Tahoe free of new invasive species | RecordCourier.com

Tahoe free of new invasive species

Staff Reports

Boats await inspection at Cave Rock.

In 2016, 35 watercraft out of the 7,500 inspected before entering Lake Tahoe were harboring aquatic invasive plants, mussels or snails, according to the Tahoe Resource Conservation District

According to monitoring and scientific reports, Lake Tahoe remains free of new invasive species introductions, which are major threats to the overall health of Lake Tahoe and surrounding waterbodies.

In total, more than 15,000 vessels launched at Lake Tahoe, including both newly inspected vessels and those with intact Tahoe-issued inspection seals.

"We would like to thank the thousands of boaters who arrived at our Watercraft Inspection Stations with their watercraft clean, drained and dry," said Nicole Cartwright, district aquatic invasive species program manager. "These boaters were able to get on the water faster and avoided paying the additional fees."

Starting in October, boat inspections will move to select launch ramps and winter hours will begin. Tahoe Resource Conservation District (Tahoe RCD) inspectors will be stationed at Cave Rock and Lake Forest boat launches from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. seven days a week, weather and construction permitting. All boats without an intact Tahoe inspection seal are required to get an inspection during daylight hours. Decontaminations are available at Cave Rock and Lake Forest throughout October as long as weather permits. Decontamination fees will apply for watercraft that are not clean, drained and dry. "Clean, Drain and Dry" watercraft that have been in a known infested waterbody will also require a precautionary decontamination at no cost. Boats with intact inspection seals are permitted to launch at all open launch facilities; however, inspections are only available at Cave Rock and Lake Forest. Boaters are encouraged to confirm hours and inspection locations online at TahoeBoatInspections.com or by calling the toll-free hotline at 888-824-6267.

"It is more efficient to move inspections back to the boat ramps with the decrease in boater traffic during the slower fall and winter months," said Dennis Zabaglo, aquatic resources program manager at the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, "but we will continue operations at roadside inspection locations for the 2017 summer boating season. We appreciate the continued cooperation from Tahoe boaters in helping to protect our amazing recreational resources from the threat of aquatic invasive species and supporting our nationally recognized prevention program."