Heading to the lake? Make sure your boat isn’t harboring hidden passengers! Aquatic invasive species are becoming a big problem in New York State waters, making it more vital than ever protect our lakes, rivers, and streams. Learn what you should be aware of, how to get your boat inspected, and other ways that you can help.
Keeping Lake George Safe
Aquatic invasive species, or AIS, are aquatic plants and animals that have been carried from their native location to another. Some invasive species include hydrilla, water chestnut, Eurasian watermilfoil, zebra mussels, and Asian clams. A growing problem in New York State, they can be a serious risk to the environment, the economy, and to your health. But how do AIS move around? Most often, by attaching themselves to boats and equipment.
To raise public awareness of AIS, the Departments of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and State Parks are working with the Lake George Association and Lake George Park Commission. As part of the Collaborative State Boat Steward Program, stewards have been placed at inspection stations to help boaters prevent a possible infestation.
In a statement, New York State Department of Transportation Acting Commissioner Paul A. Karas said, “Aquatic invasive species pose a serious threat, which is why the New York State Department of Transportation is working with the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program and our sister agencies to host boat inspection and decontamination stations. We are also continuously locating new ones along state highways, including at the new Adirondack Welcome Center being built on I-87 in Queensbury.”
Boat inspection stations are specifically designed to check for invasive species and, if needed, decontaminate vessels. From May to October, all trailered boats launched into Lake George have to be inspected. This summer, can have your boat checked for free at any of these 7 regional locations:
- Town of Lake George: Transfer Road, Lake George
- Million Dollar Beach Launch: 139 Beach Road, Lake George
- Dunham’s Bay Dock & Launch: 2036 Bay Road, Queensbury
- Hulettes Landing Marina: 6068 Lakeside Way, Huletts Landing
- Norowal Marina: 21 Sagamore Road, Bolton Landing
- Mossy Point Public Boat Launch: 158 Black Point Road, Ticonderoga
- Rogers Rock Public Campground: 9894 Lakeshore Drive, Hague
The DEC suggests that you always check boats, trailers, and fishing and boating equipment for plants and animals that could be hitching a ride. To do so, they encourage following the Clean, Drain, and Dry standard:
- Clean boats, trailers, and equipment of any debris, then dispose of it in an upland area or receptacle.
- Drain the boat completely, including bilge areas, live wells, and bait wells. Water skis and wake boards should have their ballast tanks drained. All water should be removed, as it can only take one drop for many AIS to survive.
- Dry all of your equipment for at least 5 days before using it in another body of water. Equipment that can’t be fully dried must be decontaminated. Check recommended drying times at 100thmeridian.org/emersion.asp
“Aquatic invasive species can ruin boating and fishing trips, reduce shoreline property values, and undermine the tourism industry,” added State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey. “I encourage boaters to learn and practice the simple steps they can take to help prevent invasive species from spreading into New York State waters.”
Learn more about proper inspection procedures at dec.ny.gov/animals/48221.html