Courtesy Boat Inspection Program 2018 By Pam Wilkinson
Once again Jim and Jackie Fitzgerald took the mandatory training to keep abreast of changes to the program. They politely ask to check boats and gear for any type of milfoil fragments that may be coming into or out of our lake. This creates an awareness of all who use the lake that our lake has issues that we do not want to share. Educational material explaining about our invasive milfoil and other pertinent information about lake safety, island usage prohibited and other facts is handed to those who wish to enter our lake. This year while working Friday through Sunday and the full week of the Fourth of July, they reported 1509 boats entering the lake from Memorial Day to Labor Day; 263 were non-motorized. In 2016 1951 boats were recorded and in 2017 1651 boats. While a reduction of boat counts was assessed, there were days that it does not seem like it. There are some days that 30 to 40 boats are turned away due to parking constraints.
They do their best appease as many people as possible. It is not easy turning people away on a 90 degree day but our lake can only handle so many boat safely. Many people on the lake allow boats to enter on their property and allow dockage at their place which adds to the busy traffic. Jim and Jackie’s main focus is the milfoil checks. We have to be reminded that our variable milfoil is not the only invasive that we need to look out for. Many states and even lakes in Maine have other invasive threats lurking. We will be ramping up awareness and expanding inspections protocols next year. Please clean your boat and fishing gear appropriately before entering any lake. Thanks to Jimand Jackie for their dedication and to LauraSmall who has recorded the State required electronic data entry easy for my submission.