Report: number of boats on the rise, invasive species on the decline in the Adirondacks for 2020

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Boat stewards are on the front line to prevent the spread of invasive species in Adirondack streams. Photo provided

While there were more boaters on Adirondack waterways last summer, the number of invasive species was on the decline. That’s according to the latest survey from the Adirondack Watershed Institute at Paul Smith’s College. The report shows that while six species of aquatic invasive species were found on boats in the Adirondacks, none were new to the area. In 2020, boat launch stewards reported a 25% increase in the number of boats and boaters compared to the previous three years. However, fewer invasive species were found on the boats than in previous years.

Dan Kelting, executive director of AWI, said the most common plant species found on boats and trailers is Eurasian water milfoil and the most common animal species is zebra mussel. He is “cautiously optimistic” that the number of invasive species will be down for this summer, as will the number of boaters so far. He says more and more boaters are agreeing to have their craft inspected by stewards, and that includes both motorized and non-motorized boats.

Kelting says most of AWI’s stewards are students returning to school later this month. Inspection posts will be open until the Columbus Day weekend and he invites anyone interested in helping as a steward during the fall to contact the Adirondack Watershed Institute through the website: adkwatershed.org


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