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Raising awareness about invasive species

Posted: 6/12/2020

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Raising awareness about invasive species

Invasive species are plants and animals that are not native to an area. These harmful hitchhikers are often brought in accidentally or innocently. Some of them are not even visible, which underscores the importance of education. If people can identify them, they can prevent their spread. Why is that important? Non-native plants and animals compete for resources with the native plants and animals. They have potential to decimate populations of species that are vital to an area’s ecosystem. 

Invasives can also diminish recreational opportunities.  For example, the rapid growth of Eurasian water milfoil can outcompete native plants, reduce biodiversity and hurt fish habitats. Dense mats of this fast-spreading invasive can entangle boat propellers and interfere with swimming and fishing areas.

Invasive Species Awareness Week — June 7-13, 2020

For seven years New York Invasive Species Awareness Week has sought to promote knowledge and understanding of invasive species and the damage they can do to both the ecology and economy. It’s crucial we are able to identify these harmful invasives — and know what we can do to prevent their spread. This year New York State’s Partnerships for Regional Invasive Species Management (PRISM) promoted the week with a social media challenge to raise awareness about invasive species. Click here to read more about PRISMs, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's partnerships with resource managers, non-governmental organizations, industry, resource users, citizens and other state agencies and stakeholders to combat invasive species.

Mandatory Boat Inspections

You can help stop the psread of invasive species by making sure you have cleaned, drained and dried all boating, fishing andother recreatiaonl euqipment before you launch in a water body.

Watch the video below to learn more.

Lake George is fortunate to have several organizations dedicated specifically to protecting the lake, including our Chamber members, the FUND for Lake George, Lake George Association and Lake George Land Conservancy.

Lake George is also the only lake in New York with its own state agency — the Lake George Park Commission.

In 2014, the Lake George Park Commission voted to implement an Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Program that mandated boat inspections and washing if needed to remove invasive species. 

 Lake George was the first water body east of the Mississippi to implement a program like this. The program was pattenred off of other western U.S. water bodies such as Lake Tahoe. Now from May 1 to Oct. 31, all trailered boats must be inspected at one of six regional inspection stations prior to launching in Lake George. Loon Lake in Chestertown in Northern Warren County also has a mandatory boat inspection program. 

Before You Launch

If you’re getting ready to launch on Lake George, here’s what you’ll need to do:

  1. You must register your boat with the Lake George Park Commission. There are 40 vendors around the lake, including our Lake George Regional Chamber Main Office at 2176 Route 9 in Lake George.  You can also register online
  2. To launch in Lake George, you must also have your boat inspected to ensure there are no invasive species on it. The inspection stations include washing equipment. If invasives are found on your boat, they’ll be removed. Click here for a boat inspection FAQ.

Lake George Inspection Stations

Below is a list of inspection stations around Lake George.

Adirondacks Welcome Center

Located on I-87 (Between Exits 17 & 18), Queensbury NY

Million Dollar Beach Launch : 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
139 Beach Road Lake George, NY 12845 | 518-832-8631

Dunham’s Bay Dock & Launch : 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
2036 Bay Road Queensbury, NY 12804 | 518-793-2162

Hulett’s Landing Marina Inspection : Call for hours
6068 Lakeside Way Huletts Landing, NY 12841 | 518-499-0801

Mossy Point Public Boat Launch : 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.
158 Black Point Ticonderoga, NY 12883 | 518-585-6724

Roger’s Rock Public Campground & Boat Launch : Closed until further notice
9894 Lakeshore Drive Hague, NY 12836 | 518-585-6168

Norowal Marina : 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
21 Sagamore Road Bolton Landing, NY 12814 | 518-223-3095

Six Known Species

No known invasive species have been introduced to Lake George since the mandatory inspection program was implemented.

There have been documented cases of inspectors catching these hitchikers before they enter the water. 

The six known aquatic invasive species in Lake George include:

  • Asian clams
  • Zebra mussels
  • Chinese mystery snail
  • Spiny water flea
  • Eurasian watermilfoil
  • Curly-lead pondweed

Terrestrial and Insect Invasive Species

Invasives don’t just live in the water. It’s important to prevent invasive plants from spreading on land, too. The following plants have been identified by the Lake George Land Conservancy as the “top five terrestrial invasive plants of the Lake George Watershed.”

  • Common reed grass
  • Garlic mustard
  • Japanese knotweed
  • Purple loosestrife
  • Shrubby honeysuckles

This post by the Lake George Association has some helpful tips on landscaping with native plants in the Lake George watershed.

Invasive insects such as the emerald ash borer and spotted lanternfly also pose a threat. There are many ways you can make a difference such as using local firewoood and keeping an eye out for strange insects in the forest or even your own backyard.

Click here for more information about terrestrial invasive species. 

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