jacques_pigeon 12 June 2016
Yes, you should clean your boat every time you use it in another lake or river. And not just your boat! Same applies to paddles, fishing gear, motor. Needless to say, it is even more true for any boat brought to your lake by a visiting relative, friend, guest and, even more important, a renter!
Why? To make sure that our lakes never look like this!
This aquatic plant is called Eurasian Watermilfoil. As the name implies, it is exotic, non-native, and very invasive since it has no predators. It can be found in 40 lakes in the Laurentians. Thank God, none in Argenteuil. It is almost impossible to get rid of, the only defence is prevention.
Hence, boat washing!
Remember these four steps: inspect – drain – clean – dry
Inspection is the most important. If you look carefully, you will probably locate exotic plants or molluscs. Drain to make sure the is no leftover water at the bottom of your kayak, for example. Clean with fresh water and a bit of bleach. Finally, let dry in the sun for a few days.
All this should evidently be done at a good distance from the lake.
You should soon hear about a program from the MRC of Argenteuil to protect our lakes from exotic and invasive species in our lakes and rivers. What I have just described will be a major part of it. A protocol to identify and document the aquatic vegetation will soon be available and the DCA will work with biologist from the Conseil régional de l’environnement des Laurentides to produce a detailed record of the aquatic vegetation in our four lakes.
We will then monitor the situation over the years to see how it evolves. This is important as the extent of the plant cover in our lakes is a good indicator of the health of our lakes.
More on this in the coming weeks.
Note. Identifying Eurasian Watermilfoil, as shown on this american site is quite difficult.
That is because there are at least five native watermilfoils that, at first glance, look pretty similar to it but are not really invasive. Here is what the invader looks like up close.