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Lake George survey suggested

Scope of invasive species threat needs to be determined

A survey of Lake George is needed to determine the actual threat posed by invasive species. That’s the assessment of Dr. Dean Cook of Ticonderoga, a member of the Lake George Park Commission, in discussing the spiny water flea — one of five invasive species now confirmed in Lake George — during a meeting of the LGPC aquatic invasive species committee in Ti recently.

A survey of Lake George is needed to determine the actual threat posed by invasive species. That’s the assessment of Dr. Dean Cook of Ticonderoga, a member of the Lake George Park Commission, in discussing the spiny water flea — one of five invasive species now confirmed in Lake George — during a meeting of the LGPC aquatic invasive species committee in Ti recently.

— The spiny water flea is the fifth confirmed aquatic invasive species to reach Lake George. The others are zebra mussels, asian clams, eurasian watermilfoil and curly-leaf pondweed.

The Lake George Park Commission spends more than $1 million a year to battle invasive species, Wick said. So far, it’s a battle with mixed results.

Asian clams, which have already been confirmed in the lake near Million Dollar Beach in Lake George village and in Bolton, have been discovered in four new locations, Wick said.

Wick declined to identify the sites of the new clam discoveries, saying a survey of the lake is being done to determine the full extent of the clam population.

There are also concerns about a new threat, quagga mussels.

Walt Lender, executive director of the Lake George Association, told the committee two boats checked at Norowal Marina in Bolton were found to be carrying quagga mussels, an eurasian mollusk that has infested parts of the Great Lakes.

Lender said lake stewards prevented the quagga mussels from reaching the lake.

“It was a big save,” he said.

Quagga mussels breed rapidly, and can colonize a lake bottom up to 100 feet deep, Lender said. The mollusks can encrust surfaces like boat hulls, propellers and docks. Quagga mussels can foul water with excretions, which could damage the quality of drinking water from the lake.

Not all the news is bad, Wick noted.

Eurasian watermilfoil, while a still a problem near Hague, is at historic lows in Lake George, he said.

“It’s a real success story,” Wick said of milfoil eradication efforts.

The Lake George Park Commission is considering regulations to fight the spread of invasive species in the lake — regulations that could include mandatory decontamination of boats prior to launching, designated hours at public launches and new fees.

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