Aquatic Invasive Species

Click here to learn about the recent discovery of invasive New Zealand mudsnails in Lake Tahoe.


Lake Tahoe faces a constant and serious threat from the introduction and spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS). AIS can devastate aquatic ecosystems, and negatively impact the recreation opportunities that drive Lake Tahoe’s economy.

The Lake Tahoe Aquatic Invasive Species Program’s mission is to prevent, detect, and control aquatic invasive species in the region so that future generations can enjoy Lake Tahoe. The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) and the Tahoe Resource Conservation District (Tahoe RCD) lead the program in collaboration with the public and private partners.

​Visit to learn more about this program.


Watercraft Inspection Program

Since 2008, the nationally recognized Watercraft Inspection Program has worked to prevent new AIS from entering the lake. The program calls for the inspection of all motorized watercraft to ensure new AIS, such as quagga and zebra mussels, are not introduced. New Zealand mudsnails discovered in Lake Tahoe in 2023 are the first new invasive species detected since TRPA and Tahoe RCD launched the program. Unfortunately, many other waterbodies in the Western U.S. reported new invasive species in that time. Tahoe’s watercraft inspection program is kept updated with new introductions to identify high-risk waterbodies boats may be coming from. 

The Tahoe Keepers free self-inspection and decontamination training program provides paddlers with the information needed to help stop the spread of aquatic invasive species. Paddlers can also find maps and planning resources for the Lake Tahoe Water Trail at

For more information about launching a boat or paddle craft in Lake Tahoe, visit


Aquatic Invasive Species Control

Once invasive species enter the ecosystem they crowd out native populations, impair habitats and water quality, and reduce recreational opportunities. TRPA oversees projects that reduce and eradicate populations of invasive aquatic weeds, asian clams, non-native fish, bullfrogs, or other identified species. Projects also include pilot projects and the rapid response to new locations of AIS infestations to prevent further spread.

​Visit to learn more about current and past projects.

TRPA and its partners have embarked on a goal of significantly reducing aquatic invasive species throughout the region over the next 10 years, as described in the Lake Tahoe AIS Control Action Agenda (Summary and complete document).

The 2015 Lake Tahoe Aquatic Invasive Species Implementation Plan lists the Tahoe Keys lagoons as the highest priority areas for control of AIS in Lake Tahoe. Learn more about solutions to control weeds in the Tahoe Keys by visiting

Innovative tools are an important component of controlling AIS in Lake Tahoe. The use of Ultraviolet-C light (UV-C) has been pioneered in Lake Tahoe and the results of the second pilot have helped identify treatment protocols for the Tahoe Keys Lagoons Aquatic Weed Control Methods Test. Results of the second pilot test can be found in the 2021 Final Monitoring Report UV-C Light Aquatic Invasive Plant Control Pilot Project  (and Appendices).


Lake Tahoe Aquatic Invasive Species Management Plan and Other Documents

Lake Tahoe already hosts several aquatic invasive species. TRPA leads a collaborative effort to control existing invasive species, which costs millions of dollars every year. The Lake Tahoe Aquatic Invasive Species Management Plan (see here for Plan Appendices) aims to:

  • Prevent new introductions of AIS to the Tahoe Region
  • Limit the spread of existing AIS populations in the Tahoe Region, by employing strategies that minimize threats to native species, and extirpate existing AIS populations when possible
  • Abate harmful ecological, economic, social and public health impacts resulting from AIS

Routine monitoring for existing species is important to track success of treatment efforts.