Franklin Countys First News

RLHT begins 18th courtesy boat inspection season

Brothers Dalton and Damien Thurlow are two of RLHT's Boat Inspectors.

RANGELEY - For the 18th year Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust is conducting courtesy boat inspections at public boat launches in the Rangeley Lakes region. To date, boat inspectors have already found eight plants from courtesy boat inspections including, seaweeds, native plants, and one that has been sent in for further analysis.

"It's alarming the number of plants CBI's have found already this season. We encourage boaters to inspect their boats and we will diligently continue to be the first line of defense against invasive plants and animals on our lakes," Water Quality Steward at RLHT Alayna McNally said. "In 2019, inspectors found 16 plants in 16 weeks, and already this year eight plants in five weeks. We really need the community's eyes on the water."

Over the last 18 summers inspectors have educated over 20,000 boaters and visitors to the Region on the larger bodies of water: Cupsuptic, Mooselookmeguntic, Richardson, and Rangeley Lakes.

Invasive plants can be devastating on a waterbody and local economy. A tiny fragment or a single seed carried on a boat trailer or fishing gear can start an infestation. Invasive aquatic species are self-sustaining and can double in size within a single year, often outcompeting beneficial native plants. They have no natural predators and left alone can fill in shorelines with mats of thick fronds, making lakes unsuitable for swimming or

The Rangeley Region lakes and ponds are an extremely valuable economic resource as well as a stunning natural resource. They contribute to the enjoyment of many Maine residents, they help relieve property tax burdens on local people in rural communities, and they support substantial economic activity. Protecting water quality is beneficial to everyone who cares for the Rangeley Lake Region.

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