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Entries Tagged as 'boating'

DEC to Reopen Lower Locks on Saranac Chain of Lakes on Saturday, July 1

June 30th, 2017 · No Comments · Adirondack News

Boaters Again Able to Access Five Lakes and 5,000+ Acres of Water Starting this Weekend

Repairs and rehabilitation work on the Lower Locks that provide passage on the Saranac River allowing boaters to access the waters between Lake Flower and Lower Saranac Lake have been completed and the locks will be open for use on July 1, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Regional Director Robert Stegemann announced today.

“The Lower Locks have long been a unique and essential structure for recreating on more than 5,000 acres of water, including five large lakes, in the Saranac Lake area,” said Director Stegemann. “These improvements improve lock operations and greatly reduce the number of times, and possibly eliminate, lock closure for minor repairs.”

Improvements included:

  • Rehabilitating the fill and release doors and the wicket (main) doors, including replacing all seals and bearings;
  • Completely replacing the hydraulic system including hydraulic arms, lines and operating system;
  • Repairing concrete walls;
  • Replacing and re-equipping the Locks Operator Shed; and
  • Replacing all tie downs, ropes, and other equipment.

DEC staff will be present to operate the locks from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. Site cleanup of materials and equipment associated with the repair and rehabilitation work has not been completed, boaters should remain in their boats while at locks.

Repairs were also completed this spring on a broken swing arm on the Upper Locks, providing additional access for boaters between Lower Saranac and Middle Saranac lakes.

The $1.2 million project was funded through NY Works under a New York State Office of General Services contract. CHA Companies of Albany, NY, provided the design and inspection. Friend Construction and Dow Electrical, both of Malone, NY, completed the work under DEC supervision.

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BoatUS Says More Boaters on the Water for July Fourth Holiday

June 28th, 2017 · No Comments · Adirondack News

8 safety tips for boating’s busiest time of the year

ANNAPOLIS, Md., June 27, 2017 — The nation’s largest advocacy, services and safety group for recreational boaters, Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS), says July Fourth is shaping up to be the busiest time of the year on the water for the nation’s recreational boaters, with boating traffic potentially surpassing last year’s levels. This also means boaters will face additional safety concerns with waterway congestion and nighttime operation.

In a recent survey of more than a half million BoatUS members, 88 percent of respondents say they are “very-to-extremely likely” to go boating during the 2017 July Fourth holiday period (June 30 through July 9). That compares to 73 percent who went boating over the similar period last year.

4th of July Boating FireworksThe BoatUS member survey also shows that about one in three (36 percent) of respondents are “very-to-extremely likely” to operate a boat at night to view a July Fourth fireworks display from the water. Three percent said that fireworks displays are the only reason they will venture out after dark all year long.

“With nearly 12 million registered boats on the water, boaters will need to take special safety precautions during the holiday period,” said BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water President Chris Edmonston. The Foundation is the nonprofit safety arm of BoatUS. “The mayhem of fireworks shows, overburdened launch ramps, crowded waterways and long days spent under the stressors of wind, waves and sun will require everyone to up their safety game and be courteous to fellow boaters.”

The BoatUS Foundation has these eight holiday boating tips:

  1. Wait to celebrate with alcohol. It could be a long day on the water, but waiting until after you’ve returned to homeport for the night before celebrating with alcohol is a wise move. Added to the effects of sun, wind and waves, alcohol lowers situational awareness and increases reaction times.
  2. The more lookouts at night, the better. Having extra sets of eyes – family members or guests – can help prevent accidents.

  3. Go slow after the fireworks. After viewing fireworks from the water and pulling up anchor, you may have the urge to rush home. Don’t. Slow down. Be cautious, and the odds for a safe return increase.
  4. Get kids’ life jackets for free. Everyone has extra guests this time of year, but they don’t always have properly-sized life jackets for everyone on board. The BoatUS Foundation’s free Kids Life Jacket Loaner program gives boaters a chance to borrow child-size life jackets for the day, afternoon, or weekend.
  5. Don’t overload the boat. Everyone should have a seat inside the boat, and be careful about adding extra coolers and gear. It’s also a bad idea to allow to passengers to ride on the top of a boat with an enclosed bow while underway.
  6. Be a safe paddler. Kayak, canoe or stand-up paddlers should understand all of the nautical rules of the road, practice defensive paddling and assume no one can see you. At night, paddlers are required to show a white light – colored glow sticks around the paddler’s neck don’t cut it. Avoid crowded anchorages and congested ramp areas.
  7. Never swim near a dock with electricity or in a marina or yacht club.
  8. Avoid the two biggest hassles. The nationwide TowBoatUS on-water towing fleet traditionally reports hundreds of battery jumps and anchor-line disentanglements over the holiday. To avoid having to contact BoatUS 24-hour dispatch (BoatUS.com/app) monitor your battery drain, go slow while hauling anchor line, and be super vigilant so you don’t run over someone else’s anchor line after the show ends.

