Tahoe Arts and Mountain Culture
Tahoe Arts and Mountain Culture

Tahoe Boat Inspections: Clean Drain Dry Every time

Posted on July 1, 2016
Filed Under Lake Tahoe Eco-Tips

Tahoe Boat Inspections Matter

Roadside stations for inspections and decontaminations of motorized boats and watercraft are open from 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., 7 days a week at Meyers: at the junction of US 50 and Highway 89, Spooner Summit: at the junction of US 50 and Highway 28 in Nevada, and Alpine Meadows: Highway 89, off Alpine Meadows Road north of Tahoe City.  In Truckee, station is open 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., Thursday-Sunday, CLOSED Monday-Wednesday at Truckee-Tahoe: Highway 267, off Truckee Airport Road.


Annual watercraft inspection fees remain unchanged from last year. The “Tahoe In & Out” inspection ranges from $35 for personal watercraft and vessels under 17 feet and up to $121 for vessels over 39 feet. The “Tahoe Only” inspection sticker is $30. An additional fee of $35 is charged for any boat requiring decontamination and an additional $10 fee for the decontamination of ballast tanks or bags.

All motorized watercraft require inspection for aquatic invasive species (AIS) prior to launching into Lake Tahoe, Fallen Leaf Lake and Echo Lake. Invasive species are highly advantageous and can be transported by non-motorized water recreation equipment as well. The Tahoe Keeper program was created to inform the paddling community about the importance of inspecting equipment, including: kayaks, paddleboards, fishing equipment, inflatable water toys and life jackets.

Invasive species, such as quagga mussels, New Zealand mudsnails, and hydrilla, are known to multiply quickly and colonize underwater surfaces, including docks and piers, water supply and filtration systems, buoys, moored boats, and even the beautiful rocky shoreline.  They destroy fish habitat, ruin boat engines, and can negatively impact water quality and the local economy, recreation, and ecosystem.  Boats and other watercraft are the largest transporters of AIS, and the inspection program is critical to preventing their spread into Lake Tahoe and other waterbodies.  Knowingly transporting AIS into Lake Tahoe is against the law, and violators may be subject to monetary penalties.

“Boaters are encouraged to Clean, Drain, and Dry their boats prior to arriving at inspection stations in order to save time and money,” according to Nicole Cartwright, AIS Program Coordinator for the Tahoe Resource Conservation District, “make sure to drain all water, even water from your garden hose used to flush. Taking these three simple steps will get you on the water faster.”

Paddlers of kayaks, canoes and other non-motorized watercraft are not currently required to have their boats inspected, but are urged to visit to learn how to self-inspect boats and gear and earn a free credentials packet and Tahoe Keepers stickers. However, inspections and decontaminations for canoes, kayaks and paddleboards are free for paddlers who have recently visited infected waters.

About the Lake Tahoe Watercraft Inspection Program

The Watercraft Inspection Program is part of the Lake Tahoe Aquatic Invasive Species Program which is implemented by 40 public and private partner organizations including federal, state and local jurisdictions, research partners, public utility districts, and private marinas. The state, federal and local agencies comprising the Lake Tahoe Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinating Committee have provided leadership, direction and resources to fulfill this program’s mission of prevention, detection and control of aquatic invasive species in the Lake Tahoe Region.

The Tahoe Resource Conservation District’s mission is to promote the conservation and improvement of the Lake Tahoe Basin’s soil, water and related natural resources by providing leadership, information, programs, and technical assistance to all land managers, owners, organizations, and residents.  The Tahoe RCD is a non-regulatory, grant funded, public agency that works with a variety of partner agencies to implement projects, programs and outreach which currently focus on erosion control, runoff infiltration, terrestrial and aquatic invasive species control, and conservation landscaping.

Visit or call (888) 824-6267 for updates, details and information or follow @TahoeBoating on Twitter for real-time updates.

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