Hague The Lake George Association has released preliminary results from the 2011 Lake Steward program. The LGA has managed training, hiring, supervision and reporting for the Lake Steward program since 2008.
During the summer of 2011, LGA lake stewards were posted at six different boat launches — Norowal Marina, Mossy Point in Ticonderoga, Hague town beach, Rogers Rock in Hague, Dunham’s Bay and Million Dollar Beach. The stewards inspected 8,584 boats for invasive species, removed suspicious specimens from 52 boats prior to launch and educated over 19,000 people about the threats of invasive species and how to prevent their spread.
“We had an extremely busy summer,” said Emily DeBolt, LGA director of education and outreach. “From over 8,500 boats inspected, 1,016 were at risk of bringing invasives into Lake George because they had been in a body of water other than Lake George during the past two weeks. Right now, Lake George has only four invasive species. Some of our nearby water bodies have dozens.”
Upon launch, suspicious specimens were removed from 52 boats. Of those, 31 of the boats were carrying at least one invasive species. The LGA recovered 22 samples of Eurasian watermilfoil, nine samples of curly-leaf pondweed, four of water chestnut and two of zebra mussel.
The stewards also inspected boats returning to the launch after boating on the Lake. Seventy-three of these boats had suspicious samples removed. Of these, 46 boats contained at least one invasive species. The LGA recovered 15 samples of Eurasian watermilfoil, six of curly-leaf pondweed and two of water chestnut.
“Our stewards ask the boaters if they have taken preventative steps to guard against the introduction and spread of invasive species. This year, 75 percent of the boats we interacted with said they had,” said Walt Lender of Ticonderoga, executive director of the LGA. “While this is definitely positive news, and shows that people are becoming increasingly aware of the need to properly clean their boats, we want to see these numbers go even higher in the years to come.”