Courtesy Boat Inspection
Did you know that there were 578 inspections entering and 537 inspections leaving the Crescent Lake Route ramp in 2017 and that 0 invasives were found?
Courtesy Boat Inspectors do the following:
• Discuss with boaters how invasive aquatic plants spread
• Show boaters how to inspect boats and equipment for plant fragments
• Urge boaters to inspect before and after every launch
• Distribute information about invasive plants
• Articulate Maine law regarding the transport of these plants.
What is CBI?
Maine’s Courtesy Boat Inspection (CBI) Program completed its 17th year in 2017. The purpose of these voluntary inspections is to reduce the spread of invasive aquatic plants (IAP) by boats, trailers, and associated equipment to Maine waters. Trained Courtesy Boat Inspectors discuss with boaters the risk posed by IAP, show boaters how to inspect and remove vegetation from boating and fishing equipment, and urge boaters to inspect before and after every launch.
Invasive aquatic plants such as variable leaf and Eurasian water milfoil, hydrilla, water chestnut and Brazilian elodea are a serious threat to our waters. These plants are so vigorous and propagate so fast that they can crowd out native plants, affect fish populations, and make swimming and boating difficult, if not impossible. When that happens, costly control measures are needed. Many new infestations occur in shallow waters near public boat launching facilities, so it’s obvious invasive plants move from lake to lake on the boats and equipment of unsuspecting boaters. If people are the cause, they can also be the cure. One critical control point to halt the spread of these plants is at Maine’s public boat launching sites. The state has developed a program to educate boaters so they won’t spread plants through lack of information. It’s the Courtesy Boat Inspection Program, and it’s our lakes’ first line of defense. The Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) oversees the inspection programs in the state and distributes funding to organizations trying to protect lakes. While DEP provides training, protocol, and funding, none of this prevention work can be done without the hard work of our local volunteers.