October 4, 2023
LAKE GEORGE — This year’s Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Monitoring Weekend, August 18–20, marked a resounding success: No new invasive species were found.
Now in its second year, the AIS Monitoring Weekend is a Lake-wide early detection program for aquatic invasive species, intended to build on the successful Lake George Boat Inspections run by the Lake George Park Commission and strengthen the efforts to protect Lake George native flora and fauna. The goal is two-fold: Identify any new invasives in Lake George and document new locations of known invasives in the Lake.
Volunteers of all ages, driven by their love for Lake George, gave their time for this crucial endeavor. This year, approximately 50% more people participated. “Folks had a lot of fun,” said Brea Arvidson, LGA Manager of Water Quality Research, who spearheaded the event. “We had families, swimmers, paddlers, boaters, vacationers — even pets and someone who floated around on a pool noodle looking for invasives.”
The volunteers documented roughly 100 new locations of known invasive species in the Lake. While the quantity mirrored last year’s findings, they covered more areas of the Lake, including the Narrows and parts of the northern basin.
Two known AIS that turned up this year that were not confirmed in 2022, were the Chinese mystery snail and the spiny water flea. Both were regrettable finds, especially the multiple blooms of spiny water flea, which can be fatal to fish and haven’t been spotted in such amounts in Lake George, Brea said. The Jefferson Project was notified and gathered samples for its continuing research on the Lake’s food web. Other existing invasive species found during the monitoring weekend were Eurasian watermilfoil, curly-leaf pondweed, and Asian clams.
Once the LGA verifies all the data collected by the volunteers, it will share it with the Lake George Park Commission, the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program, and the NY chapter of iMapInvasives, which will plot the findings.
For next year’s AIS Monitoring Weekend, Brea would like to recruit even more volunteers for full Lake coverage, especially in the Narrows. She and the team will also review feedback from this year’s volunteers to improve the process and tools used to monitor.