Basics

01.04.02 - Managing Aquatic Invasive Species

Description

GOAL:   To protect the biological diversity and scenic resources of the Lake Tahoe Basin from aquatic invasive species.

Aquatic invasive species pose one of the most serious threats to Lake Tahoe and also to adjacent lakes Fallen Leaf, Echo, Marlette, and Cascade. Such species can be extremely detrimental to native species in addition to threatening water quality. There are currently large infestations of noxious weeds in the Lake including Eurasian water milfoil and curlyleaf pondweed. Additionally, researchers have recently discovered large concentrations of the Asian clam in multiple locations in Lake Tahoe.

Recent detections of quagga and zebra mussels in the Western United States also pose a significant threat to Lake Tahoe. These introductions could have enormous environmental and economic impacts in the Basin. Aggressive measures are in place to reduce the risk that they will be introduced into the Lake. Agencies implemented a mandatory watercraft inspection program in 2008. High risk watercraft must be decontaminated before launching into Lake Tahoe and boat ramps are closed when inspectors are not present. Additionally, outreach and education programs inform the public about what they can do to prevent invasive species introductions.

The focus of this program is preventing new introductions of aquatic invasive species and managing negative impacts from existing invasive species within the Lake Tahoe Basin.

PRIORITY PROJECTS:

  • Keeping quagga mussels out of Lake Tahoe with an aggressive watercraft inspection and enforcement program
  • Preventing new introductions of aquatic invasive species into Lake Tahoe
  • Limiting the spread of existing invasive species such as the Asian clam while minimizing impacts to native species
  • Abating harmful ecological, economic, social and public health impacts resulting from aquatic invasive species.

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