PAUL SMITHS — Paul Smith’s College is taking part in a pilot program this summer with the East Shore Schroon Lake Association to curb the spread of aquatic invasive species.
The effort is evaluating the effectiveness of flushing a boat’s water-holding compartments of remnant water to prevent the spread of zebra-mussel larvae and other microscopic aquatic invasive species.
“Boats that are not properly drained and dried prior to use are a major risk for spreading various AIS from water body to water body,” State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens said in a press release.
“This pilot program will evaluate the practicality and boater acceptance of flushing these water holding compartments prior to launching.”
FLUSH THE BILGE
New regulations require that boats be drained of water and that the boat, trailer and associated equipment be cleaned of all visible plant and animal material before launching from or leaving DEC land where vessels can head into the water.
As part of the pilot program, boat-launch stewards at DEC boat launches on Cranberry Lake, Second Pond, Great Sacandaga Lake and Schroon Lake are asking boaters to flush the bilge, livewells and baitwells if they contain remnant water from a prior boating trip, the release said.
Boats whose hulls are infested with zebra mussels will be directed to a boat-cleaning facility or marine repair shop that provides the service.
The stewards will also evaluate various kinds of spray equipment that can be used at boat launches that don’t have electric and water service.
GOAL IS SIMPLICITY
They will also assess the receptivity of boaters to the program.
“Our ultimate goal is to develop a simple and effective methodology that boaters can follow that provides the desired protection from the spread of AIS but at the same time does not unduly burden boaters or overly restrict boating,” Martens said in the release.