Invasive species causing concern at Canadarago Lake

By WKTV News

RICHFIELD SPRINGS, N.Y. (WKTV) -- The Canadarago Lake Improvement Association is trying to combat a more dangerous invasive species than they've seen in the past and they're having trouble doing it alone.

Searching every boat traveling in and out of Canadarago Lake has become top priority for the association. They're looking closely for all kinds of invasive species, especially the water chestnut.

"It grows on the surface, but it drops these spiny nutlets that float on the lake and they clog up people's beaches and if you step on one of these it's going to be a very, very bad day," said Ryan Fagan, President of the Canadarago Lake Improvement Association.

These species are brought in by boats when traveling from one body of water to another.

"Once a month we go to different lakes. Mainly northern such as Raquette Lake then back to here then up north to say 7th Lake and then back to here," said boater Robert Fagan.

"Every one of those boats coming from a different body of water carries the possibility of bringing an aquatic hitchhiker that could irrevocably change our lake," said Ryan Fagan.

The lake has already been changed by a handful of species over the last two decades.

"Once they get into the lake it's virtually impossible to remove these species so prevention and education are the only step," said Ryan Fagan.

To prevent future invasions, the association now inspects boats seven days a week and teaches boaters how to check their boats, but this non-profit organization is struggling to keep up with the traffic. They inspected 1,200 boats in June alone.

"While the state receives a lot of money from boats coming into this boat launch, we've been given zero dollars to help combat invasive species," said Ryan Fagan.

The Canadarago Lake Improvement Association relies on donations and is trying to come up with other fundraising solutions.

They're also asking anyone who spots water chestnuts to let them know.

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