Courtesy boat inspectors

Click here for the 2017 Inspection Form

The first line of defensive against invasive aquatic plants such as variable leaf and Eurasian water milfoil, hydrilla, water chestnut and Brazilian elodea are Maine’s courtesy boat inspectors. Many new infestations occur in shallow waters near public boat  launch facilities, so it’s obvious invasive plants move from lake to lake on the boats and equipment of unsuspecting boaters.

If people are the cause, they can also be the cure.  Since courtesy boat inspections started, the number of boats inspected has risen from just 2,848 in 2001 to 87,413 in 2015.

What do courtesy boat inspectors, often call CBIs, do? As boaters launch and remove their boats from the water, CBIs:

  • Discuss with boaters how invasive aquatic plants spread
  • Show boaters how to inspect boats and equipment for plant fragments
  • Urge boaters to inspect before and after every launch
  • Distribute information about invasive plants
  • Articulate Maine law regarding the transport of these plants.

Each spring LEA hires dozens of CBIs to monitor boat launches throughout the Lakes Region. Hours are typically 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. or 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Boat traffic is usually highest on Saturdays and Sundays, so inpectors must be able to work at least one weekend day a week.

Reliability, honesty and good people skills are a must for all CBIs. Inspectors are generally paid $9 per hour. To learn more about working as a Courtesy Boat inspector, read the 2017 CBI Handbook. If you are interested in becoming a courtesy boat inspector in the Sebago Lake Region in 2016, please email Mary Jewett or call 647-8580.


Lakes Environmental Association, 230 Main Street, Bridgton, Maine, 04009