LGA’s Kristen Wilde Confirms Identity Of Invasive Plant
Lake George dodged another bullet, thanks to the attentive Vessel Inspection Technicians at the Dunham’s Bay boat inspection site.
A vessel arriving at Lake George last month after boating in the Connecticut River was carrying hydrilla, one of the fastest growing invasive plants in the US – and one of the most difficult to control or eradicate once it becomes established.
The hydrilla was found during a regular inspection. As part of their inspection routine, technicians remove any plant or animal sample found during the inspection, and tag and store it to be identified by LGA Director of Education Kristen Wilde.
If need be, she confirms her findings with other environmental scientists at Darrin Fresh Water Institute and the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program.
“It truly was an unwelcome discovery,” said Kristen. “But it goes to show you how important the Mandatory Boat Inspection Program is at preventing the introduction of invasive plants – and why the LGA ran a voluntary boat inspection program before the Lake George Park Commission turned it into the mandatory one.”
In addition to the $30,000 that the Lake George Association pays each year as part of a large partnership of organizations to fund the mandatory program, Kristen spends part of her work time regularly reviewing and initially identifying the plant and animal samples removed by the Park Commission’s inspectors.
The partnership includes:
- Lake George Association
- Lake George Park Commission
- New York State Environmental Protection Fund
- Warren County
- Village of Lake George
- Town of Lake George
- Fund for Lake George
- Town of Bolton
- Town of Queensbury
“This catch once again raises the concern is that some boaters are not taking proper precautions with their own vessels,” said Walt Lender, LGA Executive Director. “They are not meeting the ‘Clean, Drained and Dry’ standard which is the best way boaters can prevent invasive introduction and spread.”
“The inspectors are the last line of defense for Lake George, performing critical protection throughout the boating season,” Walt said. “We are thankful for their attentiveness and appreciate all their hard work.”
Hydrilla verticillate is an aquatic plant from Asia, originally used as a popular aquarium plant. Hydrilla stems have a series of whorls of leaves (leaves growing around the stem in the same plane).
Each whorl has 4-8 blade-like leaves, 5 leaves being most common, with slightly toothed edges around stem.
Hydrilla can grow up to an inch a day, producing dense mats of vegetation. The mats formed by the plant can become several feet thick, shading out and displacing native plants that provide food and shelter to native wildlife.
For more information, please call (518) 668-3558 or see the wealth of information on our updated website at http://www.LakeGeorgeAssociation.org
The Lake George Association is the oldest and most experienced lake protection organization in the country, whose members support water quality protection, water quality monitoring, education and lake-friendly living programs that benefit the watershed from Lake George Village to Ticonderoga.
All the money raised by the Lake George Association goes to projects and programs that benefit the Lake and the watershed, protecting Lake George water quality now and in the future.