2015 Public Forum: Aquatic Invasive Species


2015 Stickers now available!

2015 Tahoe Only and Tahoe In and Out stickers are now available. Stop by Cave Rock for an inspection or to upgrade your stickers. Make sure you are Clean, Drain and Dry. Visa and Mastercard only (no cash or check). Prices are available on our 2015 fee chart.

(Lake Forest is closed, due to a rehabilitation project)

Inspection Stations Closed for Winter

Roadside Inspection Stations are now CLOSED, during the Winter season. Inspections are available at Cave Rock from October through April and Lake Forest from January through April. Roadside Inspection stations will re-open in May 2015.  Click here for hours, location information and winter weather closures or delays. Thank you!

2-Stroke Ban

Are 2-stroke engines allowed to launch on Lake Tahoe or the surrounding lakes in the area?

The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) prohibits the launch and use of all carbureted 2-stroke engines. This generally applies to outboard motors and personal watercraft (jetskis). The TRPA does allow all 4-stroke engines and Direct Fuel Injected (DFI) 2-stroke engines. If your watercraft/engine has a California Air Resources Board (CARB) Star rating on it, it is allowed on the Lakes of the Tahoe Region. Some common outboard engines that are allowed:

  • Evinrude E-TEC (2-stroke DFI)
  • Mercury Optimax (2-stroke DFI)
  • Yamaha High Pressure Direct Injection (2-stroke DFI)
  • All Honda engines (4-stroke)

If you are unsure about whether or not your watercraft/engine is allowed on the Lakes of the Tahoe Region, please contact Steve Sweet, ssweet@trpa.org  775-589-5250.

California Quagga Fee

We have been receiving quite a few questions about the new Quagga Fee created by the State of California. In particular, we have local and visiting boaters that are inquiring about how it effects their Tahoe inspection fee. We hope that the information below will help clear things up!

The Quick and Easy:

  • California registered boaters are required to purchase the Quagga sticker
  • Other state registered boaters do not need to purchase
  • Tahoe Only boats are not exempt from the CA Quagga fee
  • Boats that only boat in marine waters are exempt (coastal and some bay waters)
  • The CA fee is being collected by DMV for the California Department of Boating and Waterways
  • In the future, the funds will be available for existing inspection programs to apply for program support money. Tahoe and Truckee inspection programs included.

The Nitty Gritty:

Department of Boating and Waterways

Department of Motor Vehicles

Assembly Bill No. 2443 

Vehicle Industry New: VIN 2013-20 (New Quagga/Zebra Mussel Fee for Vessels)


Spooner Closure

Spooner will be closed Sunday September 7th,  all day due to a special event.

Please use one of the other stations during this time. Thank you!

AIS Spring Forum, 5/22/2014




Click here for presentations: AIS Forum Presentations, 5.22.2014

Spring Forum 2014

Lake Tahoe Roadside Boat Inspection Stations Open for Season

Lake Tahoe, CA-NV – Roadside stations for inspections and decontaminations of motorized boats and watercraft are officially opening for the 2014 boating season.

Locations, hours of operation and opening dates are as follows:

Opening Thursday May 1st:

8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., 7 days a week

  • Meyers: at the junction of US 50 and Highway 89
  • Spooner Summit: at the junction of US 50 and Highway 28 in Nevada
  • Alpine Meadows: Highway 89, off Alpine Meadows Road north of Tahoe City

Opening Thursday May 22nd:

8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., Thursday-Sunday, CLOSED Monday-Wednesday

  • Northstar: Highway 267, at Northstar Drive south of Truckee

Please note that the Homewood inspection station is closed this season.

“Boat inspections are critical to maintaining the health of Lake Tahoe and our local recreation-based economy,” said Dennis Zabaglo, TRPA’s AIS Program Coordinator.  “Through the efforts of the Tahoe Resource Conservation District’s well-trained inspectors and other private and public partners committed to the Lake, we expect to have another successful season.”

All motorized boats and watercraft require inspection for aquatic invasive species (AIS) prior to launching into Lake Tahoe. Invasive species, such as Quagga mussels, New Zealand mudsnails or hydrilla, are known to multiply quickly and colonize underwater surfaces, including docks and piers, water supply and filtration systems, buoys, moored boats and even the beautiful rocky shoreline.  They destroy fish habitat, ruin boat engines, and can negatively impact water quality and the local economy, recreation and ecosystem.  Boats and other watercraft are the largest transporters of AIS, and the inspection program is critical to preventing their spread into Lake Tahoe and other water bodies.  Knowingly transporting AIS into Lake Tahoe is against the law, and violators may be subject to monetary penalties.

“Boaters are encouraged to Clean, Drain, and Dry their boats prior to arriving at inspection stations in order to save time and money,” according to Nicole Cartwright, Watercraft Inspection Program Administrator for the Tahoe RCD “Make sure to drain and dry all water, even water from your garden hose used to flush. Taking these three simple steps will get you on the water faster.”

Annual watercraft inspection fees remain unchanged from 2013.  The “Tahoe In & Out” sticker ranges from $35 for personal watercraft and vessels under 17 feet and up to $121 for vessels over 39 feet.   The “Tahoe Only” sticker fee is $30.  An additional fee of $35 is being charged for any boat requiring decontamination and an additional $10 fee for the decontamination of ballast tanks or bags.

For more information on aquatic invasive species prevention, control and early detection join us for our Spring Public Forum. The event is located this year at the Tahoe Environmental Research Center located in Incline Village, NV on May 22nd from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Event details can be found by visiting TahoeBoatInspections.com or call (888) 824-6267 for updates, details and information.

Holiday Hours and Closures:

Here are the upcoming holiday hours and closures for Cave Rock and Lake Forest

  • Cave Rock:
    • Thanksgiving: Sealed Boats Only–no NEW inspections; 6am-4pm
    • Christmas Day: CLOSED
    • New Years Day: CLOSED
  • Lake Forest:
    • Thanksgiving: CLOSED
    • Christmas Day: CLOSED
    • New Years Day: CLOSED

All other holidays we will be open, weather dependent.

Please check the website for updates on closures, http://tahoeboatinspections.com/inspection-locations/

Online Comment & Feedback Form!

Have you been through an inspection or decontamination at Lake Tahoe before and wanted a way to let us know how your experience was? Well now you can. We have added a “Comment & Feedback form” to our website to give everyone the chance to let us know how we are doing, how amazing our inspectors are, or perhaps provide some ideas on ways to improve the overall experience. You can find the link to the Comment & Feedback form on our Welcome Page or on our Contact Page.

The Watercraft Inspection Program strives to make the inspection process convenient for boaters while ensuring the greatest protection for Lake Tahoe from the harmful impacts of unwanted aquatic invasive species, like the quagga mussel, spiney water flea or Hydrilla. If you have ever been to an area infested with these horrible non-native species, you realize how important preventing them from being introduced can be. We greatly appreciate all feedback regarding boat inspections and encourage you to provide suggestions with realistic solutions that will help protect Lake Tahoe now, and into the future.

Remember that We’re All In This Boat Together and to be Clean, Drained & Dry every time you change waters to help protect them from aquatic invasive species!