Boat Inspections More Effective After April, Commission Concludes
The Lake George Park Commission’s invasive species protection program, which requires anyone trailering a boat to Lake George to visit one of seven inspection stations stations before launching, resumed April 15.
Last year, the first of a two-year pilot program, inspections and decontaminations began a month later, in mid-May.
Opening the stations just after ice-out was an experiment that won’t be repeated if the inspection program is renewed, said Lake George Park Commission executive director Dave Wick.
“The experiment was worth doing, because we were able to get a better feel for activity early in the season. It helped us get a picture of what a permanent program should look like,” said Wick.
According to Wick, the science suggests that April may be too early to inspect boats for invasives.
“The reproduction cycles of the plants and animals have yet to begin,” said Wick.
Nor does the amount of boat traffic in the early spring justify the expense of operating inspection and decontamination stations in April, he said.
According to the Lake George Park Commission, 108 boats were inspected from April 15 through April 26. Three boats required decontamination. One boat, trailered from the St. Lawrence River, appeared to be carrying an invasive species.
If the invasive species protection program is re-authorized for 2016, stations will open May 1 and close a month earlier, on October 3, said Dave Wick.
The Lake George Association’s Walt Lender said he concurred with the Park Commission’s decision.
“With finite resources, we have to view the invasive species protection program as one of risk management, as they do on Lake Tahoe,” said Lender. “If we have to make choices, the lake is better protected if we devote our resources to high traffic seasons.”