Lake George Lake Steward Program

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The Lake Steward Program is an aquatic invasive species education and spread prevention program. Lake stewards are hired for the summer to inspect boats at various boat launches around Lake George. Stewards look for and remove invasive species, and educate boaters on how to prevent their spread within the Lake and to other lakes. In addition, lake stewards collect data about the vessels entering and exiting the Lake.

Since 2008, lake stewards have inspected over 32,000 boats at high traffic launches around Lake George, removed 490 aquatic invasive species samples from boats, and have educated more than 75,000 boaters about invasive species spread prevention.

The Lake George Lake Steward program seeks to help contain the spread of five species already present in Lake George: spiny water fleaEurasian watermilfoilzebra mussels, Asian clam, and curly-leaf pondweed. The program also helps prevent new invasive species from being introduced into Lake George, such as hydrilla, or alewife. These are present in nearby water bodies in New York. While the priority of the program is to inspect boats before they launch, boats are also inspected as they exit when possible. 

Multiple studies have shown that boats and and recreational equipment are among the main vectors of aquatic invasive species spread. This high risk pathway is also one that we have the ability to do something about. While it can be intentional, often times the spread of invasives is unintentional, with the boater not realizing that there are plants or other species attached to the hull of the boat, entangled in the prop, or caught on part of the trailer or other equipment, or that moving these species around will cause a problem.

In addition to working at the boat launches, lake stewards assist the LGA in other related work, including:

- pulling garlic mustard at Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) campgrounds;

- stocking salmon with the DEC and the Lake George Fishing Alliance; and

- educating the public about invasive species at annual summer events,such as the Adirondack Park Invasive Species Awareness Week.

 

 

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