Boat inspections and decontaminations have concluded for the season in the Upper Saranac Lake (USL) watershed.
Despite being in the middle of a pandemic and without boater traffic from Canada, Watershed Stewards were busier than normal, representing an Adirondack Park-wide trend on both water and trails.
This season, stewards inspected just under 4,000 watercraft and educated 7,743 visitors, increasing awareness of the environmental hazards of aquatic invasive species (AIS) and how to prevent their spread. Thirteen confirmed invasive species were intercepted and a total of 192 decontaminations were performed. Boats found with AIS came from the St. Lawrence River, Lake Ontario, Lake Flower, Chateaugay Lake, and Song Lake (in Cortland County).
The Upper Saranac Watershed Stewardship Program includes stewardship coverage at two state Department of Environmental Conservation public boat launches: Upper Saranac Lake at Back Bay and Fish Creek Public Campground — an AIS decontamination unit is positioned at the Back Bay Launch.
The Upper Saranac Lake Watershed Stewardship Program is an integrated AIS spread prevention program seeking to reduce or prevent the spread of AIS from entering and departing the USL watershed. This is accomplished by inspecting individual watercraft and removing plant and animal materials, and indirectly by raising public awareness of AIS concerns. Stewards are responsible for performing thorough inspections of watercraft that enter and exit the watershed as well as decontaminating vessels and equipment that have the potential to spread AIS.
USF is pleased to be in partnership with the Adirondack Watershed Institute at Paul Smith’s College, and the DEC’s Adirondack Park-wide Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Program in these important AIS spread prevention efforts.