Aquatic invasive species (AIS) are non-native plants and animals that threaten native plants, wildlife, and their habitat. They also affect humans by degrading boating and fishing areas, and reducing lake shore property values. Once established, eradication is almost impossible.
Any item that you use in or near one pond, lake, reservoir, wetlands, stream or river can pick up plants or animals, even microscopic ones. If you then bring that same item to Yankee Lake, that hitch-hiking plant or animal can infect our lake.
An “item” could be flip-flops. Or a beach robe. Towels. Snorkels, swim fins, goggles. Anything that you use in or near the water can be a carrier of an invasive species. Invasive species do not magically appear. They are brought in.
You can help prevent the introduction of new invasive species into Yankee Lake and other local waterways by making sure you drain, clean, and dry all boating, fishing, personal flotation devices and other recreational equipment before you use it in any body of water. Detailed decontamination procedures are described below.
We need everyone to pay attention to this. Invasive species are real, they have invaded nearby lakes, and they are an increasing threat to Yankee Lake. The Catskill Regional Invasive Species Partnership (CRISP) advises to always wash boats thoroughly before introducing them into the waters of Yankee Lake:
1. If they are new from the store – you don’t have to.
2. If they are second-hand from either a prior owner or a shop – yes, please wash them.
3. If you take your boat somewhere else (the Basha Kill, the Neversink River, Wanaksink Lake, Lake George… wherever) it is very important that you wash it before you put it back in Yankee Lake – one seed, one clam is all it takes to destroy our lake.
4. If your guests want to bring their own watercraft (kayak, stand-up-paddleboard, canoe, whatever), it is essential that you wash it before it goes into Yankee Lake. (Ideally, your guests would just use your Yankee Lake “toys” and not bring their own….)
1. Take your boat and paddles to the carwash and use soap, the power-wash and the hottest water available. If you are at an attended carwash, ask for water to be set at 140 degrees. Thoroughly wash the inside, outside, and compartments. If your paddle can be taken apart, take it apart and spray the inside.
2. Wash your roof rack, truck bed, or boat trailer!
3. When you get it home, dry it in the sun or with a towel and/or hairdryer (heat!).
4. Then spray it with full strength vinegar or bleach both inside and out! Let it sit for about 5 minutes and everything will be ready to use.
There are some nasty new invasives out there in nearby lakes that are being transported on fishing line and fishing rods. The spiny water-flea and its eggs are so small that it is not noticeable as in gloms onto your rod, reel, lure, line, gloves, water shoes, or scuba gear. It can live for up to 7 days even in a totally dry environment.
1. If you take your fishing tackle elsewhere, please do this: Pour full strength vinegar into a bucket. Dunk your entire reel – with all the line and lures – into the bucket. Everything must be submerged and covered with the vinegar. Let it sit for 5 minutes. Pull everything out and towel dry. Then, with a vinegar-soaked cloth, wipe down your rod and tackle box.
2. Dunk into the full-strength vinegar your gloves, water shoes, waders, etc. You can use them after a 5 minute soak.
3. Use the same process for diving gear – SCUBA vests and tanks, masks, goggles, snorkels, weights. Do this before you enter the waters of Yankee Lake.
If you use a bucket with a lid, you can store and reuse over and over!
As you paddle around the lake, if you see some plant or shell that you’ve never seen before, take a picture or grab a sample. Note where on the lake you found it and contact the YLPA at the Contact Us link at the bottom of this page.