The Upper Saranac Foundation (USF) has received funding from the Cloudsplitter Foundation for the purchase of aquatic invasive species (AIS) containment booms.

The 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.

“While USF management efforts within the campground have been very successful, there is concern of continued AIS introductions coming from the upstream tributary,” said Lake Manager Guy Middleton. “These introductions threaten the long term sustainability of our management efforts. The Fish Creek tributary above the campground boat launch is heavily infested with both Eurasian and Variable-leaf milfoil.”

The series of 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 seasonally placed booms were installed in June and are maintained by USF. On average, 400 pounds of milfoil are caught and removed from the booms weekly. With milfoil propagating through fragmentation, each plant stopped by the booms is potentially one less infestation downstream in the watershed.

“Through USF supporters and a grant from the state Department of Environmental Conservation, we have invested over $150,000 into invasive management within the campground,” Middleton added. “The intensive harvesting portion of the project will conclude in the fall of 2019 with the completion of the grant. The Foundation will continue follow-up maintenance.”

Knowing the potential outcome with unmanaged AIS, its impact, and the potential to spread, USF is confident that continued AIS management is not only practical but a necessary investment. These booms reduce AIS establishment downstream and help prevent AIS spread to regional waters. The containment boom project is part of a larger watershed protection program, recently developed by USF, that uses a combination of AIS prevention, monitoring, control activities, and education to inhibit AIS spread.