LAKE GEORGE - Four "Lake Stewards" are once again on duty at boat launches around Lake George for the summer, inspecting boats and educating boaters on how to prevent the spread of invasive species. They began their work on Memorial Day weekend.
Coordinated by the Lake George Association, the program seeks to contain the spread of three species already present in Lake George: milfoil, zebra mussels, and curly-leaf pondweed, as well as a possible fourth: brittle naiad - which was found and removed from Dunham's Bay last summer. The program also helps prevent new invasive species from being introduced, such as spiny waterflea and water chestnut, which are present in nearby water bodies.
On her first day on duty May 28, new Lake Steward Monika LaPlante Froehlich removed three invasive species - milfoil, curly-leaf pondweed and zebra mussels - from one of the boats she inspected that day. Monica and fellow stewards Lee Peters, Mark Altwerger and Brendan Carberry, were trained in inspection, identification and data collection by the LGA and at the Adirondack Watershed Institute at Paul Smiths College.
On weekends throughout the summer, LGA stewards will be active in the south end of Lake George at Norowal Marina and other launches, and in the north end of the lake, at Mossy Point, Hague Town Launch, and Rogers Rock.
In addition to inspecting the boats for aquatic invasive species, the stewards will also remind boaters of the DEC firewood regulation, new in 2009, which limits the transport of untreated wood to 50 miles, in an effort to protect forests from insect invaders which have had a devastating impact on tree populations elsewhere in the U.S.
Emergency funding for the program this year was provided by the town of Hague, the Bolton's Local Development Corp., and the Lake George Park Commission.