TRUCKEE, Calif. — The Tahoe Resource Conservation District (Tahoe RCD) will again manage the Truckee Area Watercraft Inspection Program for 2012. Entering its third season, Truckee area inspections and boater education on aquatic invasive species (AIS) will take place at Donner Lake and Boca, Prosser and Stampede reservoirs late May through September. Current funding for Truckee Area watercraft inspections and outreach has been provided by the Truckee River Fund.“The program was well-received in 2010 and 2011, and we look forward to providing boaters with information and free inspections and decontaminations again in 2012,” said Teresa Crimmens, program coordinator for the Truckee Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Program (TRAISPP).Boat inspections are the front line to prevent the introduction of AIS, as boats and other motorized watercraft are the largest vectors for spreading AIS into new water bodies. Boaters are encouraged to “clean, drain and dry” their watercraft prior to launching into new water bodies. Free decontaminations will be available for high-risk vessels wishing to launch at Truckee area water bodies. These will occur at Alpine Meadows Transportation Station parking lot, off Highway 89 and Northstar-at-Tahoe Castle Peak parking lot, off Highway 267. Inspections are voluntary but highly recommended to avoid the spread of AIS, such as quagga and zebra mussels and New Zealand mudsnails, which pose a significant threat to Truckee/Tahoe area water bodies and local economies. 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 shoreline. They destroy fish habitat, ruin boat engines, and can negatively impact water quality, recreation and the ecosystem. The inspection program is critical to preventing the spread of AIS into Truckee area water bodies. During 2011 Tahoe RCD inspectors logged more than 7,700 boater interactions, including both inspections and opportunities for boater education on AIS. According to surveys completed during 2011 inspections, 85 percent of boat owners agree inspections are an important component in stopping the spread of aquatic invasive species.Through the 2011 stakeholder-driven process, the Tahoe RCD and Truckee River Watershed Council have gauged community support and identified the programmatic steps for implementation of a mandatory prevention program in the Truckee region. “A mandatory inspection program is a crucial element in preventing the introduction of aquatic invasive species,” said Kim Boyd, Invasive Species andamp; Biological Resources program manager for Tahoe RCD. Tahoe RCD, the Truckee River Watershed Council and the Truckee-Tahoe community will continue to work with local policy-makers in 2012 toward the implementation of a mandatory program in Truckee.For more information, program updates and announcements visit TruckeeBoatInspections.com or contact Teresa Crimmens at 530-587-4911. For information about the Tahoe Resource Conservation District contact Pete Brumis at 530-543-1501 or pbrumis@TahoeRCD.org.— Submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org
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