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Maine's lakes are under serious threat by invasive water plants like variable-leaf and Eurasian Milfoil and Hydrilla. These vegetative villains are so vigorous and propagate so quickly that they crowd out native plants, negatively affect fish populations, and make swimming and boating difficult – if not impossible. They can take over a lake in surprisingly little time. Especially a lake with shallow areas like Torsey Pond. When an investation happens, lake users and property owners have to fund costly control measures just to swim, fish, or boat.
Due to the fact that many new infestations occur in shallow waters near public boat launch facilities, Maine Department of Enviromental Protection (DEP) has concluded the spread of invasive plants are due in part to the movement from lake to lake on the boats and equipment of unsuspecting lake visitors. Accordingly, the state has developed a program to educate boaters so they won't spread plants unintentionally. It's the Courtesy Boat Inspection Program (CBI), and it's our lakes' first line of defense. It is the law in the State of Maine that transporting any aquatic plant on the outside of a vehicle, boat, trailer, or equipment is illegal, and violators will be ticketed by the Maine Warden Service.
The Maine DEP oversees Maine’s Courtesy Boat Inspection (CBI) program 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 volunteer local residents.
Clcik here to view Maine DEP CBI videos
Our Torsey Pond Association CBI Program consists of a combination of state funded and volunteer inspectors. We have 12 hours of shifts, 7am-7pm, covering the Readfield Boat Launch on weekend days and select busy weeks during the season. If you are interested to volunteer for a shift, please contact Andy Zuorski.
Courtesy Boat Inspectors:
• 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
Every year, Maine CBIs conduct thousands of boat inspections and intercept hundreds of plants entering and leaving Maine waters.
Sources: belgradelakesassociation.org and maine.gov/dep/water/invasives/inspect.html