Updated 08/02/2012 07:46 PM
Fifth invasive species found in Lake George
A small invasive species has been found in Lake George and while it's not harmful to humans, stakeholders are concerned it could change the ecosystem. The Spiny Water Flea has previously been confirmed in other-area bodies of water including the Lake Champlain Canal and Sacandaga Lake. YNN's Beth Croughan has more.
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LAKE GEORGE, N.Y. -- "Beyond the fact that it's bad for the ecology of the lake. As far as a fisherman's concerned, Spiny Water Flea's are a pain in the neck," said Jeff Goldberg, the President of Fish 307.
Goldberg has been in the fishing business for two-decades and said he knew what has been a long-time problem for Lake Ontario would eventually become Lake George's problem.
"What they do is they grab onto your fishing line," he explained of the pest.
That's how a fisherman found the Spiny Water Flea last Friday. He showed a Lake George Association Lake Steward and the small organism has since been added to Lake George's list of invasive species. It's described by Dave Wick, the Executive Director of the Lake George Park Commission, as "about the size of your fingernail."
"This unfortunately marks the fifth invasive species in Lake George. We're trying to manage Asian Clam," said Walt Lender, the Executive Director of the Lake George Association.
The Asian Clam population is being managed by a more than million-dollar effort lead by the Lake George Park Commission. But Wick and Lender said there's no way to rid the water of these fleas.
And while they're not harmful to our health or our pets, they could create a problem for the fish. "It's a little zooplankton that eats a lot of little, tiny other critters in the lake that competes with the fish for the food source. And also, if fish eat these things it can really disrupt their digestive track and kind of disrupt the whole kind of food chain of the water around them," said Wick.
Wick said we can work to stop the spread of more invasive species. It's suggested people clean, drain and dry all equipment before using Lake George or another body of water.
Guidelines Goldberg said he follows as a fisherman. "We need to be more vigilant as a population to try and keep these things from spreading," said Goldberg.
There's a boat wash station set up at the Norowal Marina in Bolton.