From the Tahoe Resource Conservation District
Roadside stations for inspections and decontaminations of motorized boats and watercraft are officially open for the 2012 boating season at 5 locations entering the Lake Tahoe Basin.
Locations and hours are:
- Meyers, at the junction of US 50 and Highway 89 (Open 8 a.m.-8 p.m.)
- Spooner Summit, at the junction of US 50 and Highway 28 in Nevada (Open 8 a.m.-8 p.m.)
- Highway 267, at Northstar Drive south of Truckee (Open 8 a.m.-6 p.m.)
- Highway 89, at Alpine Meadows Road north of Tahoe City (open 8 a.m.-8 p.m.)
- Highway 89, at Homewood Resort on Lake Tahoe's west shore (open 8 a.m.-6 p.m.)
“Boat inspections are critical to maintaining the health of Lake Tahoe and our local recreation-based economy,” said Ted Thayer, TRPA’s Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator.
“Through the efforts of the Tahoe Resource Conservation District’s well-trained inspectors and other private and public partners committed to the Lake, we expect to have another successful season.”
All motorized boats and watercraft require inspection for aquatic invasive species (AIS) prior to launching into Lake Tahoe. Quagga and zebra mussels are especially problematic, as they are known to multiply quickly and colonize underwater surfaces, including docks and piers, water supply and filtration systems, buoys, moored boats and even the beautiful rocky shoreline.
They destroy fish habitat, ruin boat engines, and can negatively impact water quality and the local economy, recreation and ecosystem. Boats and other watercraft are the largest transporters of AIS, and the inspection program is critical to preventing their spread into Lake Tahoe and other water bodies. Knowingly transporting AIS into Lake Tahoe is against the law, and violators may be subject to fines.
A reminder of the need for watercraft inspections occurred on April 18, when inspectors at the Meyers roadside inspection station detected over 40 zebra mussels on a boat.
A Lake Tahoe resident, who had offered the boat for inspection training purposes, had recently purchased it from the Great Lakes. The boat was immediately quarantined by the California Department of Fish and Game and decontaminated by Tahoe RCD staff multiple times using 140-degree hot water and until it was completely cleared of all signs of invasive species.
Boaters are encouraged to Clean, Drain, and Dry their boats prior to arriving at inspection stations in order to save everyone time and money, according to Kim Boyd, Invasive Species & Biological Resources Program Manager for Tahoe RCD.
Annual watercraft inspection fees range from $35 for personal watercraft and vessels under 17 feet up to $121 for vessels over 39 feet. The annual “Tahoe Only” sticker fee remains unchanged from 2011. An additional fee of $25 is being charged for any boat requiring decontamination.
Visit TahoeBoatInspections.com or call (888) 824-6267 for updates, details and information or follow @TahoeBoating on Twitter for real-time updates.