Tahoe Resource Conservation District

Invasive Species Detections

Watercraft Inspection Program Continues to Ward Off Invasive Species

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According to watercraft inspection data and scientific reports, Lake Tahoe’s waters remain free of new invasive species introductions, which are major threats to the overall health of Lake Tahoe and surrounding water bodies. During the 2013 boating season Tahoe Resource Conservation District (Tahoe RCD) watercraft inspectors performed more than 7,000 new inspections.  In total, more than 14,000 vessels launched at Lake Tahoe, including both newly inspected vessels and those with intact Tahoe-issued inspection seals.

“We’re very happy with the watercraft inspectors’ diligence and accuracy,” said Patrick Stone, TRPA’s Senior Wildlife and Fisheries Biologist. “Monitoring conducted in Lake Tahoe, Fallen Leaf Lake, and Echo Lake confirmed that quagga and zebra mussels have not established in our lakes. These results are a credit to the inspection program and boaters efforts to arrive clean, drained and dry.”

Local agencies are critically concerned as more Western waterbodies have shown evidence of invasive mussels and other aquatic invaders. This summer, Nevada Department of Wildlife confirmed establishment of New Zealand mudsnails in sections of the Truckee River from Mayberry Park in Reno to the Sparks area. As watercraft continue to arrive from high-risk waters, the importance of Lake Tahoe’s Watercraft Inspection Program remains critical. In fact, 36 of the inspected watercraft were harboring aquatic invasive critters including plants, mussels and snails. With our efficient roadside inspection stations, Tahoe RCD decontaminated 4,221watercraft with hot water preventing invasive species from entering Tahoe’s waters.

“I’d like to thank the more than 3,000 boaters who arrived at the Tahoe inspection stations with their watercraft clean, drained and dry. They got on the water faster because decontaminations mean more time and more cost for both the boaters and the inspection program.” Nicole Cartwright, Watercraft Inspection Program Administrator.

Tahoe RCD watercraft inspectors also staffed Boca, Prosser and Stampede Reservoirs and partnered with the Truckee Donner Recreation and Park District to provide watercraft inspectors at Donner Lake. Truckee inspectors screened more than 3,500 vessels for aquatic invasive species. Tahoe RCD continues to support jurisdictions in the Truckee region as they work toward development of their 2014 aquatic invasive species prevention programs.

Prevention efforts for over 7000 paddlers occurred at U.S. Forest Service kiosks, boat ramps and Fallen Leaf Lake. They were assessed for their risk of transporting aquatic invasive species from previously visited waterbodies. Paddlers were also educated about self-inspecting and decontaminating canoes, kayaks and paddleboards and encouraged to become a Tahoe Keeper (TahoeKeepers.org).

Current information on the boat inspection program, including hours of operation for boat launches and snow closures, is available at TahoeBoatInspections.com or by calling 888-824-6267.

Invasive Weeds Workshop

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Tuesday, June 4, 2013
1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m @ Lake Tahoe Community College

See the workshop flyer for details!

This workshop is free but registration is required to ensure there is space available for all registrants.

Anderson thistleLearn about the biology and reproduction of invasive plants.
• Learn how to prevent the introduction and spread of invasive weeds.
• Regional experts will provide hands-on identification of thistles,
knapweeds, toadflax species and other terrestrial weeds of concern in
the Lake Tahoe area.

 

 

Lake Tahoe Invasive Species Detections

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Information Release: August 7, 2013

RE: Invasive Species Detections

Press Contact:
Peter Brumis, Tahoe Resource Conservation District
530.543.1501 ext. 116, pbrumis@TahoeRCD.org

August 3, 2012:

Species found: 1 live quagga mussel was discovered on the anchor line of a pleasure craft
Where: Meyers Watercraft Inspection Station near South Lake Tahoe, CA.
Boat origin: The boat had recently visited the Lake Havasu area, which is known to be infested with quagga mussels.
Details: The boat was decontaminated and cleared by California Fish and Game personnel. 

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