Report: Nearly 90% of boats bypass Northway inspection station

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Indian Lake in the Adirondacks of New York. (AP Photo/Mary Esch)

QUEENSBURY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The Adirondack Council said Wednesday that 89% of boats drove past the Northway inspection station over Memorial Day weekend. They had boat counters stationed near the inspection station to see how many people are potentially transporting invasive species into the Adirondacks.

It is illegal to bring invasive plants, fish or wildlife from one water body to another in New York. The Council says the best way to avoid bringing those species in is to have your boat inspected and cleaned by trained professionals.

The inspections stations are located around the Adirondack Park and are free to use. Currently, boat owners are not required to stop at a station by law. The Adirondack Council says better protection is needed.

The boat counters also say that some people stopped at the Adirondack Welcome Center, where the inspection station is located, used the facility and drove around the inspection station as they left.

Adirondack Council Executive Director William Janeway said he would like to launch a comprehensive motorboat inspection program, requiring boaters who want to launch in the Adirondack Park to get their boats inspected first, and if needed, have them cleaned of invasive species.

Janeway said under a comprehensive program, roadside inspections would conclude with a wire seal being placed between the boat and trailer.  The seals would allow rangers, other state officials and owners of private launches to conduct spot-inspections to encourage compliance.

Right now Loon Lake and Lake George require anyone launching a boat to first have it inspected. They are the only lakes in the Adirondacks with that requirement.

Officials at the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program say 25 new invasive species infestations have been recorded in the park in the past five years

The Adirondack Council’s Memorial Day Weekend count of Northway Boat Inspection Station traffic included:

Saturday May 23 – Station Open (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.)

  • Passed without stopping – 174
  • Pulled into rest area, but not inspection station – 4
  • Pulled into inspection area – 20

Sunday May 24- Station Open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

  • Passed without stopping – 95
  • Pulled into rest area, but not inspection station – 1
  • Pulled into inspection area – 9

Saturday and Sunday Station Open Total (303 total/15 hours- 20.2 boats per hour)

  • Passed without stopping – 269 (89%)
  • Pulled into rest area – 5 (2%)
  • Pulled into inspection area – 29 (9%)

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