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DEC Announces $475,000 in Upgrades Planned for Upper Saranac Lake Boat Launch

August 14th, 2014 · No Comments · Adirondack News

Launch Will Close September 8 to Facilitate Repairs and Reopen May 2015

NYSDEC LogoTo support improved access to Upper Saranac Lake, $475,000 in upgrades will be made to the Upper Saranac Lake Boat Launch, state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens announced today. The upgrades, funded by NY Works, will be completed prior to the 2015 Memorial Day Weekend.

“Governor Cuomo has demonstrated a strong commitment to increasing access to the state’s beautiful natural resources,” Commissioner Martens said. “Upgrades to the Upper Saranac boat launch will allow outdoor enthusiasts easier access to recreate on this magnificent lake and will better protect the lake’s water quality.”

The boat launch, located at the intersection of County 46 and Back Bay Road, is one of two public boat launches that provide access to Upper Saranac Lake. The planned improvements include:

  • constructing a new (2 lane) boat ramp;
  • removing dock cribbing;
  • installing new floating docks;
  • regrading slopes to decrease steepness and decrease erosion;
  • paving the entrance, ramp entrance and parking area;
  • permanent stormwater pollution prevention measures;
  • reconfiguring traffic patterns;
  • upgrading bathroom facility;
  • landscaping and planting;
  • adding a dry hydrant for fire protection; and
  • adding a boat rinse station to flush out bilges, live wells and areas containing water.

Governor Cuomo included $6 million in NY Works funding in this year’s budget to support creating 50 new land and water access projects to connect hunters, anglers, bird watchers and others who enjoy the outdoors to more than 380,000 acres of existing state and easement lands that have not reached their full potential. These 50 new access projects include building new boat launches, installing new hunting blinds and building new trails and parking areas. In addition, the 2014-15 budget includes $4 million to repair the state’s fish hatcheries; and renews and allows expanded use of crossbows for hunting in New York State.

Camp owners and others that use the Upper Saranac Lake Boat Launch to take their boat off the lake for the winter will need to use private marinas to launch or retrieve boats during the reconstruction period, September 8, 2014 through May 15, 2015.

Small boats can use the boat launch at DEC’s Fish Creek Pond Campground. Shallow water at the boat launch and less than eight feet height between the water and the bottom of a campground road near the boat launch allows only small boats to use the Fish Creek Campground Boat Launch. There is no fee to launch or retrieve a boat, but there is an $8.00 parking fee for vehicles.

The renovated boat launch will be open for public use prior to Memorial Day Weekend 2015.

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New State Regulations Target Aquatic Invasive Species

June 5th, 2014 · No Comments · Adirondack News

Boaters Using DEC Lands to Launch Boats or Other Watercraft Are Now Required To Clean and Drain Boats Prior to Launch

NYSDEC LogoAs part of an aggressive effort to prevent invasive species from entering and damaging New York water bodies, the State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today adopted new regulations that require boaters to remove all visible plant and animal materials from boats, trailers and associated equipment, and to drain boats prior to launching from DEC lands.

The regulations, which are effective today, pertain to all DEC boat launches, fishing access sites and other DEC lands where watercraft such as boats, kayak or canoes, can be launched into the water.

“New York State continues to work with its state, local, federal and environmental partners to protect water bodies from destructive invasive species,” DEC Commissioner Joe Martens said. “Boats, trailers and associated equipment are common pathways for spreading aquatic invasive species. These new regulations will help reinforce the message that boaters need to clean their equipment of any clinging plant and animal materials and drain their boats prior to launching at lands administered by DEC.”

