FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions - Lake George Facts
Who knows more about Lake George than Georgie? Can't find your answer below?
Alternative Wastewater Treatment Systems / Boating & Docks / Camping - Reservations, Best practices, Firewood / Feeding Ducks & Geese Fishing / Ice-in Ice-out Dates / Is that foam pollution? / Invasive Species - how to deter the spread? / Landscaping - Fertilizer, Cutting Trees, Pet Waste /
How long does it take the water to reach the outflow? Lake George flows south to north. It takes about 8 years for the water to reach the outflow at the northern end of the lake.
How many mountains surround Lake George? Ten mountains surround Lake George, Tongue, Shelving Rock, Buck, Little Buck, Pilot Knob, French, Black and Cook.
What is a watershed? A watershed is the area of land where all of the water that is under it or drains off of it goes into the same place. Watersheds come in all shapes and sizes. They cross county, state, and national boundaries. In the continental US, there are 2,110 watersheds; including Hawaii Alaska, and Puerto Rico, there are 2,262 watersheds (USGS).
Can you drink the water in Lake George? Yes. Lake George is designated a Class AA-Special water body in New York State. This designation prohibits the disposal of floating solids, oil, sludge, toxic wastes, other deleterious substances or wastes, heated liquids, sewage, or other waste effluents in the water.
How is the lake level managed?The lake level is managed at an outlet dam (the "A Mill" dam) and a penstock (a pipe ten feet in diameter) located at the hydroelectric power plant at the entrance of the La Chute River in Ticonderoga. The dam, built in 1903 and currently owned by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, is located about three-quarters of a mile beyond the natural rock dam at Ticonderoga. When the water level is high, the dam and penstock offer a means of discharging the excess water into the river and out of the Lake.
At present, the Lake George Park Commission is responsible for managing the lake level under an agreement with the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation in cooperation with La Chute Hydro, Inc. The lake level typically varies between 319 and 320 feet above sea level with flood stage at 320.5 ft.
Lake level is monitored in real time by the US Geological Survey through a gauge station north or Rogers Rock. Official records of lake levels on Lake George date back to July of 1913.
Who designs alternative wastewater treatment systems?
Advantix SystemsWastewater Technologies, Inc
How do I register my boat and/or dock? Lake George Park Commission 518-668-9347
Are there public boat launches on Lake George? Yes. Check the list of public launches at http://www.lgpc.state.ny.us/faq.html
How old do you have to be to operate a boat and/or PWC and do I need a boating certificate? NYS requires all persons regardless of age must complete a safe boating course to operate a PWC. Anyone between 10 and 18 years of age must complete an approved eight-hour safety course to operate a power boat without direct adult supervision.
Where do I find information about Safe Boating Courses?
How do I contact Marine Boat Patrol on Lake George? 911 is used for emergencies only. For all other calls, use channel 16 on VHF or contact the Lake George Park Commission, M-F, 8 am – 5 pm, 518-668-9347.
Are there restricted zones for boats on Lake George? Yes, anchoring, mooring, and rafting is prohibited in Paradise Bay. Sandy Bay has 60 mooring buoys available to boaters. Only one vessel per buoy and no tethering between boats. Please check http://www.lgpc.state.ny.us/Regs.html for further information.
Are there speed limits on Lake George?
Are there special boating rules for Lake George?
Do I need a sealed head on my boat to launch it on Lake George? Yes, by law all boats having toilet facilities must have a sealed holding device to prevent discharge into Lake George. Many marinas around the lake are equipped to with pump-out facilities to empty holding tanks.
What marinas have pump-out facilities?
Who must I contact before I build or rebuild my dock or boat house?
2. Many Towns, Villages and State Agencies around Lake George also have rules and regulations governing dock and boathouse construction. Call before you build.
3. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) 518-623-1240
4. Adirondack Park Agency (APA) 518-891-4050
How do I reserve a state campsite on the islands or state campground? Please visit the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation or Reserve America web pages or by calling 1-800-456-CAMP to find information about the islands on Lake George. You may also contact the NYS DEC Camping facilities directly at Long Island: 518-656-9426; Glen Island: 518-644-9696; Narrows: 518-499-1288.
When I rent or camp, what can I do to help protect the Lake?
Why can’t I bring firewood to a campsite from more than 50 miles?
