Where do I find the actual regulations related to this program?
The regulations are available here: Subpart 646 - 9.
What organization is in charge of this program?
The NYS Lake George Park Commission is in charge of this program.
How is this program funded?
Funding for this program has been generously provided in a 50-50 cost-sharing effort between New York State through its Environmental Protection Fund, and by a local partnership of municipalities and nonprofit organizations.
How does this program work?
All trailered boats must get inspected and “sealed” at a regional inspection facility before launching into Lake George. Once inspected (and decontaminated if not clean, drained and dry), you can launch at that site or go to your favorite launch on Lake George (public or private). When you retrieve your boat from the lake, the launch owner or operator will put another inspection seal on your boat before you leave. If that seal is still intact when you return to Lake George again (i.e. you haven’t launched into another lake), you do not need to be re-inspected and you can just go to your favorite Lake George launch.
What boats need to be inspected under this program?
Only trailered vessels are required to be inspected prior to launching in Lake George. This includes motorboats, personal watercraft, jet skis, and sailboats. Canoes, kayaks, and other cartop watercraft are not subject to inspections.
Where are the inspection stations located and what are the hours of operation?
There are seven regional inspection locations with varying hours of operation, as listed here.
What should I do before I arrive at the inspection station?
You should “Clean, Drain and Dry” your boat before arriving at one of the Lake George Inspection Stations. To find out more about this process (CDD), please visit ProtectLakeGeorge.com.
Why are these inspections so important & what are inspectors looking for?
Boat inspections are an essential part of preventing the inadvertent transport of aquatic invasive species into the pristine waters of Lake George. Invasive species have devastating environmental and economic impacts on the lake itself, surrounding communities, and native species populations. Most invasive species do not have predators to keep their populations in balance and, once introduced, are difficult or impossible to eradicate. Aquatic pests, including both plants and animals, are easily carried by trailered boats and can infect new waterbodies if care is not taken.
What should I expect when I arrive at the inspection station?
At the inspection stations you will be greeted by a Vessel Inspection Technician. They will ask you a few questions about your boat and launching history. Then they will physically look and feel for evidence of aquatic invasive species (AIS) inside all compartments of your vessel, including but not limited to the anchor, all bilge & storage compartments, ballast tanks or bladders, ropes & fenders, live or bait wells, etc. They will also inspect the outside of your vessels hull, including the trailer, as well as the engine outdrive & intakes. Once the inspection process is complete, the inspector will inform you if they will need to perform a decontamination, which includes washing and flushing all areas needing decontamination with 140 degree hot water to kill any remaining AIS. Before you leave the inspection station, if you are going to a different launch site, you will receive a wire inspection seal. The seal is typically installed through the bow ring of your boat through a secure location on your trailer.
How long does an inspection take?
Inspections are done on a first-come first-served basis and will take between five and ten minutes to complete, depending on the size and condition of the boat. All efforts will be made to staff the inspection sites appropriately to keep the wait to a minimum.
My boat stays at a quick launch or a marina, who launches and retrieves my boat for me at the beginning and end of the season. What do I need to do?
Agreements will be put in place with various marinas who operate primarily “Lake George” boats. If that boat is under their administration and does not leave their facility (or Lake George), inspections will not be required. For more information, check with your marina or storage facility, or contact the Commission at (518) 668-9347.
Is there a fee for inspection?
No, there is no inspection fee.
Invasive Species FAQs
What is boat decontamination (washing) & how long does it take?
Decontamination is a process where the exterior of the boat and its systems are flushed using 140 degree water to destroy any invasive species that may be present on the boat or trailer. If the boat requires a hot water decontamination, that will happen at one of our six regional Inspection Stations on a first-come first-served basis. There is no cost for this decontamination, and no chemicals will be used. Boats that arrive clean, drained and dry will not be required to go through the decontamination process. Depending on the complexity of your vessel, decontaminations can last anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes. If you flush your boat’s engine at home, please bring your flush kit and any adapters with you to the inspection station, as we have only the most common adapters and tools for the decontamination process.
What are Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) and why are they such a big deal?
AIS are non-native species (plants and animals) and are a tremendous threat to all of our lakes. They can impact water quality, the ecology of a lake, our recreational enjoyment of that lake, and even affect the local economies which depend heavily on that lake. Lake George currently has five invasive species, and more than $7 million dollars has been spent trying to control these species over the past two decades. Some invasives have no control, and have long-term impacts on water bodies which have no cure. Prevention of new introductions of invasives through a mandatory boat inspection program is the best way to protect Lake George for the future.
The five invasive species currently present in Lake George are: the Asian Clam, Curly-leaf pondweed, Eurasian watermilfoil, spiny water flea and Zebra mussels. Arriving clean, drained and dry assists in preventing the spread of AIS.
Is there a fee associated with decontamination?
No, there is no decontamination fee.