Boaters should take the following steps to ensure that their boat, trailer and equipment are free of aquatic invasive species:

  • Visually inspect the boat, trailer and other fishing and boating equipment and remove all mud, plants and other organisms that might be clinging to it. Materials should be disposed of in one of the Nuisance Invasive Species Disposal Stations installed at many DEC boat launches, in the trash or at an upland location away from the launch ramp.
  • Drain the boat’s bilge and any other water holding compartments such as live wells, bait wells and bilge tanks. This does not apply to water associated with sanitary systems or drinking water supplies.

Drying boats is also highly recommended but is not required under the new regulations. Boaters who are unable to dry their boats between uses should flush the bilge and other water holding compartments with water, preferably at a temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Microscopic larval forms of aquatic invasive species, such as zebra mussels and spiny waterflea, can live in as much as a drop of water. To ensure that these organisms are not accidentally spread, anything holding water should be dried, flushed or disinfected with hot water to ensure that these aquatic invasive species are not spread. Additional information on AIS and disinfection recommendations can be found at: Prevent the Spread of Aquatic Invasives.

The new regulations are available at: Proposed Regulations.

Boaters intending to boat on Lake George this year are also reminded that the Lake George Park Commission has enacted new regulations that require all boats to be inspected for aquatic invasive species prior to use. Additional information on this new mandatory boat inspection program can be found at: www.lgboatinspections.com.

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DEC Announces Area Recreational Facilities to Open May 23

May 13th, 2014 · No Comments · Adirondack News

Second Pond Boat Launch Site, Saranac Lakes Island Campgrounds and the Upper & Lower Locks Will Be Open Memorial Day Weekend

NYSDEC LogoSecond Pond Boat Launch Site, Saranac Lakes Island Campgrounds and the Lower Locks on the Saranac Lakes Chain will be open and staffed beginning Friday, May 23, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Region 5 Director Robert Stegemann announced today.

“We are pleased to have these popular recreational facilities open for Memorial Day weekend,” said Director Stegemann. “People will be able to enjoy camping and boating in the Saranac Lakes Chain of Lakes and will be pleased with the improvements at the Second Pond Boat Launch.”

Construction work to upgrade the Second Pond Boat Launch – the entrance gate to Saranac Lakes Islands Campground – continues, but has progressed enough to allow safe operation of the boat launch site in time for the opening.

Because of the construction, the opening of the campground was delayed a week. The work on the launch ramp, parking area and entranceway will provide a safer and more convenient experience for campers, boaters and anglers that use the boat launch site.

Accommodations have been made for campers that had reservations next week.

The Lower Locks will be staffed beginning Friday, May 23, allowing the passage of boats between Lower Saranac Lake and Oseetah Lake, which connects to Kiwassa Lake and Lake Flower. The locks may be manually operated by boaters beginning Friday, May 16.

The Upper Locks between Lower Saranac Lake and Middle Saranac Lake currently can be manually operated by boaters. DEC staff will be present on weekends and holidays beginning Friday, May 23.

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DEC Finalizes Plans to Relocate and Upgrade Lake George Beach Boat Launch

January 31st, 2014 · No Comments · Adirondack News

NYSDEC LogoThe final design plans to relocate and upgrade the Lake George Beach Boat Launch are completed New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Regional Director Robert Stegemann announced today.

“DEC is committed to increasing recreational access to the state’s natural treasures for both New Yorkers and visitors to the state. The design and operation of the boat launch will provide additional access for boaters to Lake George while ensuring the safety and minimizing the impacts on users of Lake George Beach and nearby residents,” said Director Stegemann. “The input received from residents and local officials led to modifications resulting in a boat launch that boaters, bathers and residents will all appreciate.”

The boat launch is part of a two-year project to improve the roads, parking lots and access to DEC’s Lake George Beach Area – aka Million Dollar Beach. Improvements to the roads and parking lots through the use of porous asphalt and other stormwater management features will also protect the water quality of Lake George. The sidewalk along the beach will be upgraded increasing safety, convenience and attractiveness for pedestrians. A boat wash station is planned for the boat launch that will provide further protection for the lake.

“I am thrilled Governor Cuomo and DEC are upgrading the facilities at Million Dollar Beach to make it more user friendly and provide more protection for Lake George,” said Town of Lake George Supervisor Dennis Dickinson. “The beach is a key asset to our community and its tourism driven economy. We couldn’t be happier with the planned improvements.”

