Lake Tahoe agency approves boat inspection discount for frequent users |

Lake Tahoe agency approves boat inspection discount for frequent users

LAKE TAHOE ” Fishermen, waterskiers and other boaters who frequent water bodies other than Lake Tahoe will be able to save 25 percent of their boat inspection fee costs at public launch sites this summer.

The idea was approved Wednesday by the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and involves a discount pass boaters can buy from TRPA that would be good at facilities using Tahoe Resource Conservation District staff. Those locations include Cave Rock, Sand Harbor, Ski Beach and Lake Forest. The pass would save the boater 25 percent on each inspection ” or a $225 savings for a 16-foot to 25-foot vessel over 10 inspections.

According to staff reports, this measure will “serve this group of boaters more equitably.”

The TRPA Governing Board also voted against lowering the fee for 16- to 25-foot vessels from $30 to $20.

Inspection passes should be available in a few weeks after the agency works out logistics, said TRPA Spokesman Dennis Oliver. Boaters can purchase passes at TRPA’s South Shore offices at 128 Market St. in Stateline, Nev.

The passes will not be ready by the time boating inspection fees go into effect Monday, when all vessels entering Lake Tahoe will pay a fee to be inspected to enter the lake.

The fee is based on the size of the vessel and the addition of ballast tanks, bladders and live wells at public launch sites around the lake.

Inspections are aimed at preventing quagga and zebra mussels from infesting Lake Tahoe. The invasive mussels have been discovered as close as 250 miles from Lake Tahoe at San Justo reservoir in California. If mussels invade the lake, they would multiply rapidly and destroy its infrastructure and environment. They have never been eradicated from a larger water source.

“We have invested a billion in this lake to restore it. Our economy is tied to this lake. We drink out of this lake. We cannot throw all that away by allowing zebra and quagga mussels to get in and take over,” Oliver said. “Losing and giving up is not an option.”

Boat inspections include questions about recent boating tips and a survey of the vessel. If a vessel is found to have mussels or has been in an infested waterway, decontamination may be necessary.

After a boat is inspected and found clean of invasives, it can enter the lake. Upon exiting the lake an inspection seal will be attached between the vessel and its trailer. If the seal is unbroken the vessel can re-enter Lake Tahoe without further inspection.

In addition to inspection fees, boaters will also have to deal with low-water levels this season. Lake Tahoe is anticipated to rise about one foot from its current level because of limited snowpack, which is near 45 percent of average, according to a recent runoff forecast. The lake’s level is 6224.51 feet as of Thursday.

Already some launch sites around the lake such as El Dorado Beach and Camp Richardson on the south shore and Tahoe Vista and Coon Street on the north shore have closed due to low water levels. Navigating the open launches may take an experienced boater, said Jay Howard, park supervisory for the Lake Tahoe Nevada State Parks.

“There’s barely enough water for the smaller boats,” Howard said of Sand Harbor. “Larger boats may not want to launch, it’s not really safe for the larger boats.”

Non-Motorized: No fee

With inspection seal: No fee

Up to 16 feet: $10

From 16 to 25 feet: $30

From 25 to 39 feet: $40

More than 39 feet: $60

Additional $10 for vessels containing ballast tanks/bladders/live wells.

Cave Rock

5 a.m. to 8 p.m., daily

Camp Richardson

Closed due to low water

Coon Street

Closed due to low water

Echo Lakes Chalet

10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays

9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekends

Eldorado Beach

Closed due to low lake water

Fallen Leaf Marina

8 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekends

9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays

After June 21:

8 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily

(All boats at Fallen Leaf undergo a full boat wash for $30)

Homewood High and Dry

8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily

Lakeside Marina

9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily

Lake Forest

5 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily

Meeks Bay Marina

9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily

After June 6:

8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily

North Tahoe Marina

No public launching

Obexer’s Marina

8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Thursday

7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday to Sunday

Sand Harbor

6 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily

Ski Beach

7 a.m. to 8 p.m., daily

IVGID beach access needed

Sierra Boat Company

7:30 to 5 p.m., daily

Sunnyside Marina

9 a.m. to 5 p.m., daily

Launching only available to boaters mooring with the marina

Tahoe City Marina

8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily

Tahoe Keys Marina

8 a.m. to 7 p.m., daily

Tahoe Vista

Closed due to low water

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