Invasive Species in Our Lakes
Our lakes are home to many plants and animals that are good for the lake. But, some species are harmful to our lakes.
Approximately 90 lakes and rivers in New Hampshire are infested with invasive species.
Invasive species are organisms that thrive in an area where they do not evolve naturally and cause harm to the environment, economy, or people.
The main way invasive species spread from lake to lake is by traveling on boats, trailers, and recreational gear that needs to be properly cleaned, drained, and dried between waterbodies. Large areas of invasive plants in a lake make swimming and boating difficult and dangerous. They are expensive to control and nearly impossible to get rid of. They also reduce shoreline property values.
The invasive plant variable milfoil was discovered in New Hampshire in 1965. The spread of invasive plants in New Hampshire has slowed thanks to the education and prevention efforts of our Lake Host Program. And, it is against the law to sell, move, grow, or bring in specific plants and animals that threaten our lakes.
However, despite these laws and education efforts, the number of invasive animals in our lakes is increasing. Unfortunately, no management options are available in New Hampshire to control invasive animal infestations in our lakes.
Invasive Species Prevention Initiatives
Lake Host Program
Clean water, healthy wildlife, and stable property values depend on a healthy lake, free of invasive plants and animals. The NH LAKES Lake Host Program is the first line of defense in protecting our lakes from invasive species.
Clean, Drain, Dry
Lake Hosts offer free complimentary boat inspections and teach boaters about the Clean, Drain, and Dry method. Learn how you can use this method to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species at the lakes you love.
Watercraft Cleaning Unit
Our mobile, solar-powered cleaning unit is visiting public boat ramps throughout the state, helping boaters prevent the spread of invasive species. NH LAKES has deployed the first waterless watercraft cleaning unit in the Northeast—the CD3 Clean, Drain, Dry & Dispose Unit!