Lake Tahoe boat inspections move to winter operations |

Lake Tahoe boat inspections move to winter operations

Sebastian Foltz
Boaters a couple of years ago lower their craft into Lake Tahoe from one of the area's boat ramps.
Provided / Tahoe RCD

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — Tahoe Resource Conservation District announced this week that boat inspection sites will move to selected launch ramps starting Thursday, Oct. 1, for winter operations.

“We see the bulk of our customers from Memorial Day to Labor Day,” conservation district aquatic invasive species program coordinator Nicole Cartwright said regarding the limited offerings.

Tahoe Resource Conservation District inspectors will be located at the Cave Rock and Lake Forest boat launches from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. seven days a week.

“It is more efficient to move inspections back to the boat ramps with the decrease in boater traffic during the slower fall and winter months,” said Dennis Zabaglo, aquatic resources program manager at the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, in a news release, “but we will continue operations at roadside inspection locations for the 2016 summer boating season. We appreciate the continued cooperation from Tahoe boaters in helping to protect our amazing recreational resources from the threat of aquatic invasive species and supporting our nationally recognized prevention program.”

All motorized craft are required to have an approved inspection seal before accessing the lake by any boat ramp. Staff will remain on site at all Tahoe area boat ramps to check for inspection seals, but inspections will only be offered at the two locations. The owner of any craft failing inspection will need to make an appointment to have the boat decontaminated.

Non-motorized watercraft are can be screened free of charge at any staffed boat ramp.

The inspection process is designed to keep invasive species from populating the lake.

“They’re a very big threat,” Cartwright said. “We see thousands of boaters a year from all over the country.”

Since the inspection program’s inception, Lake Tahoe has remained free of any new cases of invasive species.

Tahoe Resource Conservation District estimated that over 14,000 vessels launched at Lake Tahoe so far during the 2015 boating season. The organization decontaminated approximately 3,200 watercraft that failed inspection.

Boat inspection seals run between $30 and $121 depending on size, with seven-day and seasonal pass options.

Winter boat ramp and inspection hours are subject to weather. Boaters are encouraged to confirm hours and inspection locations online at or by calling the toll-free hotline at 888-824-6267.

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