Candlewood Lake Authority Reminds Boaters To “Clean, Drain & Dry’

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For Immediate Release  from the Candlewood Lake Authority

CLA Reminds Boaters Planning to Watch Fireworks of Zebra Mussel Risk Urges extra time to ‘Clean, Drain and Dry’ boats, trailers and gear.

NEW MILFORD, CT, June 20 — With as many as 2,000 boats expected on Candlewood Lake this weekend to enjoy the annual fireworks show at the Danbury Town Beach, the Candlewood Lake Authority is reminding all boaters to take extra precautions to help keep zebra mussels out of Candlewood Lake.

“We are welcoming all boaters want to recreate on Candlewood Lake this weekend and enjoy the fabulous fireworks display from the water,” says Larry Marsicano, executive director of the Candlewood Lake Authority.  “But we are also reminding everyone, especially visiting boaters who may have been in other waters recently, to follow the recommended ‘Clean, Drain and Dry’ procedure to make sure their boats, trailers and gear are free off zebra mussels and other invasive species.”

Zebra mussels are a prolific invasive aquatic species that can damage the economic, environmental, recreational and aesthetic aspects of a lake or river.

Introduced in the Great Lakes in the late 80s, zebra mussels have spread steadily throughout the central portion of the U.S., and now infect several nearby bodies of water, such as Lake Champlain, Lake George and the Hudson River.

Zebra mussels were also discovered last October in the Lake Lillinonah and Lake Zoar reservoirs on the Houstonic River.  They are also in the East and West Twin Lakes in Salisbury, CT and in Laurel Lake in MA, all of which drain into the Housatonic River.

“Visiting or infrequent boaters, including those who use kayaks, canoes and personal watercraft, may be unaware of the risk of zebra mussels and we are especially trying to reach these users with the ‘Clean, Drain, Dry’ message,” Marsicano continued.

“Zebra mussels and other aquatic invasive species are a people problem,” added Phyllis Schaer, the head of the regional Zebra Mussel Task Force coordinated by the CLA.  “They don’t walk here — they are most often unintentionally transported from lake to lake by people who fail to practice the recommended prevention methods of ‘Clean, Drain, Dry’ after being on an infected lake.  We all need to step up and do our part.”

To help assure all boaters are reached, the CT Dept. of Environmental Protection has increased staffing of its Boating Education Assistants during weekends and holidays at the state boat launches at Candlewood, Lillinonah and Zoar.

The CLA is also coordinating a volunteer “Invasives Investigator” force of more than 50 area residents who have undergone DEP training and will staff town, community and commercial boat launches on a volunteer basis during peak hours to help increase public awareness of the zebra mussel threat.

The volunteer “Invasive Investigators” will also supplement the DEP’s Boating Education Assistants at the state boat launches at Lattins Cove in Danbury and Squantz Pond in New Fairfield.

How to ‘Clean, Drain and Dry’

The Candlewood Lake Authority recommends all boaters thoroughly inspect their boats, trailers and all gear using a three-step procedure to prevent zebra mussels and other invasive species from entering Candlewood Lake:

Clean all visible plant, fish and marine animals, as well as mud and other debris, from your trailer and boat before leaving any lake’s boat launch.

Drain all water from every space and item that may hold water, including bilges, ballast tanks, live wells and engine cooling systems away from any waterway.

Dry all equipment (including life vests, ropes, paddles and other materials in contact with the water) for at least one week in hot/dry weather, or four weeks in wet/cool weather before entering new waters.

If proper drying is not possible, wash with hot water (preferably high pressure) or soak in 1 percent salt solution for 24 hours, using a ratio of 2/3 cup of salt per five gallons of water — or 100 percent vinegar for 20 minutes – and then rinse.

Boaters and other lake users can help prevent the spread of zebra mussels into Candlewood Lake by being aware of and avoiding if possible any lakes and rivers known to contain zebra mussels.

Contact the Candlewood Lake Authority at clainfo@earthlink.net for more information on zebra mussels and the Clean, Drain and Dry procedure.

# # #

For information contact: Mark Howarth 860-354-6928 or clainfo@earthlink.net.

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Posted on June 21, 2011, in Home, Local and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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