Since Michuc issued his plea, over 100 fellow scientists, experts and lake advocates have signed the petition.
Unfortunately, as of Monday morning, the New York State Canal Corporation had refused to comply with numerous requests to close the locks.
When I spoke with DEC Region 5 spokesman David Winchell earlier this week, he explained that the NYSDEC was very concerned with the potential introduction of spiny water fleas via the Champlain Canal. However, he noted the department does not have authority to close the locks.
Once the fleas arrive, there will be no way to turn back the clock, and the Big Lake will be forever altered. It has happened before with the introduction of zebra mussels, alewives and a host of other exotic species. However, the potential negative impact on the lake’s fishery has never been so drastic. Please call your state representatives, the Champlain Canal Corporation or sign onto Dr. Mihuc’s petition, before it is too late!
Joe Hackett is a guide and sportsman residing in Ray Brook. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.