How to Get Ready for a Boat Inspection
Lake Tahoe is renowned for its clarity, so this summer let’s keep it blue by getting our motorized and non-motorized watercraft inspected. What is the need for boat inspections? Watercraft are the largest source for spreading aquatic invasive species (AIS) into new waterways. And that’s why boat inspections are mandatory. These inspections help stop AIS before they enter the water as they can have devastating environmental and economic impacts to our communities. Also, AIS is difficult to eradicate once they are introduced.
We can help protect Lake Tahoe for generations to enjoy. It starts by getting your boat ready for inspection. First identify that you have an allowable engine. The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency prohibits the launch and use of most carbureted two-stroke engines. Two-stroke engines that are Direct Fuel Injected (DFI) and those that have been certified to pass 2001 California Air Resources Board (CARB) or Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 2006 standards are still allowed.
If your boat meets these criteria, then you can prepare for inspection by:
- Cleaning – clean all surfaces that touch water; dispose of vegetation/mud/sand, and remove any contaminants.
- Draining – drain water from the bilge; empty ballast tanks/live wells/sea strainers, and lower the outdrive to drain all water from intakes.
- Drying – dry all compartments/jackets/ropes/toys; any water present during the inspection will result in a decontamination fee.
After the three prep items have been addressed, you can schedule an inspection. Click HERE for location, hours, and book appointments. Some inspection sites have opened this May while others are still closed. The link provided will have updates with the option to book the site of your choice that is currently available. Inspection times are from 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Stickers and fees vary depending on what kind of pass and vessel size is being inspected. Click HERE for fee details. Once you pass inspection, you will receive a Tahoe inspection sticker and a Tahoe, Fallen Leaf, or Echo wire seal which attaches your boat to your trailer. The sticker is good for the calendar year purchased. Now you’re ready to launch into water fun. Click HERE for public and private launch ramps and facilities.
Non-Motorized Watercraft Information
For non-motorized watercraft, click on the above video provided by the Lake Tahoe Invasive Species Program. This is a free self-inspection and decontamination training program for paddlers and hand-launched watercraft users with information to help stop the spread of aquatic invasive species.