The 2018 Fish Creek Aquatic Invasive Species Management Report is now available on the Upper Saranac Foundations web page, . This project depicts the Upper Saranac Foundations investment for the protection of our watershed now and for future generations. The report outlines the work completed to combat aquatic invasive species (AIS) within the NYSDEC Fish Creek Campground.

Through Upper Saranac Foundation supporters, assistance from the Upper Saranac Lake Association and a grant from the NYSDEC, we have invested over $150,000 into the project to date. The intensive harvesting portion of the project will conclude in 2019 with the completion of the grant. The Upper Saranac Foundation will continue follow-up maintenance.

Highlights of the report include:

  1. From the beginning of the program 20.73 tons of AIS have been removed.
  2. Each year there are fewer signs of AIS infestations with significantly less milfoil harvested.
  3. A total of 1,400 diver hours have been put into this effort.
  4. Independent monitoring estimates there is over an 80% yearly reduction in plant density.
  5. Data from the Watershed Stewards indicates that Boats departing that launch have an 80% lower chance of carrying AIS.

The Upper Saranac Foundation took the initiative to expand our Milfoil harvesting project into the campground beginning in 2016. Prior to this project, Fish Creek was the largest contributing source of Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) for Upper Saranac Lake. While the Upper Saranac Foundation has had tremendous success diminishing AIS issues through management techniques on the main lake, AIS in the unmanaged campground was expanding and having a direct effect on USL through plant fragmentation. Milfoil has the ability to reproduce through fragmentation. A single segment of the plant floating from Fish Creek out into the main lake can take root and form a new colony.

The goal for the harvesting project is to:

  1. Reduce the threat of milfoil distribution from upstream fragmentation and spread from within the watershed.
  2. Reduce the likelihood of contaminated boats and trailers exiting from the Fish Creek Boat launch and contributing to the regional problem.

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. The USF is committed to the long-term success of maintaining the water quality of the Watershed.