Tuesday, 17 June 2014

NY lake mandates boat checks for invasive species

BOLTON LANDING, N.Y. (AP) — Boaters heading to the crystal-clear waters of Lake George this summer must make one last stop before launching — at inspection stations where vessels are checked for invasive species and decontaminated if any hitchhikers are found.

The popular Adirondack tourist destination is the first lake in the East to require inspections of every boat and trailer. It's modeled on a similar program that began five years ago at Lake Tahoe in Nevada and California and has since spread to numerous other lakes in the West.

"This is history in the making," said Eric Siy, executive director of the Fund for Lake George. "Stopping invasives requires serious commitment. Lake George can serve as a model from which to learn and act."

Boats are the most common carrier of aquatic invasive species, which include Eurasian watermilfoil, water chestnut and hydrilla that form thick mats of vegetation that choke out native species. Invasive animals that can hitch rides on boats include zebra mussels and Asian clams.

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