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Watercraft are the largest source for spreading aquatic invasive species (AIS) into new waterways. Inspections are an essential part of preventing this inadvertent transport of alien species into the pristine waters of Lake Tahoe.

 Invasive species have devastating environmental and economic impacts on industries, communities, and native species populations. Most invasive species do not have predators to keep their populations in balance and, once introduced, are difficult if not impossible to eradicate. Mandatory inspections will stop aquatic invasive species, such as quagga mussels, BEFORE they enter the water. Please do your part to protect Lake Tahoe and plan ahead for mandatory boat inspections.

Preparing your Boat

Clean, Drain, and Dry your watercraft. Drain your bilge, ballast tanks, live wells, sea strainer and any storage compartments. Dispose of any plants or critters away from lakes or rivers – and above the high water line. If you have an outboard or sterndrive engine, lower the outdrive on the engine to release any residual water. Inspections only occur during daylight hours and take only a few minutes if you arrive prepared! If you flush your engine at home and have special flushing adapters please bring those with you.

  • Large or oversized commercially transported boats please call 888-824-6267, 72 hours in advance, to schedule an appointment because extra coordination may be necessary.

Boat Inspection Fees, Stickers & Wire Seals

There is a fee for Tahoe boat inspections according to boat size and is payable with visa & mastercard only.  An additional fee for decontamination may apply for boats that are not Clean, Drained & Dry. After passing inspection, you will receive a Tahoe inspection sticker (good for a calendar year) and a Tahoe wire seal which attaches your boat to your trailer. Tahoe In & Out stickers are eligible for unlimited inspections during the calendar year purchased; decontamination fees may still apply. 7-day Inspection Launch passes are eligible for 1 inspection and 7 consecutive days of inspection seals at launch facilities; decontamination fees may apply. Tahoe Only stickers are reserved for Tahoe wire inspection sealed boats from previous seasons that will only launch in Lake Tahoe. Stickered and sealed boats are ready to launch!
If your boat has it’s Tahoe wire seal still intact from a previous season, AND you plan to boat in Lake Tahoe ONLY, you may proceed directly to the launch facility of your choice to purchase your annual Tahoe Only sticker. Boats with Tahoe Only stickers that DO NOT have an intact Tahoe wire seal will be required to visit one of the roadside inspection stations for an inspection and will be required to upgrade their sticker to a Tahoe In & Out for the difference of the fee at that time; decontamination fees may apply. Tahoe In & Out stickers and 7 Day Inspection Launch Passes are only available at roadside inspection stations.

 

Why the need for Tahoe boat inspections?

Watercraft are the largest vectors for spreading aquatic invasive species (AIS), such as quagga and zebra mussels into new waterways, making boat inspections a vital aspect of protecting Lake Tahoe and other nearby water bodies. Click here for more info on boat inspections and AIS.

Clean, Drain and Dry your boat, canoe, or kayak after every use to ensure you are not transporting any unintended hitchhikers.

Want to help us improve the Watercraft Inspection Program?

We want to know what you think. Have you been through an inspection or decontamination at a Lake Tahoe inspection station? Do you have an idea to help improve the inspection or decontamination process? Please take a moment to share your comments and feedback by clicking HERE.