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Meet the River Steward!

To get in the spirit of Invasive Species Awareness Week, we wanted to highlight our river steward program. We are excited to be entering the 12th summer of river stewardship for preventing invasive species. The Ausable River Association (AsRA), with funding from the Lake Champlain Basin Program, created the river steward program in 2009 to educate river users about the threat of aquatic invasive species. Since then, the work of the river steward has broadened to include terrestrial invasive species that also affect the Ausable River and its lakes. The river steward is an information resource to river users and the general public, educating and creating awareness, helping people to identify infestations when they happen and to mitigate their spread.

For the 2022 summer, our River Steward, Vy, will be out and about along the West Branch of the Ausable River and attending farmer's markets and other events providing outreach and education about aquatic invasive species and how to keep them out of our beloved waters!

Vy Duong helping to take measurements from a tranqulized black bear during winter research in his undergraduate education at University of Maine.

(No bears were harmed in the research.) 

What does the river steward do? 

Vy will be directly communicating with the public along the river corridor and tabling at events, educating river users on the negative impacts of aquatic invasive species (AIS) and how to prevent their spread! He will be conducting river user surveys, maintaining wader wash stations, and reporting invasive plant sightings on iMapInvasives. 

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What is a wader wash station? 

Wader wash stations are our primary line of defense against AIS attempting to hitchhike their way into our river. The tubs contain approximately 2.5 gallons of 5% saline solution and scrubbing your gear in the solution kills any AIS attached while keeping your gear looking new. Talk about a win-win! There are 10 stations located along the West Branch, so be sure to use them the next time you’re entering or exiting the river. 

Wader wash station found along the West Branch Ausable River.

Where can I find the river steward?

Most weekends, you’ll see Vy in his distinct RAV4 (silver, with a black bumper!) patrolling the river corridor from the Flume Rapids to the Route 86 Flats and the Iron Bridge. If you are attending the farmer’s market in Keene or Lake Placid, keep an eye out for our Ausable River Association tent and table. Drop by and say hi!

How can I contact the river steward?

By email: riversteward

By phone: (518) 637-6859

By smoke signal: Call or email in advance

Story by Vy Duong, River Steward.  

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