Inspectors looked at 12,800 vessels on Lake Tahoe the past year |

Inspectors looked at 12,800 vessels on Lake Tahoe the past year

Annie Flanzraich
Sun News Service

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. and#8212; While implementing tighter inspections to prevent aquatic invasive species from entering Lake Tahoe, Tahoe Resource Conservation District inspectors looked at about 12,800 vessels since November 2008.

Those numbers are consistent with what the TRCD and the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency officials were expecting to see given low lake level and a hurting economy, said TRPA Spokesman Dennis Oliver.

The 12,800 vessels is a solid count on the number of boats that entered Lake Tahoe last year, Oliver said.

and#8220;There may be a handful of boaters who got into the lake and were able to evade inspections, but it isn’t a widespread problem,and#8221; Oliver said.

In March the TRPA voted to charge for vessel inspections on a sliding scale to help pay for the program. That came after the board voted in May 2008 to require all boats to be inspected prior to launching on Lake Tahoe.

As part of the inspections, TRPA and TRCD have also surveyed boat owners to find out more about their origin and boating habits.

and#8220;It’s a good baseline for environmental monitoring,and#8221; Oliver said.

Numbers may have been low for boating this year due to lower gaming wins at Tahoe casinos, lower occupancy rates at Tahoe lodging and lower lake levels that closed boat ramps during the season, Oliver said.