With a unanimous vote, the Lake George Park Commission (LGPC) passed a resolution yesterday that sets it firmly down the path of mandatory inspections for all trailered boats launching in Lake George. This is another important milestone along the road to protecting Lake George from aquatic invasive species. The resolution enables the Commission to develop regulations that would require all boats and trailers to be inspected by certified Park Commission inspectors, and if the boat fails inspection, it would need to be decontaminated at a Park Commission wash station.
The purpose of the regulation is to prevent the introduction and spread of aquatic invasive species. Aquatic invasive species pose a serious threat to the waters of Lake George and can have a disastrous impact on the ecology and economy of the Lake George Park. This rule is intended to outlaw all introductions of invasive species to Lake George, and to provide close management of the primary vector, trailered boats, by providing for the inspection of vessels to ensure that the operator of these vessels has taken steps to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species.
See the full Draft LGPC Regulations to Require Watercraft Inspections for AIS here.
“We congratulate the Commission for its bold action,” said LGA Executive Director, Walt Lender. “We have come a long way from where this started almost two years ago.” The LGA has been represented at the LGPC’s Invasive Species committee meetings from the start and has worked closely with the Commission as it developed its plans. “Information and experience we provided as a result of running the Lake Steward program at Lake George boat launches over the past 6 years has been helpful in the decision making process.”
“Now, in what may be turning into our final year with the Lake Steward program in its current form, we continue to inspect boats and remove invasive species almost daily,” Lender stated. “From the start of the boating season through July 6th, our stewards inspected almost 2,700 boats and removed 53 plants or animals from boats and trailers. 18 of them were invasive species that our stewards stopped from getting into Lake George.”
See the full 2013 Lake Steward program update here.
With all municipalities, agencies, and non-profits pulling in the same direction, Lake George is destined to have a mandatory boat inspection program in place by next boating season. “A mandatory program is the best program to protect Lake George from invasive species; I think we all agree on that,” Lender continued. “Now we have to make it work. I’m sure there will be some challenges to work out as the details of the program come together, but I am confident that the Park Commission has a well-thought-out plan and the LGA and many others certainly support it.”
Read more about the LGPC vote online:
Post Star Lake George commission votes to create mandatory boat washing, inspection program
Denpubs Lake George Park Commission Votes for mandatory boat inspection
The Daily Gazette Lake George will require mandatory boat inspections
In related news, a few weeks ago, Essex County passed a law banning the transport of invasive species into the Essex County portion of the Lake George watershed, and just last week, Washington county, which turned down a similar invasive species transport law, finally passed one. Now with all three county governments and all municipalities around the lake supporting stronger controls over invasive species spread, and the LCPC poised to enact a mandatory inspection program, Lake George will be in the very best position in its history to thwart the onset of invasive species.