A mandatory boat inspection program for Lake George has been approved. Beginning May 15 all boats entering the lake must be inspected at one of six regional stations.
A mandatory boat inspection program for Lake George has been approved.
Beginning May 15 all boats entering the lake must be inspected at one of six regional stations.
If a boat passes inspection as “clean, drained and dry” it will be sealed to the owner’s trailer and it can continue to a launch facility.
If it does not meet the standard, owners will be directed to the high-pressure hot water decontamination unit on site for cleaning before being sealed to a trailer.
The Lake George Park Commission adopted the new regulation at its meeting Jan. 28. The regulations will be filed with the Secretary of State and the program, which will apply to all trailered vessels, will begin May 15.
Launch sites around the lake will be responsible for checking seals, removing them from boats and then re-sealing them as they leave the lake. If a boat is only used in Lake George, and the seal stays intact, it can launch again without additional inspection. If a boat is taken to another water body it will have to go through the inspection process again before entering Lake George.
The regional inspection and wash stations will be located at Mossy Point in Ticonderoga, Rogers Rock Campsite in Hague, Narowal Marina in Bolton, near Exit 21 of the Northway in Lake George, Ridge Road in Queensbsury and Huletts Landing Marina.
The Mossy Point and Norowal stations will each have two boast washing units because of heavy demand.
Each station is expected to be open sunrise to sunset.
The commission said it is working on a new website and outreach materials to assist boaters in meeting the new regulation.
The new plan is part of an effort to keep invasive species from the lake.
Lake George currently has five invasive species in its waters — asian clam, eurasian milfoil, zebra mussels, curlyleaf pondweed and spiny waterflea. It’s believed those non-native species were brought to Lake George by boats that had been in other lakes.
The LGPC spends more than $1 million a year to manage and eradicate invasive species. In the past two years alone the state and local governments have spent more than $1.5 million in efforts to eradicate the asian clam.
The Lake George Park Commission adopted a Draft Invasive Species Prevention Plan and Environmental Impact Statement last April. The plan identified a “preferred alternative” that called for a mandatory inspection program for all trailered boats entering Lake George and hot water power washing decontamination of boats that don’t pass inspection.
The plan is the result of nearly three years of research and more than 50 public meetings.
The Lake George Park Commisison action was praised by the Stop Aquatic inVasives from Entering Lake George Partnership (S.A.V.E.).
“With this historic vote, the commission has upheld its protection mandate in the face of the gathering invasives threat,” Lake George Mayor Bob Blais, S.A.V.E.’s chairman, said.
S.A.V.E. represents public and private leaders—including municipal officials, conservation groups, scientists, and businesses—around Lake George who have committed to paying half the implementation costs of the prevention program over the next two years.
“Nothing will deliver better returns for our economy, environment, and communities than shared investment in the future health of Lake George,” said Eric Siy, executive director of The FUND for Lake George. “As an investor, S.A.V.E. is committed to ensuring the sustaining success of the prevention program, “ Siy said.
“There is no question that Lake George is leading the way in demonstrating what it will take to save our precious waters from aquatic invasives. It will take uncompromising commitment and bold partnership,” said Bolton Supervisor Ron Conover. “We will not get a second chance to get this right and we are truly fortunate to have a park commission that is responding to the gravity of the moment.”