Stateline, Nevada – Watercraft inspections to prevent the introduction of aquatic invasive species (AIS) in Lake Tahoe have halted until at least April 16 in response to Nevada and California Executive Orders on COVID-19, according to the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and the Tahoe Resource Conservation District. While inspections are temporarily halted and most public boat ramps are closed for the season, it does not remove the requirement for all motorized watercraft to have an intact inspection seal prior to launching. Lake Tahoe boaters should follow for information on boat inspections and the status of boat ramps around the lake.

“During these unprecedented times it’s important that we keep our staff and community safe and avoid all non-essential interactions,” Tahoe Regional Planning Agency Executive Director Joanne S. Marchetta said. “We will continue to monitor the protocols coming from the states and health agencies in the hopes of putting the inspectors back to work as soon as it is safe.”

Public boat ramps at Cave Rock, Nevada and Lake Forest, California are the only public launch sites operating in winter months and they are subject to the closure.

Invasive species can have devastating environmental and economic impacts on industries, communities, and native species populations. Watercraft are the largest source for spreading aquatic invasive species into new waterways. Under the watercraft inspection program, every motorized watercraft is inspected to ensure it is Clean, Drained, and Dry and not carrying AIS before launching at Lake Tahoe. Thanks to the diligence of boaters and inspectors, no new aquatic invasive species have been detected in Lake Tahoe since the program launched in 2008.

Boaters should continue to check for new information as it becomes available or call 888-824-6267.

The Lake Tahoe Aquatic Invasive Species Program is implemented by 40 public and private partner organizations, including federal, state, and local jurisdictions, research partners, public utility districts, and private marinas. The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and the Tahoe Resource Conservation District lead the program in collaboration with the public and private partners. The program’s mission is to prevent, detect, and control aquatic invasive species in the Region so that future generations can enjoy Lake Tahoe. For additional information, contact Jeff Cowen, Public Information Officer, at 775-589-5278.