CONCORD — Thanks to the efforts of NH LAKES’ Lake Hosts, many of New Hampshire’s most popular lakes continue to be protected from the spread of invasive species this summer. Since late-May, at least twelve invasive species specimen ‘saves’ have been made by courtesy boat inspectors at lakes throughout the state. The main way invasive species—plants like milfoil, and animals like the Asian clam—spread from waterbody to waterbody, is by hitching rides on boats that have not been properly cleaned, drained, and dried between waterbodies.
Invasive species not only degrade the health of lakes, they can make wading, swimming, and boating unpleasant, and even dangerous. Invasive species infestations are also difficult and expensive to control, and are nearly impossible to get rid of once they are well-established in a lake.
“One of the very first saves this summer, was very special,” commented Andrea LaMoreaux, NH LAKES Vice President. “In late-June, a long-time Lake Host at the public boat ramp on Crescent Lake in Acworth noticed and removed a large mass of weeds hanging from the trailer of a boat that was about to be launched into the lake. Turns out, the ‘weeds’ were actually variable milfoil—an invasive plant that can cause serious problems.”
“But, what makes this save so special,” continued LaMoreaux, “is that the Lake Host made this ‘save’ on his birthday—he spent his birthday working to help keep the lake he loves clean!”
Since 2002, thousands of individuals trained by NH LAKES as Lake Hosts have helped stop the spread of invasive species by teaching boaters to always clean, drain, and dry their boat, trailer, and gear between waterbodies. During the program’s 19-year history, Lake Hosts have inspected over 1.2 million boats and have found and removed nearly 1,600 specimens of invasive species that were hitchhiking on a boat or trailer that was about to enter or had just been taken out of a lake.
To see when and where Lake Hosts have made ‘saves’ of invasive species this summer, visit nhlakes.org/lake-host.