Lake Tahoe, CA/NV — Boat transporters can call a new aquatic invasive species (AIS) hotline when planning to haul vessels across state lines to prevent the spread of invasive species and to help them with the watercraft inspection process. Transporters headed for Lake Tahoe can be connected to Tahoe Resource Conservation District boat inspectors to help facilitate and expedite the watercraft inspection process, and if needed, decontamination.

The interstate “Call Before You Haul” program is a partnership through the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission to help reduce the ongoing spread of AIS that can be attributed to the movement of watercraft between water bodies. Invasive species can be carried in bilge water, live wells, and bait buckets as well as on boat and motor exteriors and trailers. Every time a boat is transported overland after use in an infested waterway, it can transfer AIS to non-infested waterways.

Calling the toll-free number, 1-844-311-4873, to proactively arrange watercraft inspections can prevent costly delays at inspection stations and ensure transporters are not violating state, federal, or regional laws that make it unlawful to transport AIS—dead or alive.

AIS pose a serious threat to the recreational and natural resources of the Lake Tahoe watershed. AIS compete with native species and can increase algae growth that contributes to the decline of Lake Tahoe’s famous water clarity. AIS are costly to control and often impossible to eradicate. The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and Tahoe Resource Conservation District manage the Lake Tahoe watercraft inspection program to ensure all motorized watercraft are inspected and certified free of AIS before being launched in the waters of the Lake Tahoe Region, including Echo Lakes, Fallen Leaf Lake, and Lake Tahoe. Since the program began in 2008, more than 100,000 boats have been inspected and there have been zero new invasive species detected in the region.

The Lake Tahoe Aquatic Invasive Species Program is implemented by 40 public and private partner organizations, including federal, state, and local jurisdictions, research partners, public utility districts, and private marinas. The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and the Tahoe Resource Conservation District lead the program in collaboration with the public and private partners. The program’s mission is to prevent, detect, and control aquatic invasive species in the Region so that future generations can enjoy Lake Tahoe. For additional information, contact Jeff Cowen, TRPA Public Information Officer, at 775-589-5278.