Over the past 10 -15 years, exotic insects like Asian longhorned beetle, emerald ash borer and hemlock wooly adelgid have killed millions of trees in cities and woodlots from Long Island, New York to upper Michigan. Firewood has been shown to be especially troublesome, as it is frequently moved long-distances by campers and others, with new discoveries of invasive pest infestation subsequently showing up in and around campgrounds.
To see where you can purchase firewood if you are camping in at a Lake George Campsite, refer to the following maps:
Why can’t I feed the ducks and Canada Geese? You may think you are helping them by offering bits of bread, potato chips or other types of food, but you are not. When you feed ducks and geese you are likely giving them food that is not nutritious. While they seem to love bread, it is not that nutritious and generally just fills them up.
Feeding ducks and geese also makes them dependent on hand-outs and makes them tame. Ducks are wild birds that should not rely on humans to feed them. They also need to learn how to get their own food. When they become tame and used to humans, they may not be able to protect themselves from predators.
Another reason not to feed them is because of the waste that is left behind. Their droppings can contain bacteria that is not healthy for humans. Too much bacteria in the water and on the land where the ducks are attracted to can be detrimental to your health.
Don't forget, in many areas ducks and geese should migrate to different areas at different times of the year. If you feed them you may be delaying their migration. Go ahead and watch the ducks, but remember, it's not a good idea to feed them.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) warns that swimmer's itch, also known as cercarial dermatitis, affects humans that swim in water infected by wildlife - namely birds. It is caused by a parasite that lives in infected swans, ducks, geese, and sea gulls. It is thought that waterfowl contract the parasite by being artificially fed (by humans).
Do I need a license to fish in Lake George? Yes, persons 17 or over must have a license. They can be purchased at local bait shops and town and village offices.
When do ice shanties have to be removed from the ice surface? NYS/DEC requires all shanties must be removed from the ice surface no later than March 15th.
As of 2004, the Darrin Freshwater Institute has tracked the ice-in and ice-out dates for Lake George. Prior to 2004, the Warren County Dept. of Public Works kept these statistics. See the data, since 1908, here.
What is the foam/soap suds on the surface of the water? Is it pollution? Most of the time, we find that this material which looks like soap suds is caused by a natural phenomena involving amorphic glucosidal compounds found in plants. As plant material, especially leaves, decay in the water saponins are released. Aeration of water containing saponins releases gases and results in the foam condition we see on streams and lakes.
How can I help deter the spread of aquatic invasive species?
What's the best thing to do with yard or pet waste? Do not burn yard waste, the ashes are high in nutrients. Use your yard waste as mulch or compost, or dispose of it off site. And do not dump it in the lake or a stream. Clean up pet waste to prevent nutrients and bacteria from washing into the lake.
Can I fertilize my lawn? Most soil contains sufficient quantities of phosphorus to support a lawn. If you choose to fertilize, use fertilizer without Phosphorus. (Phosphorus fertilizers are no longer legal if you reside in the village or town of Lake George.) Click here for a list of area outlets that sell no/low phosphorus fertilizers.
Can I cut trees on my property or shoreline? The Adirondack Park Agency (518) 891-4050 http://www.apa.state.ny.us/Regulations/index.html
Lodging & Tourism Info
Looking for lodging and tourist information for the Lake George Region?
Who can I contact if I need assistance with a natural resource project?
Questions regarding zoning or planning regulations?
Town of Bolton 518-644-2893 email@example.com
Who do I contact regarding stormwater permits?
Who do I contact for dredging project permits?
Can I pull weeds around my dock and shoreline? The Adirondack Park Agency has guidelines for property owners. Please follow the link: http://www.apa.state.ny.us/Documents/Flyers/Hand_Harvest_Invasives.pdf
Need help identifying an aquatic plant? Call Lake George Association at 518-668-3558, visit the LGA Eurasian watermilfoil page, or RPI/FWI at 518-668-3541.
I need help with native plants. Where can I purchase them? Click here for native plant information on the LGA website, or call the LGA Office at 518-668-3558.
I want to plant a buffer along my stream and/or shoreline. What plants should I use? Native plants should be used for your buffer. Click here for more information about native plants or call the LGA 518-668-3558 .
Water Quality Concerns and TestingQuality Concerns and Testing
Where can I get my water tested?