Aquatic invasive species (AIS) containment booms, placed just upstream of the Fish Creek Campground boat launch, catch fragmented invasive plants that are floating downstream, preventing their introduction into invasive managed areas within the campground and further downstream into Upper Saranac Lake (USL). This season, over 3,000 pounds of invasive fragments were removed from the booms by the Upper Saranac Foundation (USF).
USF received funding from the Cloudsplitter Foundation for the purchase of the booms. A grant from Parks and Trails New York supports USF’s maintenance and AIS removal from the booms.
With milfoil propagating through fragmentation, each plant stopped by the booms is potentially one less infestation downstream in the watershed. Since the initiation of USF’s management of AIS in Fish Creek Campground — hand harvesting and boom collection — nearly 30 tons of milfoil has been removed from the campground and its tributary.
There are continued indications that USF’s management efforts are effective:
- Less milfoil found downstream toward Upper Saranac Lake
- Positive experiences relative to the reduction of nuisance aquatic vegetation for campers
- The decrease of boats found with AIS coming out of the water
Watershed Stewards stationed at the campground boat launch inspecting boats have found an 85% reduction in AIS on watercraft being retrieved from the launch.
“The booms provide a needed advantage to our AIS harvesting efforts within the campground,” said USF Lake Manager Guy Middleton. “Without the booms, we would struggle to stay ahead of new plant introductions originating from the upstream tributary — the Fish Creek tributary above the campground boat launch is heavily infested with both Eurasian and Variable-leaf milfoil.”
USF will reinstall the seasonal booms in the spring, immediately after ice-out. The series of three alternating booms extend from shore to just past the center of the channel. The booms allow non-motorized watercraft traffic to pass while plant fragments are stopped on the upstream side of each boom.
The containment boom project is part of a larger watershed protection program, developed by USF, that uses a combination of AIS prevention, monitoring, control activities, and education to inhibit AIS spread.