What's This Clean, Drain and Dry Program for Beautiful Lake George?

ProtectLakeGeorgeButtonIt’s always something! A couple of years ago, “Clean, Drain and Dry” was just something people talked about – since May 15, 2014, it is a fact of life and a mandatory boat inspection program on Lake George. So, what’s it all about? Invasive species, and aquatic hitch hikers – they sound a little like a science fiction movie plot, I know. But for a pristine waterway like Lake George, keeping the lake safe from invasive species is a top priority – once a species gets imbedded in the lake, eradicating the problem is extremely difficult. This is really a case proving the old adage, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” To date, over $7 million dollars have been spent working to control and eradicate aquatic invasive species (AIS), and that amount is likely to continue in the future. Aquatic invasive species are “non-native plants and animals that threaten native plants, wildlife and their habitats.” Because of a lack of natural predators and an extremely high reproductive ability (one Asian Clam can release hundreds of juveniles per day, and no predator is eating them), invasive species can quickly overrun the native species, threatening the quality of the lake environment, fishing and boating. You can’t always see the culprits, either – newly hatched Asian Clams can fit in a few drops of water. Once released into the lake they WILL survive, and thrive, and reproduce like crazy. Go to the Lake George Association video on You Tube (www.youtube.com/watch?v=CjnSpm6v7WM) for a three minute overview of the importance of the Clean Drain and Dry program, and some of the “how-to’s” At this time, Lake George has five known invasive species: the Eurasian Watermilfoil, Curly-leaf Pondweed, Zebra Mussels, Asian clam and the Spiny Water Flea. Surrounding waterways have many more, and there are always new ones coming in. And these invasives can hide in the weeds, grass and mud that get caught on your boat, trailer, propeller, anchor, trailer hitch, axles, ropes, rollers and license plate holder. Dispose of any plants in proper waste containers – don’t take them home, or anywhere else – leave them where you found them. Drain all water from the boat, bilge, bladder tanks, live well and bait containers. How does the Clean, Drain and Dry program work? 1. Make sure your boat is cleaned, drained and dry before you arrive at Lake George. Five days of drying time is recommended in the summer. Or you can have your boat and trailer decontaminated with a high pressure hot water process if you want to use them sooner. 2. Before you Launch, make sure you have a Lake George Park Commission boat registration sticker. You can register on-line through www.lgpc.state.ny.us, by mail or in person at the LGPC office, or in person at one of the 40 vendors around the lake. 3. Before going to your favorite launch site, visit one of the six regional Inspection Stations (www.LGBoatInspections.com) 4. Get your boat inspected, and if necessary, decontaminated (washed with high pressure hot water). There is no cost for the inspection and decontamination. Lake George is known as the “Queen of American Lakes”, and as one of the clearest large lakes in the world, is considered by some to be the sixth “Great Lake” and is one of the foremost national treasures in the United States – a recreational destination of millions of annual visitors. Anything we have requires maintenance – in the case of a natural treasure, all who come to visit become a part of caring for it, and keeping it in good order  – let’s keep our beautiful lake healthy, clean and clear for future generations to enjoy. What is your favorite thing to do to help preserve our beautiful lake? What do you like best when you visit a “national treasure”? Do you notice how clean and well-kept it is? (Or, not, as the case may be?) Do you think we are all responsible to help maintain and preserve our natural treasures? Penelope Jewelllakeboat-logo-with-thicker-text]]>