RANGELEY – The Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust is conducting free boat inspections at public boat docks in the Rangeley Lakes area for its 19th year. Since the program began, inspectors have advised over 23,000 boaters and visitors to the area about the larger bodies of water: Cupsuptic, Mooselookmeguntic, Richardson and Rangeley Lakes since the program began.
“Last season, Courtesy Boat Inspectors found 46 plants on boats in our area, which was a record for us,” said Amanda Laliberte, Program Director at RLHT. “Fortunately, none of them were invasive. Check your boat and equipment before and after launching to make sure it is free of plants and other debris and does not hold water, which makes all the difference in keeping our lakes healthy. “
The lakes and ponds of the Rangeley region are a valuable economic resource as well as an incredible natural resource. Invasive plants can be devastating to a body of water and the local economy. A tiny fragment or single seed carried on a boat trailer or fishing tackle can trigger an infestation. Invasive water species are self-sustaining and can double in size within a year, often displacing useful native plants. They have no natural predators and, left alone, can fill the coasts with mats of thick fronds, making lakes unsuitable for recreation.
Maritime associations and shore owners are encouraged to contact RLHT to learn more about preventing water intruders by emailing [email protected]