Lake Tahoe, CA/NV — Newly purchased boats are increasing the risk of Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) to Lake Tahoe. When purchasing a used watercraft, boaters need to understand the launch history of the vessel and how purchasing watercraft from other states can pose a greater risk of transporting AIS. Making sure the watercraft is free of invasive species (shells, plant pieces, baitfish, etc.) before it arrives to Lake Tahoe could save boaters time and additional inspection fees.

AIS continue to spread across the west and remain a threat to Lake Tahoe more than ever. Watercraft are one of the main vectors for transporting AIS to different water bodies. Lake Tahoe is known for its crystal-clear water and unmistakable beauty which draws in tens of thousands of boaters from across the nation each summer. AIS of highest concern are quagga and zebra mussels which are near impossible to get rid of once introduced.

Newly purchased watercraft

At Lake Tahoe, the Watercraft Inspection Program is witnessing a surge in customers who have recently purchased a new or used boat. Many of the used watercraft are coming from mussel infested waters. It is important to recognize that a mussel infested watercraft will require a decontamination, will likely be quarantined by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and there is no guarantee the watercraft will be allowed to launch in Lake Tahoe.

Consult with the seller to ensure you understand if the boat has been in mussel infested waters in the last 12 months, that it has been inspected and will arrive to you Clean, Drained and Dry.

Arrive Prepared

If you have bought a new watercraft, or it has been a while since it was used, the Lake Tahoe Watercraft Inspection Program encourages watercraft owners to come prepared for their inspection by familiarizing themselves with the operation of their watercraft and making sure the systems work properly. Doing this, as well as charging the batteries, if you need help finding the best quality look into deep cycle marine battery reviews to get more information, and also making sure you bring your keys can help expedite your inspection process and help you get on the water faster.

  • Bring the key.
  • Make sure all batteries are charged.
  • Know how to lower the outdrive.
  • Ensure access to anchors, mooring lines, personal floatation devices, wet suits, dive gear, inflatables, down riggers, and other equipment.
  • Understand how to operate engines, pumps, generators and ballast tanks and ensure all systems are operational.

Boaters are asked to responsibly participate in the inspection process alongside inspectors, helping operate several different systems on the watercraft. Agencies encourage boat owners to thoroughly read the owner’s manual for the watercraft after purchasing to ensure that owners can properly operate the watercraft during the inspection.

Agencies continue to stress the importance of boaters arriving to inspections Clean, Drained and Dry and prepare for a cost-effective and efficient inspection process. For further information on how to prepare for an inspection, click here.