LGPC Approves Final GEIS for Mandatory Inspection Program

LGPC November meetingThis morning at the November monthly meeting of the Lake George Park Commission (LGPC) the Commissioners unanimously voted to approve the Final Generic Environmental Impact Statement (GEIS)/ Lake George AIS Prevention Plan.

The next step is to approve the actual Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Regulations. This item was on the agenda for the meeting, but due to some last minute fine-tuning still being done on the legal wording of the regulations, the regulations were not ready for the meeting. A special meeting has been called for next Tuesday for the Commissioners to vote on approval of the regulations. After the regulations are approved there will be another short public comment period before they are finalized in the State Register.

The LGPC reassured the public that they are still on track to have the program in place for the 2014 boating season.

Responses to Public Comments on Draft Mandatory Boat Inspection Regulation

The Lake George Park Commission has posted the Responses to Public Comments from comments made at both public hearings and also written comments received by the Commission in reference to the Draft Regulations, Title 6, NYCRR 646-8, Lake George Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention.

The public comment period was open from August 21 – October 18, 2013.  A copy of the PowerPoint presentation given at both public hearings on October 10th as well as video recordings of the hearings are also available online on the Commission’s website.

Anglers plead guilty and pay fines for AIS tickets on Lake George

Two bass fishing tournament anglers cited for bringing invasive species into Lake George on their boats over the summer pleaded guilty last week in Ticonderoga Town Court.

Ticonderoga justice James O’Bryan imposed fines of $100 for each of three infractions by tournament fishermen for introducing invasive species into the waters of Lake George.  The tickets were issued at Mossy Point by the Lake George Park Commission’s Marine Patrol officers in August of 2013.  A bench trial was scheduled for October 23, but the two parties to whom the tickets were issued each plead guilty in an agreement arranged earlier.  The two guilty parties admitted that they had been negligent and agreed to pay fines of $100 per infraction.  Justice O’Bryan pointed out that invasive species are a serious threat to Lake George and all the waters of New York State.  He emphasized that traveling boaters need to ensure that their boats are clean drained and dry and suggested that these tournament fishermen spread the word among their colleagues.

Lake George Association Executive Director, Walt Lender, who was in attendance at the court, commented that the Judge’s remarks were well stated and helpful to the effort to protect Lake George from invasive species.  “We’re pleased to see that the court is fully aware of the issues and supportive of the efforts to protect the Lake,” Lender added.  “It was a welcomed outcome.”

Clean, Drain, Dry for Paddlers

While motor boats might be the main focus of efforts to protect Lake George from new AIS, non-motorized boats have not been totally forgotten about – and paddlers should also practice clean, drain, and dry as well.

Check out this great video produced by the Northern Forest Canoe Trail instructing paddlers how to Clean, Drain and Dry their canoe or kayak.

Boaters ticketed for AIS

Two boaters were ticketed for milfoil and water chestnut found on their trailers at a fishing tournament held at Mossy Point State Boat Launch on Sunday August 4th.  Laws against bringing in invasive species have been on the books for years, but authorities until now have given warnings rather than tickets. The two anglers who were given a total of three tickets could face up to $1,250 in combined fines.

  • Read the Times Union article here.
  • Read the Post Star article here.

LGPC Votes to Create Mandatory Boat Washing and Inspection Program

With a unanimous vote, the Lake George Park Commission (LGPC) passed a resolution yesterday on July 23 that sets it firmly down the path of mandatory inspections for all trailered boats launching in Lake George. This is another important milestone along the road to protecting Lake George from aquatic invasive species. The resolution enables the Commission to develop regulations that would require all boats and trailers to be inspected by certified Park Commission inspectors, and if the boat fails inspection, it would need to be decontaminated at a Park Commission wash station.]

See the draft regulations here.

Read more about the LGPC vote online:

Essex County passes AIS transport law

Essex County enacted an invasive species transport law for Lake George at its regular monthly board of supervisors meeting on Monday July 1, 2013.  The law takes effect immediately.  The law applies only to the portion of the Lake George basin that lies within Essex County.

The new law pertains only to Lake George and no other water bodies within the county. Essex County Attorney Dan Manning says a united effort to prohibit invasive species in Lake George is prudent.

Read a WAMC article about the new law here.

Draft AIS Plan Public hearings complete

Public hearings to receive public comments on the Draft Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Plan are now complete. The first hearing was held May 21 at Fort William Henry Conference Center in Lake George and the second hearing was held June 12 at the Best Western in Ticonderoga. Thank you to everyone who participated in the process. The public comment period runs until June 25. Written comments can be submitted to the LGPC until that date.

To see a copy of the ppt presentation from the meetings, click here.