Agencies seek feedback on Tahoe Keys aquatic weed control plan | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Agencies seek feedback on Tahoe Keys aquatic weed control plan

A diver grabs a piece of rebar before slipping below the surface to continue installing bottom barriers in South Lake Tahoe on Wednesday, Aug. 15, as part of the fight against aquatic invasice species. Since 2010, the Tahoe Fund has raised funds from private donors for more than 30 environmental improvement projects, including removal of aquatic invasive species.
Justin Scacco / jscacco@sierrasun.com

Public workshops

Tuesday, June 25, 5-7 p.m.

Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board Annex Building

971 Silver Dollar Ave. South Lake Tahoe, Calif.

 

Wednesday, June 26, 9:30 a.m.

TRPA Governing Board meeting

128 Market St., Stateline, Nev.

 

Tuesday, July 16, 5-7 p.m.

North Tahoe Event Center

8318 North Lake Tahoe Blvd., Kings Beach, Calif.

Agencies have opened the public review process for a proposed project to test different methods, including the possible use of herbicides, for controlling aquatic weeds in the Tahoe Keys.

The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board recently announced a series of public workshops to provide information and gather feedback on the proposal.

Additionally a scoping period aimed at gathering feedback opened earlier this month. It runs until Aug. 2. Comments can be submitted at the public workshops or via email to tahoekeysweeds@trpa.org.

The proposal is designed to learn more about the efficacy and potential impacts of new weed control technologies and the potential use of herbicides.

“It is exciting to see this collaborative process move forward.”— Darcie Goodman CollinsCEO of the League

It involves a two-year study where a range of different weed-control methods would be tested at 18 sites in the Keys. Those treatment methods are separated into two groups.

Group one, which is more large-scale, includes aquatic herbicides and/or large scale ultraviolet light. The document identifies four possible herbicides for use: Endothall, Triclopyr, Penoxsulam and ProcellaCOR.

Group two, which is more targeted in nature, includes UVC light spot treatments, bottom barriers, diver-assisted suction and diver hand pulling techniques.

Many of the non-herbicide methods, including the use of UVC light and bottom barriers, have been tested in Tahoe, showing varying degrees of success.

The Tahoe Keys Property Owners Association originally submitted its application to use herbicides to TRPA and Lahontan in 2018.

As part of the environmental review process, a stakeholder committee involving both agencies, the property owners association and other groups, including the League to Save Lake Tahoe, was convened to ensure a collaborative and transparent process.

Parties involved in the collaborative effort have spoken positively about the process thus far.

“It is exciting to see this collaborative process move forward,” Darcie Goodman Collins, CEO of the League, said in a statement. “Our hope is that together we will find the most effective combination of science-backed methods to test in the Tahoe Keys that will control the spread of aquatic weeds from the Keys into Lake Tahoe. We’ve already made progress using new technologies with the Tahoe Keys Property Owners Association today, and I have every belief that this will one day be a success story of how property owners, agencies and nonprofits were all able to come together to find innovative solutions to Keep Tahoe Blue.”

That collaborative effort resulted in a modified project, which is currently being considered in the public review process.

Aquatic invasive weeds have been an ongoing problem in Tahoe Keys and other marinas around the lake for decades.

The Keys development on Tahoe’s South Shore was originally constructed in the 1960s by excavating parts of the Upper Truckee River marsh to form a series of waterways, including three lagoons that amount to 172 acres of waterways, according to the project document.

The Tahoe Keys development includes 1,529 homes and townhomes, 900 docks, a commercial marina, and a commercial center.

Creation of the waterways created conditions conducive for the growth of aquatic weeds.

The hope with the testing proposal is stakeholders will be able to identify methods to bring the infestation to a manageable level and reduce the potential for re-infestations.

For information on the project and upcoming workshops, visit tahoekeysweeds.org.