Lake George stewards report released, fight against invasives ongoing

— The total number of waterbodies visited within two weeks of overland transport to Lake George was 155 unique waterbodies located in 13 different states throughout the United States and 2 Provinces in Canada.

Other than Lake George itself, the next most frequently visited waterbody in 2012 was Lake Champlain, a waterbody known to have 49 nonnative species. 96 boats inspected by the lake stewards had been in Lake Champlain within two weeks prior to launching in Lake George.

Lake stewards collected 272 aquatic organism samples from 189 boats and trailers, and identified 131 samples to be an invasive species.

Six different invasive species were identified — Eurasian watermilfoil, curly-leaf pondweed, water chestnut, zebra mussels, quagga mussels and spiny water flea.

While 83 percent of boaters reported having previous interaction with a lake steward, only 63 percent of boaters reported taking at least one spread prevention measure. Spread prevention measures include but are not limited to washing the boat, draining the bilge and inspecting the boat for plants and animals.

Last year was the first time the lake stewards found both quagga mussels and spiny water fleas. Quagga mussels were removed from two boats on separate occasions about to launch into Lake George. One boat had last been in Cayuga Lake, and the other in Lake Ontario. Both of those lakes are known to have established quagga mussel infestations.

Spiny water flea was confirmed in Lake George in 2012 when an angler brought a sample to the lake steward stationed at Mossy Point. During the late summer, lake stewards found SWF on fishing gear on boats leaving Lake George multiple times.

“The stewards inspect boats leaving the lake as well as boats about the launch,” said Kristen Rohne, LGA’s watershed educator and the lake steward program manager. “While our priority might be protecting Lake George, we also recognize the fact that Lake George has AIS that might infect other area waterways, and we try to help prevent the spread of AIS out of the lake as much as we can as well as stop more from coming in.”

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