Noise officials get more options |

Noise officials get more options

Emily Aughinbaugh

Nevada boating officials will have more options to test for noisy boats on Lake Tahoe this summer.

The Nevada Division of Wildlife Commission voted unanimously Saturday to expand the types of tests used to determine whether a boat is too loud for the lake.

Previous measurements only used a shoreline meter that tests noise levels from boats traveling 50 feet away.

Fred Messmann, Nevada Division of Wildlife boating law administrator, said those regulations were limiting because 50 feet is close to shore where boats shouldn’t be traveling at high speeds. Also testing boats with that criteria was difficult because it didn’t consider weather conditions or the skill of the operator.

The new regulations will allow Nevada boating officials to use a stationary test and a shoreline test where boats pass at various speeds and distances away.

A big part of the new regulations will involve educating the boaters. Messmann said complaints come from the shoreline where boats should idle or run slowly and quietly without causing problems.

“Part of the education is just move it out from the shore if you’re going to run full throttle,” he said.

Nevada boating officers will be trained on how to administer the tests before the summer.

Tahoe Regional Planning Agency officials said more opportunities to talk with boat owners and a greater number of testing options will help TRPA boating officers.

“I think we can really work cooperatively this time around to let people know that noise is an issue,” said Steve Chilton, TRPA’s chief of environmental compliance. “(NDOW) can use it as an educational tool. It will give them more opportunity to make contacts with folks about boat noise and how far it carries.”

Messmann said he hopes the new tests will help boaters to know where they can run at certain speeds around the lake and still keep noise down.

“The new boating regulations will make it easier for us to educate the public,” Messmann said. “I’m looking forward to the public on the Nevada side contacting us with complaints so we can target violators.”

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