Local groups watch for invasive species

LONG LAKE - The Long Lake town board approved a measure April 29 that will partially fund lake monitoring and invasive species mitigation efforts by the Raquette Lake Property Owners Association and the Long Lake Association.

"These groups do good work and it is our job to help them in their efforts," Long Lake Supervisor Gregg Wallace said.

The RLHOA and the LLA both seek to stop the introduction of invasive species - especially eurasian milfoil - into Long Lake and Raquette Lake by hiring personnel to inspect boats at the local launch sites.

In previous years, Paul Smith's College funded much of the project, but dwindling revenues have made it no longer feasible this year. The town resolution designates $3,500 for each group.

"Our people keep track of how many boats go on the lake, what size motor they have and look for the presence of zebra mussels and milfoil," RLPOA Vice President and Invasive Species Administrator for the Long Lake Watershed Pat Deyle said. "We fill in the time gaps with volunteers to make sure that everyday throughout the season is covered."

Deyle said that his organization has raised approximately $7,000 in donations and that the $3,500 from the town will go a long way in funding the hiring.

Both organizations hire a single individual who patrols the lakes during the week.

"We have up to 22 monitors on the lake on some days," Deyle said. "We found milfoil on the bottom of a canoe last year before it was put into the lake."

Milfoil and other invasive species harm Adirondack lakes by out-competing indigenous species and often deoxygenating the water.

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