Prepare for Inspection


Clean all surfaces that touch water; Dispose of vegetation, mud, and sand; Remove any contaminants.
Drain water from the bilge; Empty ballast tanks, live wells, and sea strainers; Lower the outdrive to drain ALL water from intakes.
Dry all compartments; Dry life jackets, ropes, and toys. Any water present during the inspection will result in a decontamination and a decontamination fee.

Before you come:

  • Make sure all systems are operational, including batteries, engine(s), pumps, etc. If you have any special adapters or a flush kit for your engine, please bring them with you to the inspection station.
  • For vessels with ballasts, make sure to bring all ballast bags with you to the inspection station.
  • Bring your keys; Leave anything that’s not boating related at home (bikes, luggage, pets, etc.) .
  • Inspection stations are active work areas and visitors should stay in their vehicle unless needed.  It’s probably best not to bring the whole family.

Allowable Engines:

The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) prohibits the launch and use of most carbureted 2-stroke engines. Two-stroke engines that are Direct Fuel Injected (DFI) and those that have been certified to pass 2001 California Air Resources Board (CARB) or Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 2006 standards are still allowed.

What to expect at the Watercraft Inspection Station:

Watercraft inspection stations serve four basic functions:

  • Provide AIS education messages to boaters.
  • Physically and visually inspect vessels for aquatic invasive species. The inspection consists of a brief interview and a watercraft inspection.
  • Decontaminate watercraft if necessary.
  • Provide the required stickers and seals to launch in Lake Tahoe (or Fallen Leaf Lake and Echo Lake).

After you pass inspection or are decontaminated, you will receive a Tahoe sticker along with a wire seal that attaches your boat to your trailer. The seal is required to launch at any lake in the Lake Tahoe Region and is removed at the launch site.

If you plan to boat in Fallen Leaf or Echo Lakes and do not currently have a wire seal from those lakes, a decontamination is required, regardless of inspection results, before launching.  Fees for Tahoe regional stickers and decontamination apply.