Boaters planning to launch at Lake Tahoe over Memorial Day Weekend are reminded to arrive at one of five watercraft inspection stations clean, drained and dry in order to get through the inspection process and out on the water more quickly.
All boats entering Lake Tahoe without a Lake Tahoe wire inspection seal are required to go through a mandatory inspection and purchase an inspection sticker as part of the public, private, multi-agency effort to protect Lake Tahoe from aquatic invasive species. Inspection stations are located at:
■ Meyers, at the junction of highways 50 and 89
■ Spooner Summit, at the junction of highways 50 and 28 in Nevada
■ North of Tahoe City, off Highway 89, on Alpine Meadows Road
■ South of Truckee, off Highway 267 and Northstar Drive in the Castle Peak parking lot
■ Homewood on the west shore, off Highway 89, at Homewood Ski Resort
Information on hours of operation and fees can be found online at TahoeBoatInspections.com. People using non-motorized watercraft (kayaks, paddleboards, etc.) in Lake Tahoe are encouraged to become a Tahoe Keeper by learning how to self-inspect their watercraft for aquatic invasive species. You can become a Tahoe Keeper at TahoeKeepers.org by watching a short video and registering your non-motorized watercraft.
“Becoming a Tahoe Keeper is quick and easy,” said Nicole Cartwright, Watercraft Inspection Program Administrator with the Tahoe Resource Conservation District. “Taking the few extra steps to self-inspect and decontaminate your paddlecraft can be the key tool to prevent spreading invasive species.”
Aquatic invasive species are a growing threat throughout the nation and the west. What Lake Tahoe watercraft inspectors are looking for is evidence of quagga and zebra mussels, New Zealand mudsnails, Eurasian watermilfoil and a dozen other invasive species and aquatic weeds. These invasives pose a serious threat to the Tahoe Basin’s unique natural environment and economy.
“The recent discovery of New Zealand mudsnails in the Truckee River has created a heightened sense of concern this year,” said Dennis Zabaglo, Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator for the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency. “Boaters are encouraged to thoroughly clean, drain and dry their watercrafts in order to help prevent the spread of this, and other, harmful invasive species to Lake Tahoe,” he said.
Anglers are also being asked to decontaminate their gear when moving between waterbodies, including within the Tahoe-Truckee watershed, in order to prevent transporting tiny New Zealand mudsnails caught on their gear. Information on doing so can be found at Nevada Department of Wildlife at http://www.ndow.org/Boat/Aquatic_Invasive_Species and at the California Department of Fish and Wildlife at http://www.dfg.ca.gov/invasives/mudsnail.