What We Do!

What is a Boat Steward?

Boat Stewards inspect watercraft for invasive aquatic species, removing all aquatic life from the watercraft by hand or by decontamination. Furthermore, stewards educate the general public on invasive species, how to prevent the spread, and boating safety.

When do we do Inspections?

Our inspection season begins on Memorial Day through September. Stewards are stationed at the Saratoga Lake State Boat Launch from 7:30 AM to 7:00 PM throughout the week and weekend as well as local marinas.

Stewards Role

Each steward must complete a survey on each watercraft that is inspected. Some questions include what waterbody the watercraft has been in last, if the boater is aware how to prevent the spread of invasive species, and if there are any organisms detected during the inspection.

Our Decontamination Station

If necessary, a steward can request a boater for decontamination if an invasive species is detected. Our decontamination station at Saratoga Lake uses heated high and low pressure water to remove any microorganisms from the watercraft. Our water is pumped directly from a well, using no chemicals whatsoever and captured to prevent any run-off back into the lake.

Our Outreach

While stationed at the Saratoga Lake State Boat Launch, our team of stewards is equipped with knowledge and educational  information on multiple different topics. Stewards educate the general public on the different types of aquatic invasive species, Saratoga Lake’s specific invasive species, how to prevent the spread, boater guides, and general safety. Along with the educational literature, SLPID’s stewards provide samples of Saratoga Lake’s invasives found along the shores or removed from watercraft during inspections. Allinformation can be found on a display set up by the stewards.

Water Testing

Each week, the SLPID team takes water samples from multiple parts and depths of the lake. Each sample is prepared and sent to a lab for analysis.

What Else We Do!

In the summer, SLPID’s stewards participate in pulling water chestnuts and other aquatic invasives. Stopping the problem at the root. Boat loads of water chestnuts are hand pulled near the mouth and in the Kayaderosseras Creek as well as other locations. Aquatic invasive plant pulls occur weekly by the SLPID stewards. It is almost impossible to remove every invasive plant from the lake; However, it does slow the spread a great deal.

Homeowner Outreach

  • Homeowners have a huge impact on the overall health of the lake and can affect many aspects such as level of nutrients and water quality. The stewards of SLPID go door to door to educate homeowners on three main ways to protect your lake and watershed, curb pollutants, reduce runoff, and capture/purify.
  • Pollutants such as fertilizers, pesticide, and other gardening chemicals should not be used within 100 feet of any watershed. To minimize runoff, softscape your property. Use natural paths rather than concrete or stone paths. Have native plants, grass or hedges to catch rain waters. Planting rain gardens are excellent buffers to capture excess nutrients and water. When dealing with construction, use more permeable materials such as gravel. Try to avoid using stone or concrete.
  • To harm, poison, or kill any aquatic and non-aquatic wildlife is ILLEGAL. It is property owners responsibility to report any issues seen that cause harm to the DEC. Items such as fertilizers, pesticides and other chemicals are not to be used near any watershed. Most lawns do not need fertilizer at all. If you have to use fertilizer, use an organic fertilizer.
  • Fertilizers should not be used before storms to prevent major runoff. Fertilizer should not be applied within 20 feet of a waterbody unless there is a natural barrier, such as trees, shrubs or other plants, that creates at least a ten foot wide barrier.
  • Pesticides keep bugs and critters away and make our homes more enjoyable and clean. However, these chemicals cause a great deal of harm to the ecosystem. Bugs provide a large food source for many aquatic life and wildlife around the lake. The use of chemicals to kill these bugs not only takes away food from the wildlife but can be toxic to them as well. Furthermore, pesticides promote the growth of algae and weeds along the shore. Homeowners should avoid using any chemicals at all near the lake.
  • Simple things such as disposing of lawn trimmings and other debris properly can make all the difference. Never, throw or rake leaves, trimmings or any debris into a watershed. Leaves, lawn trimmings, animal feces and more
  • are high in phosphorus and can lead to algae growth. The quicker the algae grows, the more likely the possibility of a harmful algal bloom could occur. An alternate to save money on disposing the waste is to create a compost bin away from the waterbody. It also can be used as a natural fertilizer.
  • Take the Pledge! As property owners, any action taken directly or indirectly affects Saratoga lake. By taking the pledge to say no to using fertilizers, pesticides, and pollutants,our lake can be cleaner and healthier for future generations.
Water chestnuts are a fast growing annual aquatic invasive that spreads rapidly and outcompetes native plants. The chestnut is found underneath the rosettes and have barbs that can be painful if stepped on.
The Water Chestnut plant is native to Europe, Asia, and Africa and has since been spreading throughout the country.  If left, without intervention, Water Chestnuts will spread rapidly causing dense mats that make it difficult for people to fish and recreate.
Hand pulling is a great way to remove Water Chestnut’s before the seeds mature. Each chestnut contains seeds that can be viable for 25 years! Once the infestation has been cleared, the pulled plant material is collected and either disposed of or used as a compost.
Property owners should be aware of what the plant looks like to pull the plant and dispose of to help stop the spread.  If you are not able to please call SLPID at 518-223-3252