24 May 2019: CLA To Conduct Courtesy Boat Inspections

HYDRILLA (Hydrilla verticillata)

With the State boat launch back in service, our concerns rightly turn to protecting Clary Lake from the chance introduction of invasive aquatic plant species. To that end, the Clary Lake Association is gearing up to start participating in Maine’s Courtesy Boat Inspection (CBI) program starting this summer, and we’re going to need volunteers! While there are various ways invasive plants can make it into lakes, by far the most common transport mechanism is on boats and trailers. Sadly, there are a number of lakes in the State with an invasive aquatic plant problem including several nearby lakes. The goal will be to have enough people lined up and trained so that the boat launch can be covered during the weekends to inspect boats and trailers before they they put in the lake, to make sure there are no invasive plants hitching a ride.

From the Midcoast Conservancy website:

What do courtesy boat inspectors do? The program is really an educational one. As boaters launch and remove their boats from the water, CBIs will discuss with boaters how invasive aquatic plants spread, show how to inspect boats and equipment for plant fragments, urge boaters to inspect before and after every launch, distribute information about invasive plants, and articulate Maine law regarding the transport of these plants.

The goal at a minimum will be to cover the boat launch on Saturdays and Sundays as those are the days that typically see the most boat traffic. Typically volunteers would sign up for 2 hour shifts, and inspections would continue through Labor Day. Midcoast Conservancy will be conducting a training session for volunteer inspectors later in June; as soon as we have the particulars for the time and place for the training we’ll post them here. If you’re interested in helping out with this important initiative, please contact the Secretary.

CBI program Courtesy Boat Inspections are just part of what is required to protect Clary Lake from unwanted aquatic plants. The other part is having an Invasive Plant Patrol (IPP) program in place. We are also working on plans to establish a resident IPP program. More about this soon.