Positions Available – Lake Tahoe Watercraft Inspectors

Now Accepting Applications for Lake Tahoe’s Watercraft Inspection Program. Season begins April 24, 2017. Positions open until filled. Part-time and Full-time seasonal positions available. Full job descriptions for:

  • Watercraft Inspectors:  Multiple North Shore positions available. Shifts are 10 hour days, 8am-6pm. Salary starts at $14/hour. Four locations:  Alpine Meadows and Truckee.
  • Public Information Specialist: One position available. Shifts are 8 hour days, 8am-4pm. Saturday/Sunday required.
  • Service Technician: One position available. Shifts are 8 hours a day, 8am-4pm. Saturday/Sunday required.

Please send resume and three references to ckilian@tahoercd.org

 

Tahoe Boat Inspections Move to Launch Ramps for Fall and Winter

Starting in October boat inspections will move to select launch ramps and winter hours will begin.  Tahoe Resource Conservation District (Tahoe RCD) inspectors will be stationed at Cave Rock and Lake Forest boat launches from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. seven days a week, weather and construction permitting. All boats without an intact Tahoe inspection seal are required to get an inspection during daylight hours. Decontaminations are available at Cave Rock and Lake Forest throughout October as long as weather permits. Decontamination fees will apply for watercraft that are not clean, drained and dry. “Clean, Drain and Dry” watercraft that have been in a known infested waterbody will also require a precautionary decontamination at no cost. Boats with intact inspection seals are permitted to launch at all open launch facilities; however, inspections are only available at Cave Rock and Lake Forest.  Boaters are encouraged to confirm hours and inspection locations online at TahoeBoatInspections.com or by calling the toll-free hotline at 888-824-6267.

“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, “but we will continue operations at roadside inspection locations for the 2017 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.”

According to monitoring and scientific reports, Lake Tahoe remains free of new invasive species introductions, which are major threats to the overall health of Lake Tahoe and surrounding waterbodies. During the 2016 boating season, Tahoe RCD watercraft inspectors performed more than 7,500 inspections.  In total, more than 15,000 vessels launched at Lake Tahoe, including both newly inspected vessels and those with intact Tahoe-issued inspection seals.

As watercraft continue to arrive from high-risk waters, the importance of Lake Tahoe’s Watercraft Inspection Program remains critical. In fact, in 2016, 35 of the inspected watercraft were harboring aquatic invasive plants, mussels or snails. With our efficient roadside inspection stations, Tahoe RCD decontaminated approximately 3,500 watercraft with hot water, preventing invasive species from entering Tahoe’s waters.

“We would like to thank the thousands of boaters who arrived at our Watercraft Inspection Stations with their watercraft clean, drained and dry,” said Nicole Cartwright, aquatic invasive species program manager for Tahoe RCD. “These boaters were able to get on the water faster and avoided paying the additional fees.”

Tahoe RCD continues to support aquatic invasive species prevention efforts in the Truckee region. Tahoe RCD partnered with the Town of Truckee to provide watercraft inspections and decontaminations for Donner Lake at our Truckee-Tahoe watercraft inspection station.  Please join the Town of Truckee at 6pm Wednesday September 28th at Town Hall in the Council Chambers for their second public workshop about the future of Donner Lake’s prevention program. Tahoe RCD watercraft inspectors also educated over 3,000 boaters and paddlers about preventing the introduction of aquatic invasive species at Prosser and Boca Reservoirs in Nevada County and Stampede Reservoir in Sierra County.

Prevention efforts for over 12,000 paddlers in the Region occurred at beach kiosks, boat ramps and park entrances. Watercrafts were assessed for their risk of transporting aquatic invasive species from previously visited waterbodies. Paddlers were also educated about self-inspecting and decontaminating canoes, kayaks and paddleboards and encouraged to become a Tahoe Keeper (TahoeKeepers.org).

New Weapons Available to Fight Against Invasive Species

Lake Tahoe, Stateline, NV— Smartphones became Lake Tahoe’s first line of defense against the introduction of new aquatic invasive species this summer. As part of recently launched partnerships with agencies around the West, the Lake Tahoe Aquatic Invasive Species Program receives real-time updates from other land managers about vessels traveling to Lake Tahoe from waters with a high risk of containing invasive species. The data-sharing app used by partner agencies acts as an early warning system for Tahoe’s watercraft inspectors.

Since 2009, Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) has enforced mandatory watercraft inspections at Lake Tahoe, which has prevented the introduction of new aquatic invasive species. Aquatic invasive species can damage Tahoe’s ecosystem and degrade recreational experiences for residents and visitors.

