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Water Watch

A Plan for Aquatic Invasives

A Plan for Aquatic Invasives

Learn more about what is being done to eradicate Variable Leaf Milfoil from Utowana Lake and keep other aquatic invasive species and plants out of the Eckford Chain.

Our Forests in Peril

Our Forests in Peril

Learn how the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid, a tiny bug the size of a pinhead, may kill off Hemlock trees throughout the Adirondacks this century.

The Trouble with Salt

The Trouble with Salt

Salt on our roadways spells trouble for our lakes. Learn how the BMLA is working to improve this.

For over 30 years, our community has worked to sustain the long-term health of Blue Mountain Lake for swimming, boating, fishing and other aquatic activities. Equally critical to this mission is protecting the lake's water quality so that it may continue to serve as the town's main source of drinking water. 


The discovery of variable leaf milfoil (VLM) in Utowana Lake in 2019 posed a dire threat to the health of all three lakes in the Eckford Chain (Blue Mountain, Eagle and Utowana). An invasive species, VLM is an aggressive invader that is transported by humans from lake to lake (most often hitchhiking on boats and motors). It grows exceedingly quickly. Left unimpeded VLM snares swimmers and boat propellers, depletes oxygen for fish and provides a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes .

Thankfully our community rallied in 2020 and donated the needed funds for a multi-year plan that is working to eradicate VLM from Utowana Lake, while also preventing its spread more widely. The first year of hand-harvesting resulted in pulling 370 gallons of VLM out of Utowana. In 2021 the amount was reduced to 125 gallons. Last summer we only harvested 38 gallons. Yet, the threat remains not only from the presence of VLM but from other equally harmful invasive plants and species. 


We are fortunate that our community has prioritized monitoring for these threats, while also addressing any infestation early.  Around the Adirondack Park some lake associations have seen VLM spread so widely that they are spending upwards to $500k/year just to manage the issue. In some areas these invasive plants are too widespread to be contained. We are very fortunate to not be in this situation, but ongoing yearly monitoring will be necessary to stay ahead of this possibility.

The Water Watch Committee is working to develop successful partnerships with other ADK lake associations, New York State agencies and leading environmental groups to raise funding and awareness regarding various threats to our lake and drinking water supply. 

With the continued support of friends and neighbors we are committed to preserving the health and immeasurable beauty of our lakes for generations to come.

Help us Keep Aquatic Invasive Plants and Species OUT of our Lakes by following these simple rules BEFORE launching a boat in Blue Mountain, Eagle or Utowana Lakes:


After boating, before you leave the launch:

Remove all visible plants, animals, fish, and mud from your boat, trailer, or other equipment and dispose of in a suitable trash container or on dry land. Don’t transport any potential hitchhiker, even back to your home. Remove and leave them at the site you visited.


After boating, before you leave the launch:

Drain water from bilge, live wells, ballast tanks, and any other locations with water before leaving the launch. Invasive viruses, zooplankton, and juvenile zebra mussels and Asian clams can be transported in even just a drop of water!


Before you launch to go boating:

Dry your boat, trailer, and all equipment completely. Drying times vary depending on the weather and the type of material. At least five days drying time is recommended.

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