The Vermont Invasive Patrollers (VIP) Program was established by the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) in 2007 to focus on early detection of all known and potential aquatic invasive species (AIS) before they can become established in a waterbody. Early detection is vital to protecting Lake St. Catherine from harmful invasive plants and animals. Volunteers participating in the VIP Program will monitor Lake St. Catherine for new introductions of invasive species and report their findings to the DEC. If a new invasive is discovered, the DEC will dispatch a team and work with the LSCA to organize an effort to remove it from the lake.
This is a GREAT addition to our invasive species control and prevention initiatives which includes our Greeter Program. Our Greeters work at the Wells boat launch and at the State Park to inspect vessels before (and after) they enter Lake St. Catherine to check for AIS like spiny water flea, asian clams, zebra mussels, and other invasive plants and animals that are only a lake away from LSC.
If you enjoy paddling on Lake St. Catherine and would also like to be part of an early warning system looking for invasive species, we hope you will join us and participate in this program. Using underwater viewers, we'll patrol LSC for invasive species, survey our healthy native plant populations, and reduce the threat for invasive plant species introductions.
VIP volunteers will:
- Be trained and learn how to identify and survey for aquatic invasive species
- Participate in paddles in high-risk areas (like the boat launch) to survey for the presence of invasive plants and animals
- Notify DEC staff of their survey(s) and submit suspicious samples for positive identification.
Our first paddle will be on Saturday, August 19th at 9 AM. We'll meet in our kayaks, canoes, SUPs, etc. around the Wells Boat Launch, do a training, and our first patrol! Email us at email@example.com to let us know you’d like to volunteer for this program!
You can read more about the VIP Program on our website: https://lakestcatherine.org/vermont-invasive-patrollers