Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) are a mounting threat to Lake George that has attracted growing concern basinwide. The cost of invasives treatment and control is enormous, and the impacts of infestation can be severe–from degraded water quality and recreational opportunities to declining tourism revenues and property values. Currently, Lake George is infested with five aquatic invasive species: two aquatic plants, Eurasian watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum) and curlyleaf pondweed (Potamogetum crispus); two mollusks, Zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) and Asian clam (Corbicula fluminea); and one crustacean, Spiny water flea (Bythotrephes longimanus).
Neighboring waterways possess dozens more aquatic invasives–Lake Champlain-50; the Hudson River-91; the St. Lawrence River-87–and the list only grows longer. As described in Clean Boats Only, The FUND's groundbreaking report on the invasives threat and its solution, “coming soon?” species of greatest concern to Lake George include water chestnut (Trapa natans), hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata), and quagga mussel (Dreissena bugensis). The proximity of these neighboring threats is alarming. Aquatic invasives “hitchhike” on boats, trailers and other equipment, making people unsuspecting carriers as they travel from one waterbody to another. Moreover, these invasives, particularly in their juvenile form, can easily escape detection.
Prevention = Protection
Prevention represents the only real (and affordable) means of protecting Lake George from the gathering invasives threat. Mandatory Boat Inspections, made possible through the leadership of the Lake George Park Commission and the S.A.V.E. Lake George Partnership, are imperative for prevention. Visit the Solutions page to learn more about AIS prevention and management and download the Clean Boats Only rack card.