“We continue to find several boats each year with various aquatic invasive species, and the watercraft inspection program is poised to discover what the next threat could be,” said Dennis Zabaglo, aquatic resources program manager at TRPA. “We’re using every weapon at our disposal, and these regional partnerships are a critical link to conserving the health of Lake Tahoe.”

So far this year, inspectors in the Lake Tahoe Region have conducted more than 7,300 inspections and decontaminated more than 3,500 vessels. Complete numbers are expected to be released as the 2016 boating season winds down.

In 2016 thus far, Lake Tahoe watercraft inspectors have prevented four boats containing quagga mussels from launching on the lake. The most recent discovery took place this month at the boat inspection station in Meyers. Quagga mussels have caused significant environmental damage in U.S. waterways, including the Great Lakes and Lake Mead. In addition, 20 boats have been found with other invasive species, including New Zealand mudsnails, during the inspection process at Lake Tahoe.

“Our inspection staff work hard to prevent new introductions of aquatic invasive species into Lake Tahoe, Fallen Leaf Lake, Echo Lake, and now Donner Lake,” said Nicole Cartwright, AIS program coordinator with the Tahoe Resource Conservation District (Tahoe RCD), “with over 20 vessels found harvesting invasive species, this validates their efforts and the importance of our program.”

Tahoe inspectors ask boaters to Clean, Drain and Dry their vessels prior to arriving at an inspection station.

Spooner Closure July 16 & 17

The Spooner Inspection Station will be closed Saturday and Sunday July 16 & 17 due to a special event. All boats needing an inspection will need to go to Meyers, Truckee or Alpine Inspection Stations. We apologize for any inconvenience.

 

 

U.S. 50 Road Improvements Near Cave Rock Boat Ramp

Cave Rock State Park boaters and visitors should be aware of roadway improvements that the Nevada Department of Transportation will be making on U.S. 50 near Cave Rock.

NDOT will be extending the westbound, lakeside Cave Rock tunnel entrance.  The new approximately 60-foot long and 27-foot tall structure will extend the existing tunnel to enhance safety by catching rock fall before it reaches the roadway. Westbound and Eastbound U.S. 50 lanes and the roadway median between Cave Rock and the Cave Rock State Park boat launch entrance will also be paved, and other improvements made.

During construction, traffic will be reduced to one lane in each direction through the eastbound Cave Rock tunnel, with reduced speed limits and some limited travel delays to be expected.  Left turns into and out of Cave Rock State Park may at times be limited due to construction.

Project construction is scheduled to begin in spring 2016 and continue through fall of 2016.

2016 Stickers Now Available

2016 Tahoe Only and Tahoe In-out inspection stickers are now available. There are inspectors ready to serve you at either Cave Rock or Lake Forest boat ramp, 7 days a week, weather permitting.

Inspection fees will remain at the 2015 prices. We do not anticipate any changes to the fee structure, but 2016’s fees will not be finalized until the February or March TRPA board meeting.

Helping shape boating industry

Lake Tahoe’s Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Program is working with the boating industry to create new products that stop the spread of AIS in ballast tanks. Check out the results of testing the efficacy of a filtration device to minimize the introduction of veligers or zooplankton into ballast water systems to minimize the potential spread of invasive species into uninvaded lakes via boat ballast.    Full report: click here

 

 

Truckee River Aquatic Plant Control Project

 

Tahoe Resource Conservation District (Tahoe RCD)

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 14, 2015

Innovation Applied to Tackle Invasive Plants in Truckee River

Truckee River, Tahoe City, CA – The Tahoe Resource Conservation District (Tahoe RCD) has piloted a project on the Truckee River to control the aquatic invasive plant, Eurasian watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum), which has been growing in Lake Tahoe since the late 1980s, and likely entered the Truckee River following the overflow of the dam in 1997.

Tahoe RCD is a leader in developing highly-effective control strategies for open-water aquatic plant removal in collaboration with the Lake Tahoe Aquatic Invasive Species Program. In 2010, approximately 6 acres of aquatic invasive plants covered the nearshore near Vikingsholm in the iconic Emerald Bay. Control strategies used in Emerald Bay included laying down bottom barriers to kill the plants by eliminating light, and using diver-assisted suction removal to physically remove plants and roots. After four years of comprehensive treatment, Emerald Bay is free of aquatic invasive plants.

