Access to Maine lakes becoming more difficult

AUGUSTA, Maine – Access to some of Maine’s waterways has been curtailed due to concerns about aquatic plants and rising levels of boat traffic, The Associated Press reported in a story on over the weekend.

Boaters looking to launch their vessels are finding gates across access roads. Fees are being charged to get past gates in some spots, and some landowners are less willing to let boaters carry their canoes across their properties, according to the story.

“One of the biggest complaints I hear from people is that out-of-staters are buying up the land and you can’t go there anymore,” registered Maine guide Steve Chaisson of Farmingdale told AP.

Maine has about 400 public access boat launches, mostly on land owned by the state or a municipality and is readily available to recreational boaters. Some of those sites are limited to carry-in boats.

Boat launch efforts are hampered by limited money and a slow land-acquisition procedure, said George Powell, director of boating facilities for the state Bureau of Parks and Lands.

Opposition to public access also comes from lakeside landowners who are worried that visiting boats will bring in invasive aquatic plants. The problem cropped up in central Maine with a variable leaf milfoil outbreak at the lake there, AP reported.

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