Freedom—December 3, 2015—The N.H. Lakes Association (NHLA) is seeking legislation to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species by requiring boaters to clean and drain their vessel and trailer before entering a body of water, and again when leaving it. With the support of Sullivan County State Representative Suzanne Gottling the organization has submitted a legislative service request that it hopes will become a bill to be taken up in the 2016 legislative session.
Volunteer initiatives such as Ossipee Lake’s Lake Host Program have long encouraged boaters to remove vegetation from boats and trailers to prevent the spread of variable milfoil from one lake to another. The proposed legislation would require such cleaning.
Plus it would require draining. In a news release, NHLA says the larval form of invasive animals like Asian clams and zebra mussels are invisible to the naked eye and can remain viable for days in standing water. The proposed legislation would require boaters to drain all invasive hiding places, such as bilges and bait wells.
Ossipee Lake has a variable milfoil challenge but has escaped the scourge of other invasives that are in close range. Zebra mussels are resident in Massachusetts and Vermont, and Asian clams are an issue in Lake George and southern New Hampshire.
Just a short drive from Ossipee Lake, the town of Limerick, Maine has a pond containing the nightmare weed hydrilla, the most destructive invasive of all.
The provisions of the proposed legislation are designed to be inserted into NH RSA 487: Control of Marine Pollution and Aquatic Growth.
More information on the proposed law may be found on the NHLA website.
Would this be only public launch areas ?
If passed, the law would apply to all boat launch areas statewide. To date, the Lake Host Program has mostly been active at public boat launches and is expanding as funding and volunteers increase. Marine Patrol would enforce the proposed law at all boat launches.