INVASIVE SPECIES AND THE STONER LAKES

One of the main focuses of the Stoner Lakes Fish and Game Club/Lake Association is that of invasive species.  Invasive species damage the lands and waters that native plants and animals need to survive, hurt economies, and threaten human wellbeing.  The estimated damage from invasive species worldwide totals more than $1.4 trillion – five percent of the global economy.  Certain invasive species have made their way into the Adirondack Park including lakes close to us such as Caroga Lake and Peck's Lake.  The purpose of this particular page of our website is to provide basic education about some of the invasive species that threaten our lakes, and precautions that can be taken to ensure that the Stoner Lakes are not threatened.

One of the easiest ways that invasive species are spread from one waterway to another is by boat and I think this is where the Stoner Lakes could be the most at risk.  One particular invasive species that is very problematic, costly to harvest, and virtually impossible to eradicate is Eurasian Milfoil (EM).  Caroga Lake has a bad EM problem which has proven very costly and which lake residents have been fighting for over two decades.  A harvesting machine is necessary to combat this problem and an individual harvest can cost as much as $25,000 depending on how big the infestation is. This particular species, and others, can be spread easily by boat if your boat is not thoroughly cleaned and inspected between waters.  EM is just one invasive species which is of particular concern due to our proximity to Caroga Lake.  Another example is the Spiny Water Flea which has been located in Peck's Lake.

http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/Aquatic-invader-arrives-3754713.php

CLEAN YOUR BOAT AND GEAR!!!

You can stop the spread of invasive species by checking your equipment before leaving any body of water and inspecting every inch of your boat, trailer, kayak, canoe, and fishing gear. Make sure to remove and leave behind plants, mud, and aquatic life.  Clean your gear by remembering these important steps:

1. Check           
2. Drain       
3. Clean
4. or Dry

CHECK: Check all parts of your boat including your anchor and line, the lower unit of your boat motor, the hull, the trailer hitch, rollers, lights, and axle, life jackets, swimming floats, water skis, wakeboards, tubes, etc.  Fishermen should check shoes, boots, waders, clothing, fishing vests, rods, reels, lines, hooks, lures, and tackle boxes.  Any visible plants, fish or other aquatic animals, mud and/or dirt should be removed immediately if noticed during your check.

DRAIN: Drain water from all equipment before leaving the area you have just visited.  Some species can live for months in older water that has not been removed.  You should drain motors, jet drives, live wells, compartments, boat hulls, bilge pumps, bait buckets, etc.

CLEAN: Many invasive species can not be seen and are microscopic.  Therefore, it is important to clean your equipment even if it does not appear to have anything on it.  Once the water has been drained/removed, use hot 140° F water to clean your equipment.  Spray equipment with a high-pressure washer if available.  If hot water is not available, a commercial hot water car wash also makes an ideal location to wash your boat, motor, and trailer.

OR DRY:  Dry everything before entering new waters.  Allow your equipment to dry to the touch, and then allow it to dry another 48 hours.  Thick and dense material life jackets and felt soled wading gear will typically hold moisture longer and therefore can take longer to dry and be more difficult to clean.

It appears that most residents of the Stoner Lakes tend to launch their boats for the season and do not tend to go from lake to lake for recreational purposes.  However we need to keep in mind that it only takes one instance to spread an invasive species.  If we follow these general guidelines we should be in good shape.


                       

THE NEXT STEP: Lake inspectors tend to play a critical role in efforts to prevent the spread of invasive plants.  I think it would a good idea to have several different lake inspectors (maybe 1-2 for each lake and all tributaries) conduct inspections of our lakes during the summer months beginning in 2013.  If our inspectors encounter any plants that are believed to be an invasive species, then steps can be taken to confirm this with an expert.  It might be worthwhile to have a manual put together for the inspectors as well as other lake residents who tend to spend a lot of time on the water.  I will additionally continue to conduct research and post data to this page regarding some of the biggest local threats.


INVASIVE SPECIES INDEX:
Select each link for information about each species:

EURASIAN MILFOIL

       

HYDRILLA

       

DIDYMO (ROCK SNOT)

       

WATER CHESTNUT

       

ZEBRA MUSSEL

       

GIANT HOGWEED (TOXIC, DO NOT TOUCH THIS PLANT)

       

PLEASE CHECK BACK HERE PERIODICALLY FOR UPDATES!!!

FIREWOOD ALERT - "DON'T MOVE FIREWOOD"



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