Tahoe Resource Conservation District

Aquatic Invasive Species Control Projects

Aquatic Invasive Species Control Projects

The Tahoe RCD is committed to aquatic invasive species (AIS) control projects within Lake Tahoe along with our many public and private partners. Since 2005, we have worked with our partners to assess and prioritize AIS control projects. We have participated in over 20 projects to control the spread of Eurasian watermilfoil, curlyleaf pondweed, Asian clams and warm water fish. 

The following are our current projects:

  • Truckee River Eurasian Watermilfoil Removal
  • Barrier placementThe Tahoe RCD is pioneering a project on the Truckee River to control the aquatic invasive plant, Eurasian watermifoil, which has been growing prolifically there since the late 1990s. Made possible by strong partnerships, this project follows other successful removal projects that have targeted aquatic invasive plants in Lake Tahoe, particularly in Emerald Bay. Eurasian watermilfoil likely entered the Truckee River during the overflow of the dam in 1997, and has established a thriving over the last 5-7 years. The goals of this project are to, create a baseline map of the infestation from the outlet at Lake Tahoe downstream to River Ranch at Alpine Meadows Rd, and systematically implement control efforts to remove this aquatic invasive plant within this reach of the Truckee River.

    The map below shows the project area. Click on the green squares for aerial video.

    Truckee River AIS removal map

  • Asian Clam Control and Removal
  • Asian clam control in Lake Tahoe is a multi-agency, collaborative effort. Starting with a pilot project in Marla Bay and off shore of Lakeside Beach, researchers and managers looked at two different methods of control; rubber bottom barriers and diver assisted suction removal. Initial tests in the southeast portion of the Lake showed that covering clam populations with rubber barriers was effective in starving clams of dissolved oxygen, thus killing them. Expanding on these initial tests, in the Autumn of 2012, approximately five acres of rubber barrier material was deployed on a relatively low density clam population in the mouth of Emerald Bay. The perimeter of the barriers can be seen below (click photo to enlarge):

    . Photo: Asian clam barriers in Emerald Bay

    Researchers actively monitored clam mortality and dissolved oxygen levels beneath the barriers and were hopeful to achieve a high percentage of clam mortality. In 2014, the barriers were moved to cover the additional 1/2 acre population. In Winter 2014, all rubber barriers were removed and alternative methods of control will be assessed.