Tahoe RCD is now taking this strategic deployment of both methods to the Truckee River, from the lakeside of the Tahoe City Dam downstream to Alpine Meadows Road. Eurasian watermilfoil is growing in large dense patches along this stretch of the river. These patches of vegetation can alter water quality by raising pH, decreasing oxygen, and increasing water temperature, as well as causing a decrease in water clarity, all of which ultimately alters the ecosystem and causes negative impacts to recreation and public safety.

In 2014, 10,000 square feet of benthic bottom barriers were laid lake-ward of the Tahoe City Dam. In 2015, fewer than twenty plants have been detected at this site and subsequently removed. Also in 2014, 427 cubic feet of invasive plants were removed downstream from the dam using diver-assisted suction removal. In August of 2015, Tahoe RCD is working with A.C.E. Diving to install bottom barriers in the river system below the dam the same team successfully treated the Eurasian watermilfoil infestation at Emerald Bay. While bottom barriers have been successful in open water lake environments, using them within a river system will be a new application of this method.

“With the drought conditions, many people have asked how the lack of water at the Dam and down the Truckee River will impact efforts to remove invasive plants,” said Kim Boyd, District Manager at Tahoe RCD. “With the low waters this creates a unique opportunity to use bottom barriers which provides a cost-effective technique for plant removal.”

Tahoe RCD anticipates the need to continue efforts to control aquatic plants in the Truckee River for several years to come as the population is dense in some locations and environmental conditions such as water levels will continue to fluctuate.

“From our efforts in Emerald Bay, we know that invasive plant populations can be reduced and with continued treatments we will be able to better manage the populations in the future.” Boyd continues.

Funding for this project has been provided by the Community Foundation of Western Nevada/Truckee River Fund, California Department of Parks and Recreation, the Tahoe Fund, and the Rotary Club of Tahoe City.

About the Tahoe Resource Conservation District

The Tahoe Resource Conservation District’s mission is to promote the conservation and improvement of the Lake Tahoe Basin’s soil, water and related natural resources by providing leadership, information, programs, and technical assistance to all land managers, owners, organizations, and residents. The Tahoe RCD is a non-regulatory, grant-funded, public agency that works with a variety of partner agencies to implement projects, programs and outreach which currently focus on erosion control, runoff infiltration, terrestrial and aquatic invasive species control, and conservation landscaping.

Press Contact:
Nicole Cartwright
Tahoe Resource Conservation District (Tahoe RCD)
530.543.1501 x111
ncartwright@tahoercd.org
Tahoercd.org

Tahoe Keeper Appreciation

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To thank our registered Tahoe Keepers we will be hosting appreciation events this summer.

The first 75 registered Tahoe Keepers to visit our booth will receive a free food voucher from Lakeview Cafe for 2 tacos (fish,chicken,beef,tempeh) or 1 burrito (chicken,beef,tempeh).

Craving yummy Mexican food but not a registered Tahoe Keeper? You can still sign up, it’s free and easy just go to tahoekeepers.org

When: Thursday, August 13th, 4:30-8:30 PM:

Where: Live @ Lakeview Concert Series, Lakeview Commons, South Lake Tahoe

Big Sticky Mess and Polyrhythmics will be providing the funky musical entertainment that night. Check them out at http://bigstickymess.com/ and http://www.polyrhythmics.com/

For more information contact tahoekeepers@tahoercd.org

Tahoe Keeper Jr’s

This summer the Tahoe Keeper program has expanded to the “Tahoe Keeper Jr’s”. Students attending summer camps all around the basin are learning how they can make a difference. Many summer camps already take students paddling as part of their camp. Tahoe RCD educators share with students how they can help protect the lake they love, before they head out on a paddling adventure.

SOS outreach helping survey non-motorized watercraft

SOS outreach helping survey non-motorized watercraft

Students learn how invasive species take over an ecosystem by playing The Invasive Species Game, where they run around collecting “resources” while trying to survive an “invasion” from a non-native species.This game allows students to release some energy while learning the basics of ecology and species interactions. Once they see how invasive species can take over an ecosystem they are trained on what they can do to protect Lake Tahoe while enjoying the lake.

Other student groups have gone above and beyond by helping the Tahoe Keeper program as a service project. Students from SOS outreach have assisted in beach roving days collecting valuable data on paddlers at Lake Tahoe.

 

Interested in the Tahoe Keeper Jr program for your kids? Come see us for an afternoon of education and fun at Children’s Environmental Science Day Sunday, August 2nd at Commons Beach in Tahoe City.

 

 

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Inspecting for Quagga Mussels

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Playing the Invasive Species Game