AIS Monitoring Program

AIS Monitoring Program

Over a weekend in August, boat, paddle, swim or snorkel a section of shoreline for aquatic invaders in Lake George! Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) are a threat to the ecosystem and pristine waters of Lake George, and surveying the lake for AIS is important for early detection of new invaders, such as hydrilla, that may pass by the inspection station and boat launch stewards.

Any AIS you find are shared with the Lake George Park Commission and Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program to help improve management in Lake George and inform the rest of the thousands of lakes in the Adirondacks.

Where We Survey

This map shows all 115 sites that can be surveyed each year. Zoom, scroll and click on the map to see the site names and their boundary. When participating in this event, you can also print this map to remind you where to survey!

 

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I get in touch with an LGA member if I have questions?

Please contact [email protected] 

Are there boating rules for Lake George?

Yes! Follow these rules. Motored boats must be registered for Lake George. You can get a temporary registration if you’ll only be on the lake short-term.

I’m launching my boat for the event. Where can I launch and where do I park?

The Lake George Park Commission has a list of available launches around the lake. You can also contact the LGA for launch information. There is car and trailer parking available for a fee at the public launches. If you are OK with walking, there is parking available in the areas nearby. Please be sure to use the mandatory boat inspection and wash station.

How long should I survey for?

Take your time. The survey areas were created to be covered within 2-4 hours, but there is no time limit. You can complete your survey any time over the weekend. But, please make sure to submit your Survey123 observations by Monday, August 12th.

Do I need a life jacket?

We urge you to use proper boater safety and take extra precautions if you decide to swim or kayak, especially in a populated area.

What should I do if the weather is bad?

Don’t go out. You can survey anytime over the weekend. If the weather is poor the whole weekend, we will postpone the event.

Where should I be looking for AIS?

Anywhere inside the section of Lake you chose during registration. Your survey area goes out to 30ft deep – yes, there may be plants growing at 30ft! If you think you see AIS down that far, use Survey123 to document it. AIS that are new to Lake George could be found anywhere in your survey area, but especially in areas frequented by boats. LGA staff will be going out after the weekend to confirm locations.

My survey area has a lot of private homes. Do I look around their docks?

Please be respectful of private property and people’s privacy. If occupants are around, ask their permission to survey if it seems like AIS are present. Otherwise, drive slowly, follow boating rules, and use your best judgement for the type of vessel you’re using.

What if I find AIS? Should I collect them?

Use Survey123 to collect its location and include a clear picture of the AIS. We will confirm its ID using your image. Pictures rather than samples are preferred to keep AIS fragments from spreading to new places and good, native plants where they should be. If you’ve used a rake toss to help you ID potential AIS at deeper locations, a picture with a solid or white background is best to help us see features of the AIS. Please do not collect any AIS other than fragments that are found during your survey. 

If you find a plant fragment floating in the water, and you are unsure if it is an AIS, you are welcome to bring it to the LGA office. Keep it wrapped in a damp paper towel and chilled in a sealed baggy until you can drop it off. Make sure to label your bag with at least your site number.

What should I do with AIS that I can’t identify with the flipbook?

Take photos and document the actual location on Survey123. There are many protected species in Lake George and it’s best to leave them where they are. 

What should I do before my survey?
  • Register your motorized boat.
  • Download Survey123 (Android or Apple) and join the project Lake George AIS Monitoring Event 2024.
  • Know where you are launching.
  • Gather survey essentials:
    • if you don't already have one, pick up an AIS flipbook from the LGA office
    • mobile device for pictures and documenting AIS
    • polarized sunglasses
    • extra water
    • sunscreen
    • know your site number and extent of your survey area (you can use the map above!)
    • safety equipment
  • Gather the appropriate gear for however you plan to survey:
    • paddles
    • full tank of gas
    • life jackets, swim buoys for those in the water
    • kayak flag
    • mask, snorkel, and fins
  • Optional items:
    • trash & milfoil fragment bag
    • waterproof camera or GoPro
  • Review the AIS training video sent to you via email.
Is there anything I should do during my survey?
  • Stay aware of your surroundings and the weather.  
  • When in doubt of AIS ID, take lots of photos.
  • If kayaking or swimming in a known boating zone, be flashy and wear safety gear and floats.
  • Be respectful of private homes and property. Abide by Lake George boating rules. 
What should I do after I’m done surveying my area?

Make sure you’ve submitted your observations through Survey123, especially if you didn’t bring your mobile device on the lake.

  • Finalize your Survey123 submissions online.
  • Keep your flipbook! Use it to help you ID aquatic invasive species, even outside this event.
  • We will be visiting your AIS sightings within the next few weeks and will let you know if any new locations or new AIS were found.
Where can I pickup a flipbook?

If you are in need of an AIS flipbook, please email [email protected] to arrange a time to pick one up at the LGA office during business hours. These flipbooks are for you to keep, with the hopes that you'll use them while you're boating to help you ID any aquatic invasive species you come across.