L.L.Bean Albany Outing Group Message Board › Don't Pick Up Hitchhikers With Your Kayak
Aquatic invasive species pose a serious threat to the recreational and natural resources of lakes, ponds, rivers and streams.
Why are they a problem?
If anyone has tried to launch their kayak at the railroad station boat launch in Niskayuna knows.... the water chestnut (Not the edible plant of Chinese cuisine, this water chestnut is native to Europe and Asia and thrives in shallow, slow-moving water, growing and reproducing rapidly. It can quickly spread and take over a lake or stream) ... try paddling through those, or pulling your kayak through them.... what a chore. That is an example of an invasive species that is currently in our waterways.
Other types that you may see or hear about:
• EURASIAN WATERMILFOIL and CURLYLEAF PONDWEED grow in thick mats in near shore areas, altering the ecology and making recreation difficult.
• ZEBRA and QUAGGA MUSSELS attach to hard surfaces, causing damage to piers, docks, boats, and water intakes. They also upset natural food webs by consuming large quantities of phytoplankton that other species need to survive
• CLEAN kayaks with pressurized water, removing all dirt, plant, and animal material from your rudder, hull, cockpit, and fishing gear. . Cleaning solutions such as bleach, 409 degreaser, and vinegar can also be used to clean watercraft and effectively kill AIS; however, these solutions should never be used to clean watercraft on a beach or river bank where the solution could inadvertently enter the water body.
• DISPOSE of foreign matter above the waterline on dry land or in a trash can. Be aware of storm drains and gutters that may flow to streams, rivers, or lakes.
• DRAIN the water from your hatches, cockpits, boards, and gear on land before you leave the immediate area. Open all hatches or plugs, turn the boat upside down and rest on an open hatch to incline the watercraft and drain it.
• DRY your kayak before launching. Dry your watercraft and gear, and store them in a dry place where aquatic invaders cannot survive. Inspect your watercraft and gear for moisture before launching.
As paddlers it is our responsibility to make sure we do not spread invasive species from pond to lake to river while enjoying our wonderful sport.