Regular readers of Schroon Laker will be familiar with our love of all things associated with Schroon and Paradox Lakes and nearby rivers.
Leading the charge to keep our bodies of water clean and free from invasive species takes an army. Three associations lead the charge: the Schroon Lake Association, (SLA) the Paradox Lake Association and last, but certainly not least, The East Shore Schroon Lake Association (ESSLA).
Without vigilance, invasive species have the potential to strangle the living daylights out of lakes, making them unusable. (For the uninitiated, SLA is based in Essex County and ESSLA is based in North Warren County. The two associations collectively share responsibility fighting invasive species on Schroon Lake.)
Our mantra has always been that healthy lakes and rivers will not only contribute to our collective continued enjoyment of what we do in and on those water bodies -- fishing, swimming, boating, wake boarding, to name a few -- but insure the economic success of businesses in our surrounding towns.
Those businesses include marinas, fishing supply stores, holiday rentals, B&Bs, gas stations and the dozens of area bars and restaurants and other assorted stores that cater to locals and visitors. The success of those business will continue to provide incomes for their owners and jobs for locals. And pristine bodies of water will always be a lure for families to move here and hopefully woo entrepreneurs to set up shop.
Recently, all associations have worked together managing the invasive populations. Those programs have volunteers to spot and report invasive outbreaks, take water samples, provide lake stewards at our boat launches to inspect watercraft, as well as paid professionals to harvest what is Public Enemy Number 1: Eurasian Milfoil.
But in 2015, thanks to the efforts of dozens of folks, a major weapon was added to the arsenal to fight invasive species: The Steward Boat and Decontamination Program. The genesis of the program began in in 2010, when ESSLA partnered with the Town of Horicon to place a paid Steward at the DEC Horicon boat launch at the southern end of Schroon Lake. (The Schroon Lake and Paradox Lake Associations have similar programs).
For ESSLA, over the years, the program grew to having four stewards at the Horicon launch on a rotating basis, with coverage seven days a week throughout the summer season.
This year ESSLA was also able to add a Boat Decontamination Station to aid in their effort of preventing the introduction and spread of invasive species. In July the station was operational seven days a week, thanks to the dozen of individuals and other entities, from both North Warren and Essex Counties. You can read all about these efforts in the latest report from the East Shore Schroon Lake Association, “Final Report: 2015 Steward Boat and Decontamination Program”.