For the past three years, Potato Lake has supported an aggressive watercraft inspection program at our two public launch sites to prevent the spread of Aquatic Invasive Species into our lake.
The Potato Lake program is part of a Hubbard County program that includes 26 lakes and 22 watercraft inspectors at an overall cost of $145,000.
County wide, 11,500 inspections have been performed with 7,400 hours of inspection time thru mid August. Nearly 10% of the entering boats came from infested waters and 15% came from other states, many of which have high levels of AIS.
As of mid August, Potato Lake has had 1237 inspections with 832 hours of inspection time. Of the nearly 731 boats entering our lake, 104, or about 14% came from infested waters and 17% arrived from out of state. Our 2014 program will cost $15,000 with nearly $10,000 coming from Potato Lake property owners and the remaining money coming from Lake Emma Township and the Potato Lake association.
We are concerned about the many boats coming here from infested waters. Boats and watercraft that were previously used in infested waters need to be clean and dry for at least a week before launching. While we strongly discourage launching watercraft that have come directly from infested waters, we do have a decontamination service available on weekends and located adjacent to the Hubbard County landfill.
While Potato Lake has an effective watercraft inspection program, we do not have the launch site coverage to check every boat that launches on our lake. We all need to take ownership of this by learning about AIS prevention and applying these practices when transporting our boats and other water related equipment.