Boaters to self-inspect vessels this season at Donner Lake |

Boaters to self-inspect vessels this season at Donner Lake

Boaters heading to Donner Lake this season will now have to submit a self-inspection form to Truckee and obtain an inspection sticker prior to launching their vessel.

At its virtual meeting on Tuesday, the Truckee Town Council passed an ordinance that amended the town’s municipal code regarding its aquatic invasive species program. Boaters will no longer be required to have their vessels inspected at a site staffed by the Tahoe Resources Conservation District and instead will have to go through a self-inspection program similar to what is in place at Boca and Stampede reservoirs. Boaters with a valid 2020 Lake Tahoe boating sticker will also be allowed to launch on Donner Lake.

“I recognize the importance of this program,” said Truckee Police Chief Robert Leftwich at Tuesday’s Town Council meeting. “This wasn’t brought to (the Town Council) because of COVID and because of budgetary issues around COVID. Staff would have made the recommendation that we made at the last council meeting regardless of the COVID crisis or not.

“We think that this is probably the most sustainable path at the time … this is really the only option that we have left with the feedback we’ve gotten from the boating community, TRPA, TRCD, and other entities that are involved with Donner Lake,” Leftwich added.

Options to keep the current program in place were projected to have cost the town between $98,000 and $162,000 annually.

The option the town decided upon for the 2020 boating season will cost an estimated $13,000, which will pay for boating stickers, community outreach, and will subsidize the Truckee-Donner Recreation and Park District to have staff at the public boat launch seven days a week, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. The amendment to the ordinance was passed 4-1. Vice Mayor Anna Klovstad opposed.

“Given where this is heading and the change at least in structure for this coming season, this is a good opportunity for us to really take the time this next year to think about this program … to think about the lake in more holistic terms and what can be done to improve its health overall,” said council member David Tirman.

“Who are the other community partners out there who might be able to participate financially? What other ways can we raise money, revenue, to reenact this program, and again, maybe even expand in the long term, because I think the health of Donner Lake … it’s a critical asset of our community.”

Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at or 530-550-2643.

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