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Trial program mulled for Lake George boat disinfection concept

In 2010, volunteers place mats designed to curb the spread of Asian Clams in Lake George. Environmentalists have noted that it is 50 to 100 times cheaper to prevent invasives from taking hold in a lake versus trying to combat their propagation once they’ve become established. The Lake George Park Commission is considering a law requiring inspection of all boats, before they are launched in the lake,  for the presence of invasive species and mandating remedial disinfection, if needed.

In 2010, volunteers place mats designed to curb the spread of Asian Clams in Lake George. Environmentalists have noted that it is 50 to 100 times cheaper to prevent invasives from taking hold in a lake versus trying to combat their propagation once they’ve become established. The Lake George Park Commission is considering a law requiring inspection of all boats, before they are launched in the lake, for the presence of invasive species and mandating remedial disinfection, if needed.

— The law would require marinas and other private boat launch owners and homeowners’ associations to make sure all boats comply with the process.

Boats from other bodies of water have been blamed for importing invasive species such as Asian clams or Eurasian milfoil, which have spread rapidly and prompted a multi-million-dollar invasives control effort in Lake George.

But the state Department of Environmental Conservation has yet to offer their opinion on mandatory inspection.

Meanwhile, sportsmen’s groups have raised a variety of concerns about the proposed law.

They argue that the law favors the wealthy, who can avoid repeated inspections during a season by leaving their boat docked in the lake from spring to fall.

Also, the law restricts fishermen who routinely seek to get out on the lake early in the morning for prime angling.

Then there’s the $30 fee for the washdown. Also, the proposed law calls for a two-week drying period before a boat is reintroduced into Lake George, which is likely to further restrict the use of the lake by sportsmen.

Marina owners have also expressed their concerns about the proposal, citing how it is likely to cause congestion at their facilities and frustrate customers, as well as prompt boaters to seek out other lakes for recreation.

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