“Million Dollar Beach has always been a primary destination of visitors to Lake George, the planned improvements will raise the attractiveness and accessibility of the beach,” said Lake George Village Mayor Robert Blais. “As chairman of SAVE the Lake, I am also pleased that boaters will have increased access to the southern basin of the lake while protecting the lake from aquatic invasive species.”
Lake George Beach

DEC held a number of meetings with local officials and residents. In response to the concerns expressed at these meetings and in other communications, DEC undertook a second review of the boat launch project and made changes to the plan. The second review included sampling lake depth out from and along the whole stretch of Lake George Beach.

Due to water depths and problems identified with other possible locations DEC once again concluded that the boat launch will be moved to the site at the eastern end of Lake George Beach. However, in response to the comments received, a number of modifications were made to the proposed design and operation of the boat launch, including:

  • The ramp location will be shifted west so that it will be 358 feet from the eastern shoreline of residences on Rose Point Lane;
  • The boat launch ramp is now oriented to point away from the eastern shoreline rather than straight out into the lake;
  • A 150-feet-wide navigation area will be marked with buoys to keep boats approximately 300 feet from the eastern shoreline;
  • The swimming area at DEC’s Lake George beach will be shifted 100 feet west to provide sufficient separation from the boating navigation area; and
  • The boat launch will not operate 24 hours a day during the busy summer boating season.

DEC’s decision to relocate and upgrade the boat launch so that boats can be launched and retrieved throughout the boating season is based on earlier studies that found boaters and local officials wanted additional public access to Lake George and boater’s usage of the southeastern basin of the Lake was far below “comfortable carrying capacity.” The 25-boat capacity planned for the boat launch will not exceed the “comfortable carrying capacity” for that portion of the lake.

Governor Cuomo’s NY Open for Hunting and Fishing Initiative is an effort to improve recreational activities for in-state and out-of-state sportsmen and sportswomen and to boost tourism opportunities throughout the state. This initiative includes the streamlining of hunting and fishing licensing and reducing license fees, improved access for fishing at various sites across the state, and increasing hunting opportunities in various regions.

In his 2014 Executive Budget, Governor Cuomo proposed creating 50 new land access projects. These projects will connect hunters, anglers, bird watchers and others who enjoy the outdoors to more than 380,000 acres of existing state and easement lands that have gone untapped until now. These 50 new access projects include building new boat launches, installing new hunting blinds and building new trails and parking areas.

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DEC Proposes Regulatory Changes to Prevent the Introduction of Aquatic Invasive Species at Boat Launches

January 9th, 2014 · No Comments · Adirondack News

Public Comments Accepted Through February 24

NYSDEC LogoThe New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is proposing new regulations to prevent the introduction and spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS) at DEC boat launches, DEC Commissioner Joe Martens announced. The proposed regulatory changes require boaters to remove all visible plants and animals from boats, trailers and associated equipment and to drain boats before launching at or leaving a DEC boat launch and waterway access.

DEC will accept public comments on the proposal through February 24, 2014. The full text of the proposed regulation can be found on DEC’s website at: Proposed Regulations.

Clean, Drain, and Dry“These proposed regulatory changes are the latest in a series of actions DEC has taken over the past few years to combat the spread of harmful invasive species, including the emerald ash borer,” Commissioner Martens said. “Cooperation and assistance from the public is essential in order for these efforts to succeed. Boats, trailers and the equipment can spread aquatic invasive species from waterbody to waterbody and significantly harm recreational and commercial use of a waterbody while having a detrimental effect on native fish, wildlife and plants. This regulation is an important component of DEC’s efforts to help ensure AIS-free waters remain free and additional AIS are not introduced to other waters.”

Boaters are advised to carefully check their boats, trailers and equipment for any plant or animal material that may be clinging to it and remove it if found. Nuisance Invasive Species Disposal Stations are provided at many DEC boat launches for this purpose. The boat should also be completely drained, including live wells, bait wells and bilge tanks, and dried before it is used in another waterbody.

Recommended drying times for each month of the year can be calculated at: Drying Time Estimator. Additional information on aquatic invasive species and preventing their spread can be found on DEC’s website.

Comments on the proposed regulations can be sent via e-mail to fishregs@gw.dec.state.ny.us, or mailed to Edward Woltmann, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Bureau of Fisheries, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4753. Hard copies of the full text may also be requested from Mr. Woltmann at the above address.

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