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Two Decades of Courtesy Boat Inspections

For the 20th year, Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust is conducting courtesy boat inspections at public boat launches in the Rangeley Lakes region. Since its inception, Inspectors have educated over 25,000 boaters and visitors to the Region on the larger bodies of water: Cupsuptic, Mooselookmeguntic, Richardson, and Rangeley Lakes since the program began. This year, 2,391 inspections occurred between May and September.

“This season, Courtesy Boat Inspectors found 59 plants on boats in our region which was a record for us,” said Lucinda Wigfield, Headwaters Lake Protection Program coordinator at RLHT. “Thankfully none were invasive, but it is alarming how many plants were found. Always check your boat and gear before and after launching, especially if you are leaving a waterbody with a known invasive plant infestation.”

 

The Rangeley Region lakes and ponds are a precious economic resource as well as an incredible natural resource. Invasive plants can be devastating to a waterbody and local economy. A tiny fragment or a single seed carried on a boat trailer or fishing gear can start an infestation. Invasive aquatic species are self-sustaining and can double in size within a single year, often outcompeting beneficial native plants. They have no natural predators and, left alone, can fill in shorelines with mats of thick fronds, making lakes unsuitable for recreation.

 

Lake associations and shorefront owners are encouraged to connect with RLHT to learn more about preventing aquatic invaders through our Headwaters Lake Protection Program, which is part of our Community Conservation Corps. Reach out by emailing headwaters@rlht.org.

 

 

Lucinda Wigfield at Haines Landing on Mooselookmeguntic Lake.
Native Milfoil
Native Milfoil collected by CBI's and under the microscope at RLHT.
Wetland invader Purple Loosestrife was documented along Route 16. Confirmed by RLHT.

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