The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) has been working through April and early May with local government representatives, public health officials, public and private boating facilities, and representatives from California and Nevada on a plan to distribute the annual Lake Tahoe aquatic invasive species (AIS) decals to marinas and launch facilities in a time of COVID-19.

“There is much for public agencies to consider when making decisions during this pandemic and complete coordination is critical right now,” TRPA Public Information Officer Jeff Cowen said. “We appreciate everyone’s patience and cooperation as we adjust to rapidly changing priorities locally and within both states.”

The proposal would phase TRPA’s issuance of 2020 decals with the first phase limited solely to 2020 “Tahoe Only” decals for boats that have an intact Lake Tahoe inspection seal. During this first phase, no visiting “Tahoe In and Out” or unsealed boats could launch without further coordination with state and local agencies on updates to COVID-19 orders. Under the proposed phasing, marina and launch facility operators that demonstrate all appropriate staff have been trained and certified for AIS seal inspection would be able to request 2020 “Tahoe Only” boat decals from TRPA for watercraft that they intend to launch.

All organizations involved in the planning agree that it must protect the health of employees and the public while continuing strong protections from aquatic invasive species that threaten waters across the Western U.S.

This post is an effort to keep the public informed about when boat launches might open and to reduce confusion. Stay tuned to this website for up-to-date information on the status of the plan and launch facilities.

For Non-Motorized Watercraft
Users of non-motorized watercraft, such as kayaks and paddleboards, are subject to different policies than motorized. TRPA recommends non-motorized boaters review and comply with COVID-19 closure orders and recommendations at their intended launch area. The agency reminds paddlers to always self-inspect and decontaminate watercraft and gear every time they exit a waterway and properly dispose of any plants or debris that are found. Guidelines require all craft to be Clean, Drained, and Dry to limit the spread of aquatic invasive species.

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.