CBIs, FOWL, keep watch to prevent invasive species from entering Wilson Lake

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WILTON — This summer’s weekends have brought Courtesy Boat Inspectors (CBIs) to the boat launch at Wilson Lake to check incoming and outgoing watercraft for any bits of plants that might transfer from lake to lake.

The inspection is optional, but most of the boaters are aware of the danger posed by invasive plants that can harm the fishing, water quality and appearance of a lake. Boaters can learn how to examine their boat and trailer themselves to make sure it’s clean when it goes into a lake.

In addition to motorboats and pontoons, the CBI team checks kayaks, canoes, paddleboards and jet skis. Hundreds of boats get checked over the course of the summer.

The program is a partnership between the town of Wilton and the Friends of Wilson Lake (FOWL), with some funding from Maine DEP, and major help provided by local businesses who take on a weekend of sponsorship. A kiosk at the boat launch proclaims the current sponsor.

During the Blueberry Festival, a couple of the CBI monitors joined the various FOWL volunteers who were helping with the free boat tours of the lake. Jordan Daigle worked on the dock to help those boarding the pontoons, and another monitor, Olivia Schanck, with assistance from Alison Landry, helped fit life jackets for the young boaters. 

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Alison Landry, left, and Olivia Schanck help fit life jackets for young boaters during boat tours of Wilson Lake in Wilton during the Blueberry Festival recently.

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