Outdoors in Whitehall with Gene Terry: Wash stations pose problems for boaters

A ttended a meeting last week in Warren County on invasive species in Lake George and what is projected that is to be done about it. In short, this is going to be a nightmare for everyone who wants to go boating, fishing, canoeing, etc., on the lake.

When all this is finalized, they project a minimum of three years before they get all the bugs out. If you own a place on Lake George where you put it in just once and take it out in the fall, these will be the only ones who can afford to use Lake George.

According to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Lake George Park Commission, there will only be approximately four or five places where you will be able to launch your boat, after it has been completely washed with 140 degree-plus hot water and then dried to go into Lake George.

These stations will be not near the lake (one is scheduled for Route 149 in a sand pit) and each will cost in the neighborhood from $35,000 to $40,000 apiece. Guess who is going to pay them, yup, you and me.

These stations will only be manned certain hours. Can you imagine what kind of mess this will be with the over the 100 bass tournaments that are held each year on Lake George? This will close down every private launch on Lake George except for the ones with the wash stations.

If for instance, if you get a permit to go camping on Agnes Island near Huletts Landing, you have to take your boat down to a station on Route 149, get it washed, then you can only put it in at one of the four places that are open on Lake George. Huletts Landing will not be one of them.

This invasive species is so small that the point of a pencil is about the right size. Wonder who is going to tell the ducks, blue herons and cormorants who just flew in from Lake Champlain that they can’t land in Lake George any more because they’re carrying invasive species.

There were so many questions at this meeting and to be truthful, many were answered with the “I don’t have an answer for you” remark.

The cost to the boaters will go by the length of your boat. Oh, yeah, you’re going to pay for this each and every time you put your boat in Lake George. Most suggested the minimum will be from $35 to $40. Again it’s the length of your boat, trailer and motor.

They feel until they get this down pat, there asking every one to wash their boats before you put them in Lake George. After this is final, the fine will be $5,000 and/or 15 days in jail for anyone in a boat on Lake George with no sticker on it showing they went through a wash station. Wonderful! Not only that, they feel that this in a few years might go throughout the state, that no matter where you’re going boating, it will be mandatory in every body of water.

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