Lakes association to seek fines for boaters with invasive species
By DAN SEUFERT
Union Leader Correspondent | November 22. 2015 10:03PM
Lake Host Janet Roswell of Meredith examines weeds collected from Meredith's Hesky Park Boat Ramp on Lake Winnipesaukee. (COURTESY)
“It’s not just variable milfoil and a few other nasty plants that we are concerned about, but also animals like zebra mussels, the spiny water flea, and Asian clams,” O’Brien said.
Invasive species are generally spread to water bodies by boaters who bring boats to the Granite State after using them in infected lakes, rivers and ponds elsewhere. The state has had rules requiring boaters to clean the outside of their boats and trailers of any plant, plant part, or animal and to drain their boats upon leaving the water — the so-called “clean, drain, and dry” method.
New Hampshire law RSA 487:16-b pertains to boaters who “knowingly, recklessly, or purposely” introduce an invasive plant. Under new language suggested by the association, such an act will be punishable by a fine of $50 for a first offense and $250 for any subsequent offense.
The state had 775 people — two-thirds of them volunteers — in its Lake Host program, in which lake hosts inspect boats with the help of boat owners as they come and go on state water bodies. But lake hosts only cover about 100 of the state’s more than 800 lakes, he said.