Jan 15, 2014 Joe Genco Uncategorized
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) recently announced new proposed regulations to prevent the introduction and spread of aquatic invasive species at state boat launches and to aid the effort to eradicate Eurasian boars from the state.
One proposed change would require boaters to remove all visible plants and animals from boats, trailers and associated equipment and to drain boats before launching at or leaving a state boat launch and waterway access.
Skaneateles Lake has a DEC-regulated boat launch off of Route 41A on the west side of the lake. That launch currently has a Nuisance Invasive Species Disposal Station and information posted about how to prevent the spread of invasive species by cleaning, draining and drying boats and other equipment. Under the proposed regulations these measures will be changed from advised to required.
The new regulations are part of an effort to both stop the spread of invasive species and prevent the introduction of new species, DEC Commissioner Joe Martens said.
“These proposed regulatory changes are the latest in a series of actions DEC has taken over the past few years to combat the spread of harmful invasive species, including the emerald ash borer,” Martens said. “Cooperation and assistance from the public is essential in order for these efforts to succeed. Boats, trailers and the equipment can spread aquatic invasive species from waterbody to waterbody and significantly harm recreational and commercial use of a waterbody while having a detrimental effect on native fish, wildlife and plants. This regulation is an important component of DEC’s efforts to help ensure aquatic invasive species-free waters remain free and additional species are not introduced to other waters.”
Due to the efforts of the Skaneateles Lake Association and the Milfoil Eradication Corporation the population of the invasive plan species Eurasian watermilfoil in the lake has been greatly reduced in the past five years. However, new milfoil could be brought to the lake from other bodies of water and other invasive plant and animal species, such as hydrilla a plant species similar to milfoil, could be introduced and become a problem for the local ecosystem as well as boaters and fishermen.
Recommended boat and equipment drying times for each month of the year can be calculated at 100thmeridian.org/emersion.asp. Additional information on aquatic invasive species and preventing their spread can be found at http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/48221.html.
The DEC has also proposed new regulations that would prohibit residents from hunting free-ranging hunting wild boar.
Currently no law or regulation exists to govern or prohibit boar hunting. The proposed regulation would not prohibit hunting of the boars on a private hunting reserve that is completely enclosed. The regulation also makes it illegal to tamper with or disrupt any state efforts to trap or kill the boars.
Eurasian boar, also called feral swine, are an aggressive breed of boars native to Russia that are a menace to local farm fields, livestock and humans. Though already established in the southern United States, the DEC and United States Department of Agriculture have been working to eradicate isolated groups of the animals in New York. In 2012, a group of boars was trapped and removed from the Spafford area by a group from the state. The DEC has not received any reports of sightings in Onondaga County since that time, though the animals are elusive and can cover great distances.
The DEC will accept public comments on the boat launch proposal through Feb. 24 and on the wild boars through Jan. 24. The full text of the proposed regulation can be found on DEC’s website at www.dec.ny.gov/regulations/propregulations.html.
Comments on the proposed regulations can be sent via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, or mailed to Edward Woltmann, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Bureau of Fisheries, 625 Broadway, Albany, N.Y. 12233-4753. Hard copies of the full text may also be requested from Mr. Woltmann at the above address.