williams
Date: April 28, 2014
News Outlet: The Daily Gazette
LAKE GEORGE — Two people who have overseen mandatory boat inspections at Lake Tahoe will be in Lake George this week to train a team of boat inspectors for Lake George.
The four-day training is in anticipation of the start of Lake George’s mandatory boat inspection and decontamination system May 15.
“We know the training is top-notch and has proven itself in other locations,” said Eric Siy, executive director of The Fund for Lake George.
The fund is providing a $10,000 grant to cover the cost of bringing D and Michael Davis from California to provide the training to more than 50 nearly hired seasonal employees of the Lake George Park Commission.
The park commission is overseeing the inspection program, intended to keep invasive aquatic species out of the popular lake.
The training will cover the aspects of inspecting and decontaminating boats brought to the lake by trailer, the central strategy of the new effort to prevent more invasive species from getting into the lake.
It is believed boats brought from other lakes and rivers are a primary source of outside species, which can be microscopically small in their early stages.
Lake George already has invasives such as Eurasian milfoil and the Asian clam, and officials want to keep more of them out, and also prevent introduction of new potential invaders, like the quagga mussel.
Fund for Lake George officials said that the Davises have trained inspectors across the western United States and in Canada, including those doing the inspections at Lake Tahoe, which have been a model for the Lake George efforts.
“Effective training of inspectors will translate into effective protection from new invasives that so seriously threaten our waters,” Siy said.
“As we’ve learned from those invasive species that have gotten in to Lake George — at great financial and ecological cost — the only real protection from invasives is prevention.”
Inspection points will be at Dunham’s Bay Boat Launch in Queensbury, the Huletts Landing Marina, Rogers Rock Campground and Boat Launch in Hague, Norowal Marina in Bolton Landing, Mossy Point Public Boat Launch in Ticonderoga and Lake George Inspection Station on Transfer Road in the village.
Equipment for high-pressure hot-water washing of boats will be placed at those locations, to remove any invasives that are found.
Inspections and washes won’t cost boaters anything, thanks to $350,000 from the state Environmental Protection Fund and another $350,000 raised by the SAVE Lake George Partnership, a coalition of lakeside communities and advocacy groups.