COURTESY BOAT INSPECTIONS
Maine’s Courtesy Boat Inspection Program began in 2001 in an effort to prevent the spread of invasive aquatic plants. Maine Department of Environmental Protection oversees the CBI Program, with the assistance of Bridgton-based Lakes Environmental Association.
The best way to combat invasive plants in Maine waterways is to prevent them from entering in the first place. Maine currently has 7 species of invasive aquatic plants. These are Variable-leaf milfoil, curly-leaf pondweed, Eurasian water-milfoil, European naiad, European frogbit and hydrilla. These plants are so vigorous and propagate so fast that they can crowd out native plants, affect fish populations, and make swimming and boating difficult, if not impossible. When that happens, costly control measures are needed. This is why it is so important to prevent these invasive species from entering the lake.
Each spring, TLEA hires Courtesy Boat Inspectors (CBIs) to monitor boat launches at three or four ramps on Thompson Lake. Hours are on weekends and holidays. The inspectors are trained to discuss with boaters the risk posed by invasive plants, show boaters how to inspect and remove vegetation from boating and fishing equipment, and urge boaters to inspect before and after every launch. Reliability, honesty, and strong communication skills are a must for all CBIs. To learn more about becoming a Courtesy Boat Inspector, watch the CBI training video Maine DEP Courtesy Boat Inspection. Volunteers are needed to supplement the hours that paid inspectors are not available.
For more information on the role of courtesy boat inspections in the state of Maine click the button below!
If you are interested in becoming a Courtesy Boat Inspector on Thompson Lake please contact TLEA at