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Lake stewards posted in Ticonderoga, Hague

On their first day on duty lake stewards Sabina Sullivan, left, and Brandon Bezio removed two invasive species, curly-leaf pondweed and Eurasian watermilfoil, from a single boat launching at Mossy Point in Ticonderoga.

On their first day on duty lake stewards Sabina Sullivan, left, and Brandon Bezio removed two invasive species, curly-leaf pondweed and Eurasian watermilfoil, from a single boat launching at Mossy Point in Ticonderoga.

— Now it is seventh year, the Lake George stewards program compiles data and produces reports on the boats entering Lake George, including the body of water most recently visited prior to the Lake George launch, and whether spread prevention steps were taken prior to launch. Stewards also educate boaters about New York State’s new baitfish and firewood regulations.

All boaters are urged to follow a “Clean, Drain and Dry” practice prior to launch, advocated by local marina owners, the Eastern New York Marine Trades Association, the Lake George Park Commission, the Darrin Fresh Water Institute, and the LGA.

The Lake George steward program is a part of protecting the water quality of Lake George and preventing the spread of invasive species between waterbodies throughout the Lake Champlain Basin and the Northeast. Due to its popularity, Lake George can become a source of invasive species for many other lakes in the region. Nearby, Lake Champlain has documented 49 invasive species, the St. Lawrence River has 87, the Hudson River has 91, and the Great Lakes have 186. These bodies of water surround Lake George on all sides, and boats are easily transported from one of these lakes to the next.

The steward program has helped keep water chestnut from spreading to Lake George and to other bodies of water within the Lake Champlain Basin. Lake stewards found water chestnut on four boats about to enter Lake George in 2009, on five boats in 2010 and on four boats in 2011.

In 2011, over 8,000 boat inspections were performed. Of the total 171 plant/ animal species removed by lake stewards from boats, 87 samples were invasive.

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