LakeFest

Thank you to all the participants and sponsors of LakeFest 2014: Raft-a-Palooza!  We were successful in setting the Guinness World Record for the largest simultaneous launch of canoes and kayaks AND achieving our educational goal of promoting the “Clean, Drain & Dry” approach to boaters far and wide about how to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species.

LakeFest paddlers officially bring Guinness World Record to NH!

launch

Concord, NH, October 16, 2014 – It’s official. On August 3, 2014, 396 canoes and kayaks were launched off of Weirs Beach at Endicott Rock Park in Laconia and onto Lake Winnipesaukee within a 15-second window, setting a new Guinness World Record for the largest simultaneous launch of canoes and kayaks. The effort, organized by the New Hampshire Lakes Association (NH LAKES), shattered the previous record of 308 canoes and kayaks set by a group in Tasmania.

The Guinness World Record attempt was the feature activity of LakeFest 2014: Raft-a-Palooza, an all-day family-friendly festival and educational event hosted by NH LAKES on August 3. While the organization had its sights set on bringing the record to New Hampshire, they had an even bigger goal – to educate as many boaters as possible about how to protect New Hampshire’s lakes from the spread of harmful aquatic plants and animals.

Before lining up their boats along the sands of Weirs Beach to get into position for the launch attempt, paddlers were taught by NH LAKES Lake Hosts how to inspect, and then clean, drain and dry their boats to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive plants and animals. Aquatic invasive species, like milfoil and Asian clams, can be spread between waterbodies on boating, fishing and recreational equipment that has not been properly cleaned, drained or dried before being launched or used in another waterbody.

“Aquatic invasive species are unwanted in our lakes as they not only alter the natural ecology, they degrade boating, swimming, and fishing areas, are difficult and expensive to manage, and are nearly impossible to get rid of once they are well-established” explains Andrea LaMoreaux, NH LAKES Vice President.

While only approximately 80 of New Hampshire’s 1,000 lakes contain invasive species, NH LAKES urges all boaters – including canoeists and kayakers – to do their part to prevent the spread by always taking time to clean, drain and dry their vessels and gear before and after boating. To learn more about this simple procedure, visit www.nhlakes.org/lake-host.

NH LAKES is a statewide nonprofit organization. Since 2002, hundreds of paid and volunteer Lake Hosts have conducted more than 650,000 courtesy boat inspections and have made more than 1,467 ‘saves’ of aquatic invasive species that were about to enter or had just left a waterbody.

For more information about LakeFest 2014, go to www.nhlakefest.org.