Two fishermen have been fined after admitting they introduced “aquatic invasive species” into Lake George during a Ticonderoga bass fishing tournament.
The men, whose names were not released, each paid $100 fines.
The two men were charged with violating Lake George Park Commission regulations when evidence of Eurasian milfoil was found on their boat trailers. One was also ticketed for violating a state law that bans transportation of water chestnuts.
They could have been fined of up to $500 for violating the park commission Eurasian milfoil regulation and up to $250 for the water chestnut violation.
The tickets were issued at Mossy Point by the Lake George Park Commission’s Marine Patrol officers in August.
A bench trial was scheduled for Oct. 23, but the men entered into a plea agreement before Ticonderoga Justice James O’Bryan.
In issuing the sentences, O’Bryan said invasive species are a serious threat to Lake George and all the waters of New York State. He emphasized that travelling boaters need to ensure their boats are clean drained and dry.
O’Bryan urged the tournament fishermen to spread the word among their colleagues that Lake George is particularly sensitive and this issue is serious.
Any future infractions will be met with more serious consequences, O’Bryan warned.
Lake George Association Executive Director Walt Lender, who attended the court session, was pleased with the outcome.
“We’re pleased to see that the court is fully aware of the issues and supportive of the efforts to protect the lake,” he said. “It was a welcomed outcome.”
The tickets were issued when Lake Park Commission technicians were inspecting boats and trailers as they launched for a Northeast Team Bass Tournament. They discovered two trailers with vegetation on them that was confirmed to be milfoil and water chestnut.