The Upper Saranac Foundation’s Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) harvesting project is underway in Fish Creek Campground.

This is the fourth year of the program. This project reduces the spread of AIS and improves the water quality by removing Eurasian watermilfoil and Variable-leaf milfoil, two AIS found in the water bodies of the state Department of Environmental Conservation Fish Creek Campground. Divers remove the aquatic plants by manually hand harvesting each plant and root system. In the three years of the project, over 20 tons of AIS have been removed. Divers this year will be working into the beginning of October.

The intent of the Fish Creek Management Project is to preventing AIS from infesting downstream and throughout regional waters. Each year, USF has yielded less Milfoil with fewer signs of infestations. The Fish Creek Project is following a similar trend as to the accomplishments seen on USL where 18 tons was initially removed. This year less than 300 lbs. of AIS have been found on USL.

The Fish Creek Aquatic Invasive Species Management Project (FCAISMP) is part of a larger watershed protection program, recently developed by the USF, that uses a combination of AIS prevention, monitoring, control activities, and education to inhibit AIS spread.

Funding of this project is supported through donations to USF and a matching grant from the DEC. This fall will conclude the initial intensive harvesting portion of the project, as well as the grant funding from DEC. The Foundation will continue ongoing maintenance to prevent any significant recurrence of the plants.

Aquatic Invasive Species pose a significant threat to the Adirondack environment and economy. For more than a decade, USF has worked to address invasive species on Upper Saranac Lake (USL) through coordination, prevention, education, detection, and management initiatives. USF has had unprecedented success in managing AIS and could arguably be considered the leader in AIS management techniques.

For a full understanding of the project, visit the Upper Saranac Foundation’s web page at https://usfoundation.net/programs/fish-creek-ais-management-project/.