To the Editor:
The article in the Sept. 7 issue (Times of Ti) about anglers being ticketed is full of half-truths and innuendos. At best, it might have been appropriate for your editorial page. It should not have run as a news article. It was published way too late to do anything but to rehash the flimsy excuses expressed by the guilty parties and their apologists, one of whom apparently is your reporter Shawn Ryan.
It does not matter when the LGPC (Lake George Park Commission) technicians arrived at Mossey Point, nor does it matter when the anglers or the tournament organizers were advised that the two anglers would be ticketed, nor does it matter when, whether or if they were asked to wash their boats. The simple fact is that it has always been illegal to introduce invasive species into the waters of Lake George, and it is the responsibility of every boat owner to verify that neither his boat nor his trailer carry any invasives before launching, The Lake George Park Commission “Rules and Regulations, part 646-1.6 (h) are perfectly clear:
“No person shall launch a vessel into or remove a vessel from the waters of the park without inspecting the vessel and its trailer, if any, to ensure the detection of marine growth, including macrophytes (weeds), or any other hull contamination, and removing said growth and disposing of it so as to ensure that it is not discharged into the waters of the park.”
Inspection by LGPC staff is provided to help boat owners comply with this law. Neither the lack of the presence of LGPC staff nor the timing of their actions changes the requirement for individuals to inspect and clean their own boats before launching.
Your reporter goes on to cloud the issue by reporting that Dave Wick stated that no new invasives were found in the water around the launch site that day. This twists Dave Wick’s statement to imply that the burden of proof of a violation falls to the LGPC staff to find and recover as evidence, the actual, particular, single invasive plant or animal that came off of each of the offending boats. The evidence of invasives on the trailers, that no one denies had been in and out of Lake George that morning, is adequate proof of the violation.
Apparently the other tournament participants realized their responsibility for the future quality of the waters of Lake George and launched only clean boats. Let’s hope that it is 100 percent in the future so that Lake George continues to be free of invasives for all, including fishermen, to enjoy.