34 Saves So Far by Lake Hosts!

Lake host inspecting boat

34 Saves! That’s how many fragments of hitchhiking aquatic invasive species Lake Hosts have captured and removed from boats and trailers in New Hampshire so far this summer.

Through the New Hampshire Lakes Association Lake Host Program, 775 individuals trained as Lake Hosts are stationed at 105 of the most highly used boat ramps throughout the state. Lake Hosts conduct courtesy boat and trailer inspections and teach boaters how to help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species—like milfoil and Asian clams—from waterbody to waterbody.

Aquatic invasive species can be spread between waterbodies on boating, fishing, and recreational equipment that has not been properly cleaned, drained and dried. Once in a waterbody, they can cause serious problems. Not only do these species crowd out native plants and animals, they affect people by degrading boating, swimming, and fishing areas, and by reducing shoreline property values and tourism.

Using the “Clean, Drain, and Dry” approach, Lake Hosts encourage boaters to always take time to do the following before and after boating:

  • Clean off any plants, animals, mud, and other debris from your boat, trailer, and recreational gear.
  • Drain your boat (bilge, engine, and ballast tanks), trailer, and equipment away from the water.
  • Dry anything that came in contact with the water. At least five days of drying time is best.
clean, drain, and dry sticker

Since early June, Lake Hosts have removed aquatic invasive species attached to boats and trailers that had just left or were about to enter the following waterbodies: Lake Sunapee, Lake Winnipesaukee, Little Lake Sunapee, Merrymeeting Lake, Newfound Lake, Otternic Pond, Pawtuckaway Lake, and Pow Wow Pond. To find out which aquatic invasive species were caught, go to www.nhlakes.org.

“Our Lake Hosts will inspect approximately 80,000 boats and trailers this summer” predicts Andrea LaMoreaux, NH LAKES Vice- President. “But, our Lake Hosts aren’t at every ramp. We thank all boaters for always taking the time to clean, drain, and dry their boat, trailer and gear before and after boating, even when a Lake Host isn’t there at the ramp to help.”

Summer 2015 marks the 14th season of this nationally-recognized aquatic invasive species education and prevention program. Between 2002 and 2014, Lake Hosts conducted 664,579 courtesy boat inspections and made 1,467 aquatic invasive species saves. NH LAKES provides local groups—including lake associations and conservation commissions—with payroll awards through which approximately 275 seasonal employees are hired each summer to work as Lake Hosts at local boat ramps. Local groups provide nearly 500 additional volunteer Lake Hosts. The Lake Host Program is funded by a grant from the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, private foundations, and local groups.

The New Hampshire Lakes Association (NH LAKES) is a statewide 501(c)(3) member-supported nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting New Hampshire lakes and their watersheds. For more information, visit www.nhlakes.org, email info@nhlakes.org, or call (603) 226-0299.

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