The Lake George Park Commission (LGPC) has published a proposed rule for mandatory inspection of trailered boats launching on Lake George in an effort to limit the continued introduction of aquatic invasive species into the lake.
The public comment period is now open and public hearings have been scheduled for October 10th at 2 pm at the Roaring Brook Conference Center in Lake George and at 6 pm at the Best Western in Ticonderoga. (Note the hearing in Lake George was changed from its original day and location).
The proposed rule requires that “all trailered vessels used in the Lake George Park shall be subject to inspection, and if determined necessary, decontamination. This inspection may take place anywhere within the Lake George Park or at any designated location authorized by the Commission.”
All launches will also have to be registered with the LGPC within 60 days of the adoption of the rule. Launch operators will have to certify compliance with the rules and maintain written records of launches. Launch operators will have to secure their launch in a manner authorized by the Commission so as to prevent trailered vessels which are not in compliance with the regulations from entering the Lake.
Another section of the proposed rule reads: “Trailered vessels bearing positive verification of having last launched within the Lake George Park shall be exempted from inspection and decontamination… The commission shall have the authority to enter into agreements with launch operators who demonstrate compliance with launching vessels only subject to launch in the Lake George Park.”
Invasive species are non-native plants and animals that, when introduced in an ecosystem, can rapidly reproduce and overwhelm their environment. Eurasian watermilfoil was the first invasive species to reach Lake George in 1986, and millions of dollars have been spent to keep infestations of the plant in check. Since that time, four other invasives have been introduced to Lake George, including Asian clam and Spiny Waterflea which were discovered in Lake George since 2010.
According to data through the 2012 season collected by the Lake George Association, since 2008 lake stewards have inspected almost 25,000 boats at high traffic launches around Lake George, removed over 400 invasive species samples from boats, and have educated around 60,000 boaters about invasive species spread prevention. In 2012, the lake stewards inspected almost 7,000 boats, educating around 18,000 boaters about invasive species and spread prevention and removing 131 samples of invasive species from boats.
An early September survey revealed that invasive Asian clams are showing up in new locations, and spreading beyond the treated areas, despite extensive and expensive eradication efforts by both the state and local governments that have topped $1.5 million dollars in only two years time.
You can read the proposed rule in its entirety on the LGPC website [pdf].
Questions should be addressed to the Lake George Park Commission at 518-668-9347.
The close of the comment period is Friday Oct 18th at 4 pm. Comments may be sent via e-mail to [email protected] or in writing to Lake George Park Commission, PO Box 749, Fort George Road, Lake George, NY 12845.