The 2018 Upper Saranac Lake Watershed Stewardship Program Report is now available on the Upper Saranac Foundation web page. : https://usfoundation.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Final-report-Jan-2019-for-web-Revised-3.4.19.pdf
The Upper Saranac Lake Watershed Stewardship Program is an integrated Aquatic Invasive Species (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. This report summarizes data collected by Adirondack Watershed Institute, Watershed Stewards for the Upper Saranac Lake watershed.
Highlights of the report include:
- The Upper Saranac Watershed Stewardship Program includes stewardship coverage at two 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.
- Stewards inspected 3,603 watercraft for AIS and educated 6,225 visitors about AIS ecology and spread prevention measures.
- Stewards intercepted 32 watercraft carrying AIS, that were either launching or being taken out.
- Data from the stewards indicates that boats being retrieved from the Fish Creek Campground had an 80 percent lower chance of carrying AIS than in 2017. This is attributed to the Fish Creek AIS Management Project: https://usfoundation.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/The-Fish-Creek-Aquatic-Invasive-Species-Management-Project-2018-Report.pdf
- The location of previously visited waterways varied significantly by location. Watercraft entering Upper Saranac Lake were often return traffic and more local, where Fish Creek attracted boats from further distances. Between the two launches, visitors cited a total of over 130 different water bodies as previously visited, indicating that the USL watershed is vulnerable to AIS invasion from a diverse number of water bodies.
- The decontamination station was in operation 126 days. A total of 458 decontaminations were performed. The Upper Saranac Lake station performed the most decontaminations and the highest average number of decontaminations per day for the entire Adirondack Watershed Institute Stewardship Program.
The Watershed Stewardship Program 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.