Lake Tahoe closed to boat launches; inspections halted due to COVID-19

A boat is launched at the Tahoe Keys Marina.
Tribune file photo

The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and Tahoe Resource Conservation District announced Wednesday that all boat inspection stations around the lake are shut down for the safety of employees due to the coronavirus.

Watercraft inspections to prevent the introduction of aquatic invasive species in the lake will be halted until at least April 16.

Inspection stations, as well as the boat ramps at Cave Rock, Nev., and Tahoe City, Calif., will remain closed until it is deemed safe for personnel to return to work.

“Only motorized watercraft already on the lake can be used,” said TRPA spokesman Jeff Cowen in an email to the Tribune. “No launches are possible from any facility until inspectors are present.”

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 inspection program, every motorized watercraft is inspected to ensure it is clean, drained, and dry and not carrying AIS before launching.

TRPA said no new aquatic invasive species have been detected in Lake Tahoe since the program launched in 2008.

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

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