Photos by Brendan Wiltse

Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK) and Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program (APIPP) held the second Backcountry Water Monitors Training at the Heart Lake Program Center. Cathy Pedler (ADK) and Erin Vennie-Vollrath (APIPP) set up a presentation for volunteers. Volunteers learned to identify aquatic invasive species and were then given an opportunity to choose a backcountry pond or lake to adopt to survey. Other partners include the Ausable River Association, Paul Smith’s College Adirondack Watershed Institute, and the New York State Natural Heritage Program in the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) with funding provided by the Lake Champlain Basin Program and the New England Interstate Pollution Control Commission.

Backcountry Water Monitors Training
Outdoor classroom for the training.
Backcountry Water Monitors Training
Red tape markers on maps help volunteers choose backcountry ponds and lakes available for survey (prior to the training volunteers studied an interactive on-line map to narrow down their search for a backcountry pond or lake).
Backcountry Water Monitors Training water safety
After dividing the volunteers into two groups, Ryan Doyle (ADK) explains water safety, paddling techniques, and Leave No Trace Principles to the first group.
Backcountry Water Monitors Training practicing paddling
Volunteers on Heart Lake practicing paddling techniques and and the survey protocol.

Backcountry Water Monitors Training survey protocol
Volunteers on Heart Lake practicing survey protocol. There were no invasive plants found.
identifying aquatic invasive species
Volunteers learn to identify aquatic invasive plants that they may encounter in the Adirondack Park, including (among others) water chestnut, Eurasian watermilfoil, variable leaf milfoil, and frogbit.
Backcountry Water Monitors Training identifying AIS
Sean Regalado, of the Paul Smith’s Adirondack Watershed Institute teaches volunteers to identify aquatic invasives and to distinguish invasives from their native look-alikes.
Backcountry Water Monitors Training rake-toss method
Volunteers use the rake-toss method to search for aquatic invasive plant species on Heart Lake.
Backcountry Water Monitors Training using bathiscopes
Volunteers use a bathiscope to search for aquatic invasives in Heart Lake.

This project was funded by an agreement awarded by the Great Lakes Fishery Commission of the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission in partnership with the Lake Champlain Basin Program. NEIWPCC manages LCBP’s personnel, contract, grant and budget tasks and provides input on the program’s activities through a partnership with the LCPBP steering committee.  The viewpoints expressed here do not necessarily represent those of NEIWPCC, The LCBP’s steering committee, or GLFC, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or causes constitute endorsement or recommendation for use.