Stopping spread of invasive species in lakes

NH LAKES hosts and boaters work together to prevent the spread of invasive species from waterbody to waterbody.

A nonprofit’s nearly 800 volunteers are teaching boaters at 100 of the busiest boat ramps throughout the state how to clean their boats to prevent the spread of invasive species.

The primary way species such as milfoil spread is on boats that have not been thoroughly cleaned, drained and dried after being in the water, according to NH LAKES.

“Approximately 90 New Hampshire waterbodies contain infestations of invasive species that can clog boat motors and propellers, making boating unpleasant and difficult,” NH LAKES President Andrea LaMoreaux said in a news release.

“Invasive species can make swimming dangerous and are difficult and expensive to manage. And, they are nearly impossible to get rid of once firmly established in a waterbody.

This is the 20th year for the organization’s Lake Host Program, which LaMoreaux credits with slowing the rate of spread of invasive plants from lake to lake in New Hampshire.

“If you know a lake host, or see a lake host this summer during your travels, please take a moment to thank them,” she said.

Boaters are asked to follow these steps after taking their boat out of the water:

Clean off all mud, plants, animals, and debris from the boat, trailer, and gear. Clean off anchors and anchor lines, water intake grates on jet-powered craft, kayak and canoe cockpits, storage compartments, and paddles, too. Dispose of all material away from the lake where it won’t wash back into the water. Cleaning is the law in New Hampshire.

Drain the motor, bilge, live wells, ballast tanks, storage compartments, and gear. Blow out water in jet-powered craft and tip paddle craft and motors to let out water. Drain all equipment in an area where the water won’t flow back into the lake. Open/remove drain plugs and keep out/open while trailering. Draining is the law in New Hampshire.

If possible, wait at least five days before launching into the lake again. If you don’t have five days, dry off everything that came in contact with the water — a towel will work.

For more information, visit nhlakes.org, email info@nhlakes.org, or call 603-226-0299.

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