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LGA's 'Lake Stewards' now helping prevent spread of invasive plants

"In past years, the LGA has received funds from the state through the Lake George Watershed Coalition to run this essential prevention model program, which is respected across New York and New England," said Walt Lender, LGA's executive director. "We are grateful to secure funding from other sources this year, including grant funding from the Helen V. Froehlich Foundation. Without preventative measures like this, Lake George could suffer the kind of devastating impact, both ecologically and economically, that we've seen in other lakes," Lender said.

Surveys show boats

circulate freely

Last summer, the stewards inspected 3,886 boats at launch sites around the lake during the summer and collected 162 samples, with 75 of those being invasive species. The invasive samples included 48 specimens of Eurasian Watermilfoil, 13 of curly-leaf pondweed, seven of zebra mussels, and seven of water chestnut, which is not now found in Lake George.

Eurasian watermilfoil was removed on 22 occasions from vessels entering at Mossy Point and 21 times from vessels entering at Norowal Marina. These craft had visited a total of 158 different water bodies - many of which are known to Many of these water bodies are known to host invasive species - in the two weeks prior to their cruising on Lake George. With 65 boats having last visited the Hudson River and 62 last on Lake Champlain, which contain 91 and 49 invasive species respectively, along with last year's discovery of the invasive zooplankton the spiny waterflea in Great Sacandaga Lake, the importance of having Lake Stewards at local launches to help protect Lake George from new invaders is very apparent, Lender said.

According to a 2000 report issued by the Lake George Park Commission, milfoil has been present at over 170 different sites on Lake George. Nine sites remain with dense milfoil beds and six sites continue to have moderately-dense growth. Eurasian watermilfoil spreads easily and grows quickly, crowding out native plants, reducing biodiversity, and diminishing fish habitat. Dense growths inhibit water recreation like boating, swimming and fishing.

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