They will arrive via container ships and in shipping containers. They will be introduced to our lakes and streams via bait buckets, bilge water, live wells, boats, canoes, kayaks, trailers and fishing equipment. They will be spread from the wheel wells of automobiles or in the empty boxes of tractor trailers. They will be smuggled in to sell to collectors, while others will be escapees from an aquarium. They may be hitchhikers on a traveler's shoe or stuck to the wing of a duck.
The sooner we realize that we can't contain them, the sooner we can begin efforts to eradicate them.
The town of Harrietstown in Franklin County, which encompasses the Saranac Lakes, the St. Regis Lakes as well as a major portion of the St. Regis Canoe Area and the Raquette River, recently announced a proposed town law that is intended to address the threat of invasive species.
A hearing on the proposed law will be held at 6:50 p.m. on Oct. 28 in the board room of Harrietstown Town Hall. The Town of Harrietstown Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Law, if enacted, will require all boaters to inspect their equipment and boats for signs of invasive plants or animals.
The town law, which is intended to prevent the introduction and spread of invasive species in local lakes, ponds and rivers will also prohibit the planting or introduction of invasive species into, on or around the shorelines of any water body in the town. Violations of the proposed law, which will be enforced by the state Department of Environmental Conservation, can result in a fine of up to $250.
Several Adirondack communities, including the town of Webb, and the village of Lake Placid, already have similar laws on the books. There have also been several proposed laws drafted on the state level to prevent the spread of aquatic invasives.