We are very lucky here at the lake. Loon Lake, our lake, is invasive free. The water quality is pristine. At this time of year, it is typical to see down about 10 to 15 feet. So far, we have avoided introducing any invasive species to the lake. So far.
To preserve Loon Lake, we must remain vigilant. Many of the residents I have talked to have noted a recent incursion of strange boats this Summer, and generally an increase in boat traffic. We aren’t Lake George or Lake Placid, but there has been a definite increase in traffic.
Where are these boats coming from, and how do they access the lake? Introducing boats from other waterways is the primary method of transmitting invasive species, and puts Loon Lake at risk.
We have gated access to the lake. Only waterfront owners and those with deeded rights to access are entitled to access. The boat launch site is padlocked, and numbered keys that cannot be duplicated have been assigned to our residents.
Controlling access, and making sure any boat, kayak, or canoe entering the lake is invasive free is the key to maintaining the water quality of Loon Lake. Scrubbing down hulls and trailers entering the water with a bleach solution is key.
I just had my Whaler down on the Hudson River for five weeks. I kept it on the water, in a slip at a marina. Two days before returning it to the lake, we pulled it from the water. Paula spent a couple of hours power washing, bleaching, and cleaning the boat and trailer. On my way north, I took it through the free boat wash station at the Glens Falls rest area on the Northway.
Some say the influx in boats is associated with the Summer weekly rental cabins on the Lake. When I used to rent my camp, I did not allow people to bring boats, canoes or kayaks. We supplied all sorts of watercraft for their use. That is the best practice.
The key is to educate everyone including those who rent their camps about the need to limit boat access, or to insure that any boat entering the lake has been appropriately cleaned. This included boats of friends who are just visiting for a few days.
It may also make sense to have a steward at the launch site during prime launch times. This would be Saturday afternoons and Sunday mornings, in July and August.
Education and voluntary compliance are the keys to success. Those with waterfront or deeded rights have the unrestricted right to use the boat launch site without limitation.