About the Report

Researchers at the University of California, Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center have released the report of Lake Tahoe’s clarity in 2022. The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) commissions the report every year to track changes in water quality and to inform management strategies to restore the lake’s impaired water clarity.

You can read the clarity report media release here.

Highlights and Notes on the Report
  • In 2022, Lake Tahoe’s average annual clarity was 71.7 feet compared to 61 feet in 2021.
      • Tahoe’s clarity is the best since the 1980s.
  • The clarity report is encouraging news for Lake Tahoe at a time when the ecosystem is experiencing more extreme storms, wildfire, and warmer temperatures.
  • The 2022 report included new insights regarding the role of native and non-native zooplankton (tiny animals in the lake) on lake clarity. The Tahoe Science Advisory Council is being engaged to better understand the new findings
  • The lake’s resilience must continue to be supported by the Lake Tahoe Environmental Improvement Program through the Lake Tahoe Restoration Act to reach the Tahoe clarity target of 97.4 feet.
  • The Total Maximum Daily Load pollutant reduction program continues to be a key strategy for improving clarity and the health of the lake.
  • The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and TMDL partners are working with scientists to better understand how changing climate and ecology impact clarity and how to adapt management strategies to new findings and changes in the ecosystem.
  • In early 2023, a full deep water mix occurred and the lake essentially “flipped” over, resulting in clarity deeper than 100 feet for a short period.
      • Deep mixing in the lake is happening less often and not always to full depth, which also impacts annual lake clarity numbers.
      • The deep mix occurrence will be recorded in next year’s report.

The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency leads the cooperative effort to preserve, restore, and enhance the unique natural and human environment of the Lake Tahoe Region, while improving local communities, and people’s interactions with our irreplaceable environment. For additional information, contact Jeff Cowen, Public Information Officer, at (775) 589-5278 or jcowen@trpa.gov.