Thursday, October 2, 2014

Major Lake George Recreation Study Planned For 2015

boatsThe Lake George Association (LGA) is partnering with the Lake George Park Commission (LGPC) for a 2015 Recreation Study of the Lake. The project is expected to update the 2005 Lake George Recreation Study.

The 2005 study found 460,372 total boat use days from April-Sept with 44,177 motorboat launches and 75,835 public beach users estimated for 2005. The average horsepower on the lake was 194 while the average horsepower of performance boats was 500. During peak use, there were 261 PWCs, 303 canoes/kayaks, 317 sailboats, and 1,553 motorboats, for a grand total of 2,434 boats out on the Lake at one time at peak use.  However, over the course of an entire weekend day during the summer – there were 4,700 motorboats on the Lake, and 2,500 motorboats on a weekday.

In addition to the data collected through observation in 2005, survey data found that over ninety percent of respondents were satisfied or very satisfied with their Lake George recreational experience.  High water quality contributed most to that satisfaction and water quality was very important to the majority of users. The main issues of concern identified during the surveys were invasive species, followed by noise from PWCs and unsafe operation of boats. “It will be very interesting to see how the new results compare to these findings from 2005, said Walt Lender, the LGA’s Executive Director.  With the increased attention to invasive species recently, I for one am curious to see if this concern is more prominent in the updated study.  It will also be very interesting to learn how lake users perceive the water quality of the lake as well. It’s one thing for those of us who think about it day in and day out, but it will be very useful to get a good idea of how a large group of lake users view the quality of the water.”

Planning work for the updated report is intended to be undertaken this winter with field work and data collection anticipated next summer.  The final report is expected to be complete by the end of 2015.  According to LGA, the 2015 Recreation Study will provide an overview of the type, intensity, distribution and timing of boating on Lake George based on the 2014 field season.  Surveys of various user groups such as boaters, beach users, business owners, tourists, etc, will also be conducted to gather information regarding perceptions of use and enjoyment of the lake.  Analysis and summary of LGPC data including Marine Patrol contacts and enforcement, dock permit trends, and marina permit trends will also be included in the report.

At the July meeting of the LGA’s Board of Directors, members approved a motion to fund half of the cost of the study, up to $25,000. “The Lake George Association’s Recreation Committee has met with LGPC staff and commissioners over the years to stay abreast of recreation-related issues on the Lake and feel that this is a very important study,” Mike Dier, LGA’s Vice President of the Board of Directors and a long-standing member of the Water Recreation Committee, said in a statement to the press.  “We have a long history of working with partners on recreational issues on the lake.  In 2008 we worked with the Lake George Power Squadron to update the navigational charts of the lake using our geographic information systems (GIS) database and we have offered numerous boater safety courses at our office over the years as well as printing an educational boater safety brochure.”

Photo of boaters on Lake George provided by the Lake George Association.

 

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