Written by Jared Reed. Saratoga Lake Boat Steward
June 28, 2014
Located at the northern edge of New York’s Capital District, and only a few miles from the Adirondack Park, Saratoga is a local summer destination. The Spa City is home to one of the most popular Capital District retreats: Saratoga Spa State Park. Comprised of historic battlefields, the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC), endless jogging paths, mineral springs, and several museums and public baths – Saratoga Spa State Park has something for everybody. While the park itself does not abut on the Saratoga Lake, the park does maintain a public boat launch on the northern end of the lake.
Saratoga Lake is approximately 4.5 miles long, 1.5 miles across at its widest, and is over 90ft deep. While this lake is easily dwarfed by other lakes in the region, Saratoga Lake plays a vital part in the health of New York State waterways. Saratoga is home to an unfortunate number of AIS (Aquatic Invasive Species), including Zebra Mussels, Curly-leaf Pondweed, and Eurasian Watermilfoil, and is a proven vector lake into the Adirondacks. Surveys of boat traffic have indicated that boaters are likely to visit lakes throughout the Adirondack Park, such as Lake George, Lake Champlain, Lake Placid, and other smaller lakes, after visiting Saratoga. If boaters fail to properly clean their boat, and then travel from Saratoga Lake to other lakes provide a method of transport for AIS, and can introduce new alien species into previously pristine lakes.
Vegetative AIS often become entangled in water intake valves, propellers, and can get trapped between boats and their trailers while docking. Smaller species, such as the juvenile stages of zebra mussels, can also take up residence in water wells aboard the ship – such as bilge water, ballast water, and live wells. New York State now prohibits the unauthorized transport of invasive species, and asks that all boaters clean off any vegetative matter from their ship, and drain any inboard water before leaving the docking station.
Remember to Clean, Drain, and Dry your boat, and maybe we’ll see you at Saratoga this summer!