Courtesy Boat Inspection

Invasive aquatic plants can infest a lake, crowd out native species, harm wildlife, reduce lake-area property values, and be a general nuisance. Variable leaf milfoil may be the best-known invader, but it is not alone. Maine currently designates eleven invasive plant species.

Maine law (38 MRSA §419-C) prohibits transportation of aquatic plants on Maine roads and prohibits possession of invasive aquatic plants “in a manner that could cause the plant to get into any state waters.” Violators are subject to civil fines of up to $500 for a first offense. Maine created the Courtesy Boat Inspection (CBI) Program

to reduce the spread of invasive aquatic plants (IAP) by boats, trailers, and associated equipment to Maine waters. Trained Courtesy Boat Inspectors discuss with boaters the risk posed by IAP, show boaters how to inspect and remove vegetation from boating and fishing equipment, and urge boaters to inspect before and after every launch.

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection oversees the CBI Program, with the assistance of Bridgton-based Lakes Environmental Association.

Since 2002 Maine law has required boaters to affix “Preserve Maine Waters” stickers to their watercraft. The law applies both to Maine-registered boats and to non-Maine-registered boats operated in freshwater. Stickers are not required for boats operating in tidal waters.

Pleasant Lake/Parker Pond Association operates CBI Programs on both Pleasant Lake and Parker Pond. On weekends beginning around Memorial Day and ending in late September, trained CBI inspectors located at the respective Pleasant Lake and Parker Pond Casco boat ramps inspect trailer craft entering and exiting the water. The 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.

For more information see: