NY lake mandates boat checks for invasive species

BOLTON LANDING, N.Y. (AP) — Boaters heading to the crystal-clear waters of New York’s Lake George this summer must make one last stop before launching — at inspection stations where vessels are checked for invasive species and decontaminated if any hitchhikers are found.

The popular Adirondack tourist destination is the first lake in the East to require inspections of every boat and trailer, following a similar program that began five years ago at Lake Tahoe in Nevada and California.

Boats are the most common carriers of aquatic invasive species such as Eurasian watermilfoil and zebra mussels. State and local governments around Lake George have spent more than $1.5 million the past two years to eradicate such species.

Mandatory boat inspections have become widespread in Western states, but most inspection programs in the East are voluntary.

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